Best known as the original drummer of THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, MacLise’s lifework included music, calligraphy, performance art, poetry, drawings, plays, and limited edition artist’s books.
Opening Party, May 10th,
6pm to 9pm at 521 W23rd Street
521 W 23rd Street, New York
265 Canal Street, Suite 601, New York
Film Series at the Anthology Film Archives
32 2nd Avenue, NY, May 12th at 8 PM.
This is the first overview of the lifework of a major American 20th century artistic polyglot.
Angus MacLise was an American artist, poet, percussionist, and composer active in New York, San Francisco, Paris, London and Kathmandu from the 1950’s through the 1970’s. Best known as the original drummer of THE VELVET UNDERGROUND, MacLise’s lifework included music, calligraphy, performance art, poetry, drawings, plays, and limited edition artist’s books.
Co-curator Johan Kugelberg describes Angus MacLise as the American Henri Michaux.
MacLise was a collaborative partner in the early 1960’s with art groups and individuals such as Fluxus (George Maciunas, Yoko Ono), Theatre of the Ridiculous, and Jack Smith. As a poet, MacLise began publishing in partnership with high school friend Piero Heliczer in the late 1950’s, establishing the Dead Language Press in Paris, widely acknowledged as one a most significant small artist book presses of the 20th Century. Together with his wife, artist and underground press illustrator Hetty MacLise, he edited issue No. 9 of the magazine-in-a-box, Aspen, considered a hallmark of American publishing.
While residing in Nepal, he formed the Bardo Matrix/Dreamweapon Press with Ira Cohen, issuing poetry in limited editions on handmade rice paper. The press published Paul Bowles, Charles Henri Ford, Gregory Corso and Diane Di Prima among others. MacLise also published his own works and edited the poetry magazine Ting Pa.
On Summer Solstice 1979, MacLise died from hypoglycemia in Kathmandu, and was cremated in the fashion of Tibetan Buddhist funerary rites.
A suitcase of Angus MacLise’s artwork, publications, and manuscript as well as more than 100 hours of recorded music was left with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela for safe-keeping thirty years ago. This extraordinary time-vault is the foundation of the exhibition, with additional materials drawn from private previously unseen collections and archives.
The 521 West 23rd Street exhibition features manuscript, calligraphy, ephemera, photography, artwork, memorabilia, posters and handbills illuminating MacLise’s multi-faceted career through a narrative of original artifacts.
The 265 Canal Street Suite 601 sound installation, the premiere exhibition at Boo-Hooray’s new Chinatown space, features previously unheard recordings from the 1960’s and 1970’s featuring Angus MacLise performing alongside notables such as: Tony Conrad, La Monte Young, John Cale, Billy Name, Terry Riley, William Breeze, Piero Heliczer, Jack Smith, Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker among others. Each day one may experience a unique set of curated programs of MacLise’s music. Every day is different.
The exhibition Opening Party is on May 10th from 6pm to 9pm at 521 W23rd street. This event celebrates the Boo-Hooray publication of the DREAMWEAPON exhibition catalog. It is available for sale in a regular edition, limited to 1000 copies, and a deluxe boxed edition of 100 copies with a numbered photo print, a numbered silk-screen and a CD of previously unheard music and poetry.
Boo-Hooray are also celebrating Record Store Day by distributing 100 Dreamweapon Tickets attached to random copies of the flyer for the show. This ticket entails the holder to a copy of the Dreamweapon IV CD of unreleased music and a limited edition print. The lucky ducky can redeem the ticket at the exhibit.
Also newly available from Boo-Hooray is Ira Cohen's 1968 film The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda, as a fully restored director's cut DVD in a limited edition of 500 copies. An edition of Angus MacLise's first publication, Straight Farthest Blood Towards, originally published by Piero Heliczer's Dead Language Press in 1959, will be issued in a letterpress facsimile edition limited to 81 copies, printed by Jon Beacham of The Brother in Elysium Press.
Thursday, May 12th, 2011 at 8pm, Anthology Film Archives are hosting an evening of film and video works by Ira Cohen and Piero Heliczer. At the center is the underground classic, The Invasion of Thunderbolt Pagoda (Dir. Ira Cohen, 1968), showcasing the music of Angus MacLise. The program will also include works by Heliczer featuring MacLise, and Marty Topp's portapak video from the Ira Cohen Jefferson St. loft (1971-72). Boo-Hooray are also pumped to announce the world premiere of Heavy Canon, directed by Ira Cohen (1968/2011). This film is comprised of unseen 16mm footage shot in Cohen’s Mylar Chamber and scored with the music of Angus MacLise.
* The exhibits are open every day from 11am - 6pm, with the curators hosting Walks and Talks at the 521 West 23rd Street location on Saturday May 14th at 3pm & Saturday May 21st at 3pm
For more information contact Michael Daley / firstname.lastname@example.org