Join legendary artist-friends Meredith Monk and Bruce Nauman for a rare public conversation moderated by Siri Engberg focusing on the pioneering, multidisciplinary nature of their individual practices. Monk and Nauman met in San Francisco in 1968 and established an artistic relationship and friendship that endures to this day.
Meredith Monk is a composer, singer, director/choreographer and creator of new opera, music-theater works, films and installations. Recognized as one of the most unique and influential artists of our time, she is a pioneer in what is now called “extended vocal technique”, “interdisciplinary performance”, and “site-specific work”. In 1968 Monk formed The House, a company dedicated to an interdisciplinary approach to performance. In 1978, she founded Meredith Monk & Vocal Ensemble to expand her musical textures and forms. Celebrated internationally, Monk’s performance works have been presented at major venues throughout the world. Her films, installations and drawings have been shown in museums and galleries including Exit Art, Frederieke Taylor Gallery, in two Whitney Biennials, and at the Walker Art Center. She was the first artist to create a site-specific work, Juice (1969), in the rotunda of the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. In fall 2023, she will be honored with a retrospective exhibition– a collaboration in two acts at Oude Kerk, Amsterdam and Haus der Kunst München, together with the Hartwig Art Foundation.
Over the last six decades, Monk has received numerous awards and fellowships including a MacArthur Fellowship, two Guggenheim Fellowships, a Doris Duke Artist Award and a Yoko Ono Lennon Courage Award for the Arts. She has also been named an Officer of the Order of Arts and Letters by the Republic of France, and one of NPR’s 50 Great Voices. In conjunction with her 50th Season of creating and performing, she was appointed the 2014-15 Richard and Barbara Debs Composer’s Chair at Carnegie Hall. Recently Monk received three of the highest honors bestowed to a living artist in the United States: induction into the American Academy of Arts and Letters (2019), the 2017 Dorothy and Lillian Gish Prize, and a 2015 National Medal of Arts from President Barack Obama. Currently Monk is scheduled to premiere Indra’s Net at the Holland Festival this June, the third part of a trilogy of her music-theater works exploring our interdependent relationship with nature, following the highly acclaimed On Behalf of Nature (2013) and Cellular Songs (2018).
Born in Fort Wayne, Indiana in 1941, Bruce Nauman received his BS from the University of Wisconsin, Madison (1964) and his MFA from the University of California, Davis (1966). Nauman is widely regarded as among the most important living American artists and as a catalyst for the shift in international artistic practice toward conceptual and performative uses of language and the body.
Since his first solo gallery show in 1966, Nauman has been the subject of many notable museum exhibitions, including a survey organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art (1972-73) and a survey at the Whitechapel Art Gallery, London in collaboration with the Kunsthalle Basel and the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris (1986-87). A major retrospective, co-organized by The Walker Art Center and the Hirshhorn Museum, opened at the Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofia, Madrid, and traveled to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles; The Museum of Modern Art, New York; and Kunsthaus Zurich (1993-95).
Other important solo exhibitions include Raw Materials, commissioned for Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall (2004); A Rose Has No Teeth: Bruce Nauman in the 1960s at the Berkeley Art Museum, Castello di Rivoli, and Menil Collection (2007-08); and Bruce Nauman at the Fondation Cartier (2015). Bruce Nauman: Disappearing Acts, a comprehensive retrospective, debuted at Schaulager, Basel (2018) and traveled to The Museum of Modern Art, New York and MoMA P.S.1 (2018-19). In 2020, Tate presented a survey that traveled to the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam (2021), M Woods, Beijing (2022), and Pirelli HangarBicocca, Milan (2022-23).
In May 2021, Palazzo Grassi – Punta della Dogana opened Bruce Nauman: Contrapposto Studies, which was on view until November 2022. Nauman received the Wolf Foundation Prize in Arts in 1993, the Wexner Prize in 1994, the Golden Lion at the 48th Venice Biennale in 1999, and the Praemium Imperiale in 2004 in Japan. Nauman represented the United States at the 2009 Venice Biennale; the pavilion was awarded the Golden Lion for Best National Participation. Nauman was the 2014 laureate of the Austrian Frederick Kiesler Prize. Since his first exhibition at Sperone Westwater in 1976, Nauman has exhibited regularly at the gallery (1982, 1984, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1996, 2002, 2008, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2020 and 2022).
Siri Engberg is Senior Curator and Director of Visual Arts at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. In her more than 20-year tenure at the museum, she has added important acquisitions to the Walker’s collection, and has served as lead curator for over 60 exhibitions. Her projects that have toured nationally include career retrospectives on the work of Allen Ruppersberg, Alec Soth, and Kiki Smith; survey exhibitions on the work of Chuck Close, Sigmar Polke, Lorna Simpson, Frank Stella, and Ed Ruscha; and the group exhibition Lifelike, which examined notions of hyperreality in contemporary art. She has additionally organized solo exhibitions for the Walker featuring Ellsworth Kelly, Sol LeWitt, Joan Mitchell, Meredith Monk, Claes Oldenburg, Chris Larson, and Mungo Thomson, as well as numerous group shows. Engberg has also contributed to a range of interdisciplinary projects at the Walker, including serving as co-curator for the exhibition Art Performs Life: Merce Cunningham/Meredith Monk/ Bill T. Jones. From 2015-2017, Engberg was part of the core curatorial planning team for the reconstruction of the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden (2017), which features 17 new works, including 6 artist commissions. Between 2017 and 2019, she additionally served the Walker as a member of its Interim Executive Leadership Team. Engberg has overseen and contributed to many publications, and has authored comprehensive catalogues on the prints of Edward Ruscha, Robert Motherwell, and Julie Mehretu.
About SITE Santa Fe’s Innovative Thinker Speaker Series
SITE Santa Fe’s Innovative Thinker Series brings leading cultural figures to Santa Fe, NM, to illuminate cross-disciplinary contemporary issues.
Innovative Thinker was established as an annual event to honor SITE Santa Fe’s former Director of Education, Juliet Myers. SITE Santa Fe is grateful to the Gale Family Foundation for their significant support of the Innovative Thinker Speaker Series.