Dancing Around the Bride: Cage, Cunningham, Johns, Rauschenberg, and Duchamp

at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, October 30, 2012 – January 21, 2013

Curated by Carlos Basualdo and Erica F. Battle, Dancing Around the Bride explores the complex relationships between five of the most important artists of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.  The works of composer John Cage, choreographer Merce Cunningham, and visual artists Jasper Johns, Robert Rauschenberg, and Marcel Duchamp come together to paint a portrait of postwar avant-garde art.  With live performances of Cunningham’s pieces paired with Johns’ stage decor, the museumgoer is submerged in the work in a way the sole display of objects could never achieve.  Duchamp’s 1912 painting, Bride, becomes the central and key aspect to the exhibition. Each of the represented artists had been influenced by this piece and by Duchamp’s practices. The consideration and employment of chance and the use of everyday things in Duchamp’s work informed the creative output of each artist.

“Bride” by Marcel Duchamp, 1912 via ARTstor

In honor of this groundbreaking exhibition at our beloved museum, we have put together a selection of materials to both delight and inform in the Greenfield Library.  Please also stop by the Music Library on the the 3rd floor of the Merriam Theater building to delve into the recordings and scores of John Cage with additional visual materials on the artists represented in the exhibition.  You may also enjoy taking a look through some of our online databases such as Oxford Art Online, Oxford Music OnlineARTstor, International Encyclopedia of the Dance, Naxos Music Library, and Dance in Video where you’ll be able to see high quality images of the artists’ various works, listen to recordings, or stream performances of dance pieces.  We have everything you need to explore the lives and works of these incredibly influential artists!

Beach Birds for Camera, composed by John Cage and choreographed by Merce Cunningham

“First Landing Jump” by Robert Rauschenberg, 1961 via ARTstor

“Target with Four Faces” by Jasper Johns, 1955 via ARTstor


Currently on display and available for check-out in the Greenfield Library:

X : Writings ’79-’82 by John Cage

Merce Cunningham edited by Germano Celant

Robert Rauschenberg edited by Ealan Wingate and Emily Florido

Rauschenberg at Gemini: an Exhibition Organized by the Armory Center for the Arts by Jay Belloli

Jasper Johns: 35 years [with] Leo Castelli edited by Susan Brundage; essay by Judith Goldman; design by Smatt Florence

Jasper Johns: an Allegory of Painting, 1955-1965 by Jeffrey Weiss

Étant donnés: Manual of Instructions by Marcel Duchamp

Inventing Marcel Duchamp: the Dynamics of Portraiture edited by Anne Collins Goodyear and James W. McManus

Merce Cunningham: A Lifetime of Dance

Merce Cunningham Dance Company, Robert Rauschenberg Collaborations: Three Films by Charles Atlas: Suite for Five, Summerspace, Interscape

General admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art is free to all UArts students with a valid ID.