Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal, presented by Ars Nova Workshop, gathers the many-layered and multi-faceted work of Milford Graves, exploring the practices and predilections of this extraordinary “jazz mind.” A polymath who works in music, visual arts, botany, and science, Graves is best known as a drummer who has recorded with artists such as Albert Ayler, Lou Reed, Sonny Sharrock, Min Tanaka, and John Zorn. This major retrospective spanning six decades explores his practice far beyond his musical work to include his many other creative interests, including herbology, martial arts, and holistic medicine.

The exhibition is on view at the Institute of Contemporary Art at the University of Pennsylvania through January 24, 2021. It includes a rare collection of Graves’s hand-painted album covers and posters, idiosyncratic drum sets, multimedia sculptures, photographs, and costumes, with elements from his home, scientific studies, recording ephemera, and archival recordings, as well as space for performance. 

ICA reopens its doors to the public on Saturday, September 26. Timed tickets are required for entry as capacity in the galleries is limited. Visit the website for a list of new safety guidelines and protocols in place to ensure your time at ICA is safe and enjoyable. As always, admission is free for all. 

Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal is organized by Mark Christman, Artistic Director, Ars Nova Workshop, with Anthony Elms, Daniel and Brett Sundheim Chief Curator, ICA. Curatorial support is provided by Jake Meginsky. The exhibition is accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue, to be published by Inventory Press in 2021.  

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Major support for Milford Graves: A Mind-Body Deal has been provided by The Pew Center for Arts & Heritage, with additional support from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Joseph Robert Foundation.