Han Bennink and Peter Brötzmann: Drawings, Paintings & Objects

Ars Nova Workshop



Han Bennink, Untitled (1970) [ICP 006], album cover. Image courtesy of Susanna von Canon.

Han Bennink (b. 1942) and Peter Brötzmann (b. 1941), two of the most important figures in European improvised music, have both maintained private and personal—albeit highly productive—visual art practices over the past 50 years. Ars Nova Workshop (ANW) has presented Bennink and Brötzmann's music in live concerts for Philadelphia audiences in the past. With this grant, ANW undertook planning for an exhibition that explores the relationship between their aural and visual work. Artistic Director Mark Christman convened the artists and an international group of contemporary art curators and musicologists to develop the overall framework for the show. Among the questions explored were, "What is [Bennink and Brötzmann's] artistic, social, economic, and political relevance today, and what is their legacy—the importance of their connections to Beat, Fluxus, and Pop Art movements?" ANW has organized exhibitions in the past on John Coltrane and Sun Ra, but this was their first exhibition grant from The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage.