Avant garde artists of the late 1950s and early ’60s came to embrace the Zen Buddhist worship of the present moment and the possibilities of experience. Ellen Pearlman, in her new book, Nothing & Everything, maps this trickling of Eastern thought into American art. With renowned scholar D.T. Suzuki’s influence in mind, she looks at the rambling, whimsical Beats; New York’s abstract expressionist painters who created The Club, a space for artists to enjoy and share their new frame of thought; and she ties in comparisons with the contemporary Japanese art scene as the Hi Red Center mingled with American artists and formed Gutai, a collaborative installation group.
Pearlman shows how this ancient set of practices and theories somewhat ironically infused and inspired an art movement that pushed the idea of change and modernity. And the ideas still resonate–perhaps with even more importance and popularity–today, lurking in the hearts of yogis, youths who embark on unplanned, Kerouac-esque road trips, and those who practice regular meditation.
Join Ellen Pearlman for the book release party, including guest panel appearance by Vincent Katz, at the Rubin Museum of Art on Wednesday, May 16th at 7PM!
Vincent Katz is a poet, translator, art critic, editor, and curator. He is the author of eleven books of poetry, a play, two books of translation, and more. He is the publisher and editor of the poetry and arts journal VANITAS and of Libellum books.
Wednesday – May 16, 2012 – 7:00 PM
150 W. 17th Street
New York, NY
$15 ($13.50 RMA members)
Author Ellen Pearlman meticulously traces the spread of Buddhist ideas into the art world through the classes of legendary scholar D. T. Suzuki as well as those of his most famous student,Â composer and teacher John Cage, from whose teachings sprouted the art movement Fluxus and the â€śhappeningsâ€ť of the 1960s.Â Filled with rare photographs and groundbreaking primary source material, Nothing and Everything is the definitive history of this pivotal time for the American arts.