This is the first overview of the lifework of a major American 20th century artistic polyglot. Angus MacLise was an American artist, poet, percussionist, and composer active in New York, San Francisco, Paris, London and Kathmandu from the 1950’s through the 1970’s. Best known as the original drummer of the Velvet Underground, MacLise’s lifework included music, calligraphy, performance art, poetry, drawings, plays, and limited edition artist’s books. A suitcase of Angus MacLise’s artwork, publications, and manuscript as well as more than 100 hours of recorded music was left with La Monte Young and Marian Zazeela for safe-keeping thirty years ago. This extraordinary time-vault is the foundation of the exhibition, with additional materials drawn from private previously unseen collections and archives.
The 521 West 23rd Street exhibition features manuscript, calligraphy, ephemera, photography, artwork, memorabilia, posters and handbills illuminating MacLise’s multi-faceted career through a narrative of original artifacts. The 265 Canal Street Suite 601 sound installation, the premiere exhibition at Boo-Hooray’s new Chinatown space, features previously unheard recordings from the 1960’s and 1970’s featuring Angus MacLise performing alongside notables such as: Tony Conrad, La Monte Young, John Cale, Billy Name, Terry Riley, William Breeze, Piero Heliczer, Jack Smith, Lou Reed, Sterling Morrison and Maureen Tucker among others. Each day one may experience a unique set of curated programs of MacLise’s music. Every day is different. The exhibition Opening Party is on May 10th from 6pm to 9pm at 521 W23rd street with live music by Endless Boogie. MORE
RELATED: In 1965 Tony Conrad moved out of his New York City apartment, and like many people moving out he left behind a few items, one of which was a book. This is notable for three reasons: First, his roommate was John Cale, a classically-trained violist with a taste for the avant garde who, like Conrad, was a member of the Theater Of Eternal Music, a downtown collective of music-makers exploring infinite drone, endless improvisation and multi-media freakouts. Second, when Conrad moved out, Lou Reed moved in. Third, the book he left behind was a smutty S&M novel called…wait for it…The Velvet Underground. Conrad would go on to explore his dual interest in hypnotic experimental film-making and trance-inducing minimalist musical composition. His 1965 film The Flicker, consisting entirely of rapidly alternating black and white screens that create a stroboscopic effect and lures the viewer into a post-hypnotic state, remains a landmark of experimental cinema and has been screened at both the Museum of Modern Art and The Whitney. His early 70’s collaboration with legendary kraut-rockers Faust, Outside The Dream Syndicate, has become a touchstone of minimalist composition and, much like his association with the Velvets, a bridge between rock music and the avant garde. MORE