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Next to You is a summer exhibition of modern and contemporary artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection, which celebrate the joy, vitality, and healing power of the performing arts. As the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and its requisite isolation, Next to You is a farewell ballad to a strange and challenging time and a look forward to a future where we are reunited. In appreciation of the recovery of our senses and the joy of reconnection, the exhibition along with related screenings and events, showcases dance, theater, music, circus arts, film, and other creative forms.

Next to You explores the individual as a performance participant, and asks visitors to consider how their interior and exterior lives once again meet in time and space now that intimacy, as we once knew it, has been transformed. How does it feel to see, hear, be near, or touch one another again? What type of world awaits us after a year of living on-hold?

With a focus on modern and contemporary photography and painting from the McEvoy Family Collection, works by Ilse Bing, Thomas Ruff, and Dennis Stock anchor the experience through representations of sound, movement, and emotive expression, while images by George Silk, Malick Sidibé, and Sabine Weiss capture the healing role of live arts.

Conventions, weddings, and pageants are longingly celebrated in photographs by Neal Slavin and Ave Pildas, as works by Kevin Winter, Guy Stricherz, and Alex Prager seize moments of isolated vulnerability. Hiroshi Sugimoto's 1998 photograph of an empty, yet once vibrant, Stanley Theater in New Jersey reminds us of recent and past losses in access to American theater. Mamma Andersson's depiction of two dancers in Ceremony (2014) illustrates the desire and tentativeness of coming together in rhythmic movement.

The sole sculptural work in the exhibition, Francis Cape's Utopian Benches (2011-12), is a construction of seventeen hand-made wood benches inspired by the Shaker movement and other intentional communities. The benches suggest a space of communal comfort and self-reflection, while referencing a time when seating in close proximity was and will be possible. Michelangelo Lovelace, Sid Grossman, Irving Penn, and Michelle Blade further explore a range of human emotion, from joy to sorrow and loneliness to intimate embrace.

With the performing arts cultural sector largely inaccessible during the pandemic, the sensation of live experience is only a memory for many. Next to You asks: "What can live performance do to unite us--to rebuild our collective selves--after a pandemic that reminded us of the innate vulnerability of our bodies? What have we lost and what, inexplicably, might we have gained?" Next to You is a secret reverie for those longing for the energy of a crowd and a meditative space for recovering long dormant senses as a new world unfolds.

Next to You runs from May 28 through December 4, 2021. Admission is free and open to the public. The exhibition is accompanied by a Screening Room program of film and video shorts guest curated by artist, Alison O'Daniel.

Image Credits:
1st Image - Michelangelo Lovelace, Where's the Party At, 1995
2nd Image - Guy Stricherz, Prom-Dress, 1961
Next to You is a summer exhibition of modern and contemporary artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection, which celebrate the joy, vitality, and healing power of the performing arts. As the world emerges from the coronavirus pandemic and its requisite isolation, Next to You is a farewell ballad to a strange and challenging time and a look forward to a future where we are reunited. In appreciation of the recovery of our senses and the joy of reconnection, the exhibition along with related screenings and events, showcases dance, theater, music, circus arts, film, and other creative forms.

Next to You explores the individual as a performance participant, and asks visitors to consider how their interior and exterior lives once again meet in time and space now that intimacy, as we once knew it, has been transformed. How does it feel to see, hear, be near, or touch one another again? What type of world awaits us after a year of living on-hold?

With a focus on modern and contemporary photography and painting from the McEvoy Family Collection, works by Ilse Bing, Thomas Ruff, and Dennis Stock anchor the experience through representations of sound, movement, and emotive expression, while images by George Silk, Malick Sidibé, and Sabine Weiss capture the healing role of live arts.

Conventions, weddings, and pageants are longingly celebrated in photographs by Neal Slavin and Ave Pildas, as works by Kevin Winter, Guy Stricherz, and Alex Prager seize moments of isolated vulnerability. Hiroshi Sugimoto's 1998 photograph of an empty, yet once vibrant, Stanley Theater in New Jersey reminds us of recent and past losses in access to American theater. Mamma Andersson's depiction of two dancers in Ceremony (2014) illustrates the desire and tentativeness of coming together in rhythmic movement.

The sole sculptural work in the exhibition, Francis Cape's Utopian Benches (2011-12), is a construction of seventeen hand-made wood benches inspired by the Shaker movement and other intentional communities. The benches suggest a space of communal comfort and self-reflection, while referencing a time when seating in close proximity was and will be possible. Michelangelo Lovelace, Sid Grossman, Irving Penn, and Michelle Blade further explore a range of human emotion, from joy to sorrow and loneliness to intimate embrace.

With the performing arts cultural sector largely inaccessible during the pandemic, the sensation of live experience is only a memory for many. Next to You asks: "What can live performance do to unite us--to rebuild our collective selves--after a pandemic that reminded us of the innate vulnerability of our bodies? What have we lost and what, inexplicably, might we have gained?" Next to You is a secret reverie for those longing for the energy of a crowd and a meditative space for recovering long dormant senses as a new world unfolds.

Next to You runs from May 28 through December 4, 2021. Admission is free and open to the public. The exhibition is accompanied by a Screening Room program of film and video shorts guest curated by artist, Alison O'Daniel.

Image Credits:
1st Image - Michelangelo Lovelace, Where's the Party At, 1995
2nd Image - Guy Stricherz, Prom-Dress, 1961
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McEvoy Foundation for the Arts 1 Upcoming Events
1150 25th Street, San Francisco, CA 94107

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