Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal

Ars Nova Workshop

2018
$124,000

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

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

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

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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.