Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal

Ars Nova Workshop



Ars Nova Workshop, "Beyond Polymath," sculpture detail. Photo courtesy of Ars Nova Workshop.


Ars Nova Workshop, "Beyond Polymath," sculpture. Photo courtesy of Ars Nova Workshop.


Ars Nova Workshop, Milford Graves’ hand painted drum kit. Photo courtesy of Ars Nova Workshop.


Ars Nova Workshop, flyer for Milford Graves’ “Bio Creative Institute of Intuitive Development.” Photo courtesy of Ars Nova Workshop.

Ars Nova Workshop’s exhibition Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal will shed light on a lifetime of multidisciplinary creative work from one of the icons of the free jazz movement. A polymath who works in music, visual arts, botany, martial arts, and science, Graves is best known as a drummer who has recorded with artists such as Albert Ayler, Sonny Sharrock, John Zorn, and Don Pullen. An installation at the University of Pennsylvania’s Pennovation Center will recreate Graves’ home-based artistic laboratory as a living, interactive theater—part music practice and performance space, part computer research facility, part apothecary—that the artist will occupy in a residency as he engages with the public around his ideas and decades-spanning body of work. The exhibition will include a collection of Graves’ hand-painted album covers and posters, idiosyncratic drum sets, sculptural work, photographs, recording ephemera, and archival recordings. A catalogue will offer new essays and a view into the artist’s previously unseen archive.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.