Viewing Room Main Site
Skip to content
Elizabeth Peyton and Marching Church Put the Pain Back in Painting

I've never been to a music event curated by an artist, much less one who had made paintings of the performers, so I'm intrigued by Presented And Curated By Elizabeth Peyton. Peyton is known for her emotive portrature of pop personalities including David Bowie, Kanye West, and Abraham Lincoln. She's also drawn composer-musician Nico Muhly—the youngest to get a commission from the Metropolitan Opera—and notorious Iceage frontman Elias Bender Rønnenfelt, both of whom she invites to National Sawdust+ earlier this month. The artists each provide a set at Peyton's behest, a lineup she tells The Creators Project she arranged, "Just to put them together… Not even like I have some idea of what that means. I just wanted to experience them side by side."

But her admittedly unscientific curation method yields a complex and substantial experience. Muhly's compositions are beautifully performed by violinist Jannina Norpoth and pianist Adam Tendler while Rønnenfelt plays with his currently touring band, Marching Church, a solo project that evolved into a unique beast thanks to fellow Copenhagen punk and experimental artists Puce Mary and members of Lower, Choir of Young Believers, and Sexdrome. With Peyton's painting Knights Dreaming (2016) projected onto the background, Muhly's musicians unleash a volatile performance of compositions "Honest Music" and "Drones and Violin," oscillating between cool and collected bundles of harmonious notes and dissonant barrages of energy that could have been anger, ecstacy, or both...

Back To Top