NEW YORK, NY, September 27, 2022 –The new David Geffen Hall opens to the public on October 8, 2022, the home of the New York Philharmonic and new welcoming cultural home for New York. Completed two years early, and with a transformative design by Diamond Schmitt Architects and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, the project represents a statement of faith in New York and its artistic community, while delivering jobs and economic development at a crucial time for the city’s rebound.
In addition to being the premiere home of the New York Philharmonic, David Geffen Hall is meant to be a cultural home for everyone, with welcome extended through programming and artistic activations that memorialize and reckon with Lincoln Center’s history, as well as look to the future. The reimagined David Geffen Hall welcomes all who visit with generosity, warmth and fun.
As part of the reopening, two site-specific visual artworks by Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite were commissioned for the Hall, beckoning those who may have never interacted with Lincoln Center or the New York Philharmonic to see the institutions in a new way—the result of a partnership between Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, The Studio Museum in Harlem and Public Art Fund.
Thelma Golden, Director and Chief Curator of The Studio Museum in Harlem, said, “These bold and exciting new works by Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite connect us deeply and imaginatively with artists of the past, present, and future while making the meanings of this site palpable across generations. I am thrilled that The Studio Museum in Harlem has been able to collaborate with Lincoln Center and Public Art Fund to inaugurate the new David Geffen Hall in such a spirit of creativity, energy, and public engagement.”
“With their extraordinary new commissions, Nina Chanel Abney and Jacolby Satterwhite offer all of us a thrilling vision of a more democratic cultural future: emerging artists and groundbreaking artforms providing captivating experiences for audiences new and old,” says Nicholas Baume, Artistic & Executive Director of Public Art Fund. “Their artworks acknowledge a sometimes-painful past, and at the same time are brilliantly joyful and celebratory expressions of creative healing. With powerful insights wrapped in sheer invention, they inspire us as they open the doors to generations to come.”
Nina Chanel Abney, San Juan Heal, 2022
Abney’s San Juan Heal enlivens the building’s nearly two-hundred-foot-long 65th Street facade with a unique iconography inspired by the rich cultural heritage and complex history of San Juan Hill. The installation features thirty-five icons: portraits of some of the neighborhood's pioneers and celebrated musicians, as well as symbols and text derived from the era’s protest flyers. At the center of the grid is the word “Love.”
“As someone who enjoys creating public installations, I couldn’t have asked for a better canvas to work on—with so much visibility—than David Geffen Hall's 65th Street facade,” said artist Nina Chanel Abney. “My goal is to pay homage to the San Juan Hill neighborhood while simultaneously sparking a conversation about its history as it relates to our present and future. I see my work as the exclamation point to an already epic structure.”
Jacolby Satterwhite, An Eclectic Dance to the Music of Time, 2022
Satterwhite’s An Eclectic Dance to the Music of Time tells a story of the past, present, and future of Lincoln Center. Activating the Hauser Digital Wall, the dreamlike video is set in a digitally animated landscape inspired by Central Park and surrounded by buildings reminiscent of those in Times Square. Featuring archival materials from Lincoln Center, Satterwhite weaves these historic moments together with footage of the next generation of performers and audiences of Lincoln Center.
"Lincoln Center is such a monumentally important institution, and it's an honor to be a part of telling its story," said artist Jacolby Satterwhite. “There are so many different types of people who performed and participated in the success and growth of the Lincoln Center and the New York Philharmonic, and I am working to place them at the forefront. The young performers showcased in my video represent a better future where every human being has a principal role."
Learn more about the new David Geffen Hall, its opening month celebrations, ribbon cutting, and first public performance on October 8, and Open House Weekend on October 29 and 30, which will feature hundreds of artists animating the entire Hall with free performances, participatory activities, and family events:
Link to New David Geffen Hall full press release HERE.
Link to full media kit (images of Hall, artworks, artwork details, and quotes) HERE.
About the Artists
Nina Chanel Abney is known for combining representation and abstraction. Her paintings capture the frenetic pace of contemporary culture. Broaching subjects as diverse as race, celebrity, religion, politics, sex, and art history, her works eschew linear storytelling in lieu of disjointed narratives. The effect is information overload balanced with a kind of spontaneous order where time and space are compressed and identity is interchangeable. Her distinctively bold style harnesses the flux and simultaneity that have come to define life in the twenty-first century. Through a bracing use of color and unapologetic scale, Abney’s canvases propose a new type of history painting, one grounded in the barrage of everyday events and funneled through the velocity of the internet.
Abney’s work is included in collections around the world, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Rubell Family Collection, the Bronx Museum of Arts, and the Burger Collection, Hong Kong. Her first solo museum exhibition, Nina Chanel Abney: Royal Flush, curated by Marshall Price, was presented in 2017 at the Nasher Museum of Art, Durham, North Carolina. It traveled to the Chicago Cultural Center and then to Los Angeles, where it was jointly presented by the Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, and the California African American Museum. The final venue for the exhibition was the Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College, State University of New York.
Jacolby Satterwhite is celebrated for a conceptual practice addressing crucial themes of labor, consumption, carnality, and fantasy through immersive installation, virtual reality, and digital media. He uses a range of software to produce intricately detailed animations and live-action film of real and imagined worlds populated by the avatars of artists and friends. These animations serve as the stage on which the artist synthesizes the multiple disciplines that encompass his practice, namely painting, performance, illustration, sculpture, photography, and writing. Satterwhite draws from an extensive set of references guided by queer theory, modernism, and video game language to challenge conventions of Western art through a personal and political lens. An equally significant influence is that of his late mother, Patricia Satterwhite, whose ethereal vocals and diagrams for visionary household products serve as the source material within a decidedly complex structure of memory and mythology. Satterwhite received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Arts, Baltimore, and his MFA from the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia. His work has been presented in numerous exhibitions and festivals internationally, including most recently at Haus der Kunst, Munich, 2021; Gwangju Biennale, Gwangju, South Korea, 2021; and Wexner Center for the Arts, Columbus, Ohio, 2021.
About The Studio Museum in Harlem
Founded in 1968 by a diverse group of artists, community activists, and philanthropists, The Studio Museum in Harlem is internationally known for its catalytic role in promoting the work of artists of African descent. The Studio Museum is building a new home, designed by Adjaye Associates in collaboration with Cooper Robertson, at its longtime location on Manhattan’s West 125th Street. The building—the first created expressly for the institution’s program—will enable the Studio Museum to better serve a growing and diverse audience, provide additional educational opportunities for people of all ages, expand its program of world-renowned exhibitions, effectively display its singular collection, and strengthen its trailblazing Artist-in-Residence program.
While currently closed for construction, the Studio Museum is working to deepen its roots in its neighborhood through inHarlem, a dynamic set of collaborative initiatives. The Museum’s groundbreaking exhibitions, thought-provoking conversations, and engaging artmaking workshops continue at a variety of partner and satellite locations in Harlem and beyond. For more information, visit studiomuseum.org.
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The Studio Museum in Harlem Press Contact:
Polskin Arts & Communications Counselors
The Studio Museum in Harlem
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David Geffen Hall Media Contact:
Emily Alli and Madeline Kaye