A Feast of Astonishments
Joel Chadabe talks
Madeleine Shapiro, Tom Beyers & Catherine Hancock perform


A Feast of Astonishments: Charlotte Moorman and the Avant-Garde, 1960s–1980s is the first exhibition to explore the vital contributions of one of the most overlooked figures of her generation.

Within the context of the exhibition, Joel Chadabe will talk about the musical experimentation in the early 1950s that foreshadowed a musical revolution in the 1960s and 1970s. Chadabe will discuss and present John Cage and Earle Brown's Williams Mix, composed in 1952, one of the first works composed with sounds on tape. Madeleine Shapiro, cello, and Catherine Hancock, voice, will perform Earle Brown's Synergy November 1952. Shapiro and Tom Beyer, percussion, will perform Earle Brown's December 1952.
When & where
Thursday, October 13, 2016 @ 6:30
Grey Art Gallery, New York University, 100 Washington Square East
New York

Admission: Suggested donation: $3; NYU students, faculty, and staff: free of charge.
Capacity limited.

On view at New York University’s Grey Art Gallery from September 8 to December 10, 2016, the show illuminates how Charlotte Moorman (1933–1991) metamorphosed from a classically trained cellist into a barrier-breaking figure in performance art and an impresario of the postwar avant-garde.
Included among the more than 300 items on view — artworks, film clips, music scores, audio recordings, documentary photographs, snapshots, performance props and costumes, ephemera, and correspondence — are five cello-based sculptural works that Moorman herself created.


For three decades beginning in 1960, Charlotte Moorman’s dedication to a radically new approach to music and art took many forms, some extreme, from playing the cello while suspended by helium balloons over the Sydney Opera House to performing in the nude on an “ice cello.” Reflecting Moorman’s commitment to finding ways to bring new art to the broadest possible public, including producing events literally in the streets of New York, A Feast of Astonishments features dozens of photographs of Moorman’s performances from the 1960s through 1980s, ephemera related to her organization of the New York Avant Garde Festivals between 1963 and 1980, and sculptures and musical scores by Nam June Paik, her frequent collaborator.

The Grey Art Gallery is New York University’s fine arts museum, located on historic Washington Square Park in New York City’s Greenwich Village. It offers the NYU community and the general public a dynamic roster of engaging and thought-provoking exhibitions, all of them enriched by public programs. With its emphasis on experimentation and interpretation, and its focus on studying art in its historical, cultural, and social contexts, the Grey serves as a museum-laboratory for the exploration of art’s environments.