Performing the John Cage Song Books for the Morris Graves Exhibition at Meridian Gallery, SF

Hibernation, tempera painting by Morris Graves, c. 1954; in the National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

resonant world: an afternoon of music by John Cage
for the exhibit The Visionary Art of Morris Graves

Sunday, Apr 18, 2010

3:00 PM – 6:00 PM

535 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: 415.398.7229

Suggested donation: $10 general; $5 students/seniors. Tickets are available at the door.

Featuring the following performances in the third floor Toyoji P. Tomita Performance Gallery:

Atlas Eclipticalis by John Cage (1962) performed by Phillip Greenlief and Jon Raskin’s 2+1, featuring Steve Adams

Three by John Cage (1989) performed by Three Trapped Tigers (David Barnett, Tom Bickley, and Jim Wilson)

Solos from Song Books by John Cage (1970) performed by the Cornelius Cardew Choir (the vocal ensemble I’ve been performing with frequently) — for more information, please see our Facebook event page.

Performers in the Cornelius Cardew Choir:

Sandy Yolles
Eric Theise
Sarah Rose Stiles
Katherine Setar
Ann O’Rourke
Bob Marsh
Marianne McDonald
Cathryn Hrudicka*
Scot Gresham-Lancaster
Brad Fischer
Tom Bickley (Conductor)
Nancy Beckman
David Cowen

Plus, there will be a reading of Series re Morris Graves by John Cage (1973) in the second floor Drawings Gallery.

The Visionary Art of Morris Graves

This exhibition, curated by Peter Selz, will feature approximately 50 works drawn from the collections of the University of Oregon, San Francisco Bay Area Museums, and private collections and will focus on the mythopoetic aspects of Morris Graves’ oeuvre. This does not aspire to be a career survey but a cross section of the symbolism and philosophy which form the undercurrent of his important artistic legacy.

The Visionary Art of Morris Graves will run from March 20 – May 15, 2010.
[See location and transportation directions below.]

The Opening Reception was held on Saturday March 20th, 4:00 – 7:00 PM

Featured was a conversation between Curator Peter Selz and Lawrence Fong, on Morris Graves. There is an audio recording available on the Meridian Gallery site.

Meridian Gallery’s The Visionary Art of Morris Graves offers the largest exhibition of work by the major American painter Morris Graves in recent memory. Curated by eminent art historian Peter Selz, the exhibition, which marks Graves’ 100th birthday, focuses on the mythic motifs and symbolism that runs throughout his long career.

Morris Graves (1910 – 2001) was a largely self-taught artist closely associated with the Pacific Northwest region of the United States. His paintings, often small works on paper, were among the earliest to synthesize Eastern aesthetics and philosophy with the American Transcendental tradition. In his own words, Graves was working “to evolve a changing language of symbols, a language with which to remark upon the qualities of our mysterious capacities which direct us toward ultimate reality.”

The subject of influential international exhibitions in the mid-twentieth century, and a standout in the Guggenheim Museum’s recent Third Mind exhibition, Morris Graves is a major voice in American Art and The Visionary Art of Morris Graves seeks to introduce a new generation of artists, scholars, and art going public to this seminal artist’s work.

A friend and artist of great significance to John Cage and Merce Cunningham, Meridian will be contextualizing Morris Graves and his work within a series of related music, poetry, and dance events.

A few works will be for sale but most of the 50 works in the show will be on loan from the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, the Morris Graves Foundation, and the Hearst Gallery at St. Mary’s College. Other important pieces will be drawn from the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts and from private collections. A catalog is available.

The Visionary Art of Morris Graves is co-sponsored by Meridian and the Lucid Art Foundation, and made possible by the generous support of Theres and Dennis Rohan, Sue Kubly, Harold and Arlene Schnitzer, Andrea Turman, and Robert and Desireé Yarber of the Morris Graves Foundation.

The opening reception was generously sponsored by McEvoy Ranch.


535 Powell Street
San Francisco, CA 94108
Phone: 415.398.7229

The Meridian Gallery is located one and a half blocks north of Union Square in downtown San Francisco. A short walk from the Powell BART station, and multiple MUNI bus lines. Please see to find the fastest way to get to us via public transportation.


Street parking can be difficult, though not impossible. The Sutter-Stockton garage, one block east of Meridian, is easily accessible and reasonably priced. Entrances are on Bush Street (traveling east) and on Stockton Street (traveling north from Union Square). Parking is also available in the Union Square garage which has a number of entrances around the square, and is two blocks from the gallery.

*Update: Due to a recent injury, I won’t be able to perform, but I hope you enjoy the group performances, if you are able to attend. If you are in San Francisco, and attend this event, could you please let me know, as I’m tracking who came due to this blog post, Twitter or other social network announcements. Thanks!

The musical performances today are being dedicated to the memories of Toyoji P. Tomita (a friend, composer and musical colleague of all the performers, and late husband of Marianne McDonald); and Joel Weisberg (my late first husband, a composer, musician, arts supporter, environmentalist, and San Francisco attorney).

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