March 14 - April 11, 2020
Jonas Mekas: the Founder of Anthology Films in New York.., the filmmaker, poet, writer, curator and artist. Jonas Mekas captured moments that we all cherish in art history, in American history, in life… from film producers, Salvador Dali, the Kennedy’s, Warhol, Yoko Ono and John Lennon, Elvis Presley, the World Trade Center… to more personal, special moments of nature, his family, being human, celebrating life and cherishing each experience to the fullest. Jonas made a major contribution to the art world and is greatly missed. He passed away on January 23, 2019 at 96 years old. Since then, there have been many events celebrating his life last year, including “Homage to a Happy Man: Celebrating Jonas Mekas (1922 – 2019)” at St Mark’s Church last May. This is the first solo art exhibition paying Tribute to his artistic career since his passing.
Jonas Mekas was born in 1922 in Semeniskiai, Lithuania. In 1949 he emigrated to the U.S. together with his brother, settling in New York. He has been one of the leading figures of American avant-garde filmmaking playing various roles. In 1954 he founded Film Culture magazine; in 1958, Mekas began writing his “Movie Journal” column for the Village Voice; in 1962 he co-founded the Film-Makers’ Cooperative (FMC) and in 1964 the Film-makers’ Cinematheque, which eventually grew into Anthology Film Archives. His own artistic creations vary from narrative films (Guns of the Frees, 1961) to documentaries (The Brig, 1963) and to “diaries” such as Walden (1969), Lost, Lost, Lost (1975) and As I was Moving Ahead I Saw Brief Glimpses of Beauty (2000), Sleepless Night Stories (2011) and The Out-takes from the Life of a Happy Man (2012). Known as an icon of contemporary American culture, Mekas documented the era that promoted peace through his acclaimed independent film and still-frame photography, which feature Yoko and John in Happy Birthday to John and Bed-In. His films have been screened extensively at festivals and museums around the world. In 2005, he represented Lithuania at the Venice Biennale. The exhibition was noted with Special Mention for extraordinary presentation of contemporary classic art. Mekas was invited again in 2015 to exhibit at the Venice Biennale, where his installation The Internet Saga was on view in the sixteenth century Palazzo Foscari Contarini.
Through his accomplished career Jonas Mekas has received awards from New York State Council on the Arts; Rockefeller Foundation; National Endowment for the Arts; the Long Wharf Theater Foundation; and has been a member of the American Center of P.E.N and the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts. He also received a Golden Medal from Philadelphia College of Art; Guggenheim Fellowship in 1966; Creative Arts Award in 1977; Brandeis University in 1989; Mel Novikoff Award at San Francisco Film Festival, 1992; Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres from Ministry of Culture, France in 1992 and 2000; Lithuanian National Award, 1995; Doctor of Fine Arts; Honoris Causa from Kansas City Art Institute in 1996; Special Tribute; New York Film Critics Circle Awards in 1996; Pier Paolo Pasolini Award, Paris in 1997; International Documentary Film Association Award, Los Angeles, 1997; Governors Award, Skohegan School of Painting and Sculpture, 1997; Artium Doctoris Honoris Causa; Universitatis Vytauti Magni, Lithuania in 1997, among many others.
Opening: March 14, 2020 | 6–8 pm
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