MassMoCA, a museum located in North Adams Massachusetts is the 14th largest museum in the world and possibly the largest modern art museum. The 2019 Spring and Summer offerings are loaded with new exhibits, concerts and performance pieces, including a new Virtual Reality piece by Laurie Anderson, which is by reservation only. You should allow at least two days to take in all of the exhibits and performances, and even that would be a whirlwind tour.
Mind of the Mound, Critical Mass
One current show that shouldn’t be missed is Trenton Doyle Hancock’s Mind of the Mound, Critical Mass. The sizable exhibit is an exploration of the artist’s exploration of consciousness and humanity. Trenton’s relationship with mounds is traced back to his childhood bedroom. He creates a reality with a mix of Sculpture, cartoon characters and comic book styled art.
Trenton recently had a public discussion about his work with world-renowned Frank Oz, who had a hand in the development of the muppets, Jaba the Hut and Yoda. Their discussion revolved around their similar history, experiences and interest in developing characters for both commercial projects and the art world.
Suffering from Realness
The Museum’s new show called Suffering from Realness is a multi-artist show with pieces from Robert Longo. Robert Taplin’s History of Punch is a collection of sculptures based on the 16th-century Neapolitan swindler Punchinello. His sculptures set Punch in scenes of a mushroom cloud, a confrontation with the police, and political campaigning. Taplin’s Punch is all white with the only coloration coming from the sculpture’s shadows.
Included in the Suffering from Realness show is the must-see piece named You’re Welcome by Aziz + Cucher. This powerful multi-channel video installation, which is on loan from the Gazelli Art House in London, is a biting commentary on the financial fallout of the Great Recession, stock market speculation, social media, and social injustice. The multiple screen piece utilizes faceless dancing figures which are dressed in up-cycled suits, ties, skirts, and pillowcases. The spastic figures appear in Davos and boardroom like setting in the corporate sphere.
Suffering from Realness is a large show with many artists whose work ranges from sculpture to paintings and braille-like wall installation. Other artists include Wangechi Mutu, MPA, Hayv Kahraman, Christopher Mir, Titus Kaphar, Keith Salar, Vincent Valdez, Adriana Corral, Jennifer Karady, Allison Schulnick, Jefferey Gibson, Joey Fauerso and Cassils.
2019 Concerts and Festivals
MoCA will also host a series of concerts and performances this Spring/Summer season with notable performers like the Pretenders, Laurie Anderson, and Annie Lennox. Wilco’s semiannual Solid Sound festival will be happening this June. Wilco will headline in addition other acts include Courtney Barnett, The Feelies, Tortoise, Cate Le Bon, Jonathan Richman, Jeff Tweedy & Friends, The Minus 5, Clipping., Milo, OHMME, CUP (Nels Cline & Yuka C Honda), Lonnie Holley, Rafiq Bhatia, Foxwarren, Julian Lage Trio, “Fishing” featuring Danielle Agami, Glenn Kotche and Jon Hamm, Autumn Defense with strings, Quindar, Lithics, Skyway Man, Expandards, Rough Francis, Circus Smirkus, Rani Arbo & Daisy Mayhem, Lakou Mizik, Mdou Moctar, Wand, Buck Meek and DJ Funkhouser.
Fresh Grass, the annual weeklong bluegrass music festival will happen this September. Performers will include Greensky Bluegrass, Calexico and Iron & Wine, Andrew Bird and Mavis Staples. The complete line up can be seen here.
You can find MassMoCA’s complete Spring/Summer schedule and purchase tickets on MassMoCA’s site.