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Polish Cultural Institute and
The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, CUNY Graduate Center present


Monday, January 26, 2009, 2:00 PM

The Martin E. Segal Theatre Center
at The CUNY Graduate Center

365 Fifth Avenue, at 34th Street,
New York, NY
Tickets: Free. First come, first served basis, Tel: 212.817.1860
Hours: 2:00-9:00 PM

The Art and Theater of Tadeusz Kantor is the first comprehensive presentation in the U.S. of the work and life of this world-famous "total artist." It aims to present Kantor (1915-1990), one of the 20th century's greatest artists, in the full context of his creativity: in both the theater and the visual arts.

Beginning with the presentation of Kantor's The Desk (1975), one of the major works in the Jewish Museum's Theaters of Memory: Art and the Holocaust exhibition, continuing with a week of screenings of filmed records of Kantor's performances at La MaMa E.T.C., the series concludes on January 26, with a one-day International Conference at the Martin E. Segal Theatre Center, CUNY Graduate Center.

Kantor's work as both theater and visual artist will be discussed by specialists on his work, his collaborators and friends: Dore Ashton, Marek Bartelik, Monika Fabijanska, Daniel Gerould, David Gothard, Norman Kleeblatt, Michal Kobialka, Ludmila Ryba, Richard Schechner, Ellen Stewart, Jaroslaw Suchan, and Natalia Zarzecka. Documentary films on the life and work of Tadeusz Kantor will be screened. CONFERENCE PROGRAM & PARTICIPANTS

Tadeusz Kantor (1915-1990) was one of the 20th century's most innovative visual artists, stage directors, and theoreticians. The breadth and diversity of his artistic endeavors align him with such diverse artists as, for example, Stanislaw Ignacy Witkiewicz (Witkacy), Marcel Duchamp, Vsevelod Meyerhold, Oscar Schlemmer, Antonin Artaud, Jackson Pollock, Jerzy Grotowski, Christo, Allan Kaprow, Peter Brook, or Robert Wilson.

Kantor is to Polish art what Joseph Beuys was to German art, what Andy Warhol was to American art. He created a unique strain of theatre, was an active participant in the revolutions of the neo-avant-garde, a highly original theoretician, an innovator strongly grounded in tradition, an anti-painterly painter, a happener-heretic, and an ironic conceptualist. ... His greatness derives not so much from his oeuvre, as from Kantor himself in his entirety, as a kind of Gesamtkunstwerk that consists of his art, his theory, and his life. - Jaroslaw Suchan, director of Museum of Art in Lodz, curator of Tadeusz Kantor. Interior of Imagination, Zacheta National Gallery of Art, Warsaw 2005

The Jewish Museum's exhibition Theaters of Memory: Art and the Holocaust continues until February 1, 2009. Kantor's sculpture, The Desk (1975) - which was created in connection with The Dead Class performance - is one of the major works in the exhibition, alongside works by Anselm Kiefer, Christian Boltanski, and George Segal. Recently purchased by The Jewish Museum, it is the first of Kantor's works to enter a major American museum collection.

Special thanks to the Centre for the Documentation of the Art of Tadeusz Kantor CRICOTEKA in Krakow.

Conference Program & Participants

Kantor at The Jewish Museum

Kantor at La MaMa

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