The winter/spring lineup at the Wexner Center will see an exciting and diverse range of performances, films, educational programming, a major exhibition, and more, including the continuation of our extraordinary 2015–16 jazz series and the return of Cinema Revival, a four-day long film series celebrating major new restorations. Member presale begins Thursday, December 3; tickets are on sale to the general public at tickets.wexarts.org, on in-person at the Wex beginning Tuesday, December 15. More events will be announced in the coming weeks.
More on the upcoming season highlights below. All events take place at the Wexner Center for the Arts unless otherwise noted.
Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada
Jan 30–Apr 10
A major retrospective of an artist (and arts educator) deeply committed to using the power of imagination to advance social progress. A legend within California’s post-WWII art scene, Alabama native Noah Purifoy (1917–2004) is now widely regarded as a crucial presence in the development of contemporary American art. Working originally in Los Angeles, where he was founding director of the Watts Towers Art Center, and later in the desert of Joshua Tree, Purifoy fabricated astonishing sculptures using the materials of everyday life, commerce, and for a powerful group of early works, debris from the 1965 Watts rebellion.
Noah Purifoy: Junk Dada was organized by the Los Angeles County Museum of Art and curated by LACMA’s former Department Head and Curator of Contemporary Art Franklin Sirmans with independent curator Yael Lipschutz.
God Bless Baseball
Thu–Sat, Feb 4–6 | 8 pm
Sun, Feb 7 | 2 pm
See the quintessentially American game of baseball from a whole new angle. Leading Japanese playwright and director Toshiki Okada explores baseball’s enduring cultural impact on modern Korea and Japan through a family dynamic, with the US as the parent and these Asian countries as brothers living under its sway. Okada deftly draws on his actors’ own memories of baseball, then expands the narrative to evoke the bittersweet dimensions of East/West international relations and baseball’s use as a tool for American cultural propaganda and control.
Performed in Japanese and Korean with English subtitles
Charles Lloyd and Friends
featuring Bill Frisell, Eric Harland, and Reuben Rogers
Sat, Feb 6 | 8 pm
Lincoln Theatre (769 E. Long St.)
Jazz legend Charles Lloyd’s questing, spiritually charged music is ably supported by an all-star band featuring guitar great and longtime Wex favorite Bill Frisell.
Rising stars of New York’s downtown scene, 600 Highwaymen make their Wex debut with this unique production performed by five young girls. Telling the story of one woman’s journey from age three to 80, Employee of the Year is a highly original and deeply affecting work of theater.
Recommended for ages 12 and up.
Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Bird Calls
Sat, Feb 27 | 8 pm
Alto sax star Rudresh Mahanthappa’s Bird Calls takes on the legacy of bebop icon Charlie “Bird” Parker through scintillating original compositions that embrace Bird’s foundational influence rather than versions of Parker’s classic repertoire. Supporting him is this outstanding quintet featuring pianist Joshua White, bassist François Moutin, drummer Rudy Royston, and young trumpet phenom Adam O’Farrill, whose fiery exchanges with Mahanthappa echo Parker’s interplay with Dizzy Gillespie.
Award-winning dancer-choreographer duo Company Wang Ramirez has electrified the European scene with bewitching fusions of dance, music, film, fashion, and contemporary art. In Monchichi, ballet-trained Honji Wang and former hip-hop B-boy Sébastien Ramirez meld themes of identity and love with a delightfully interlocking dynamic that showcases their contrasting and sophisticated styles of movement.
Guillermo Klein y Los Guachos
Fri, Mar 18 | 8 pm
Argentine jazz composer and pianist Guillermo Klein returns to the Wex with his stellar 11-piece band that features standout artists from the New York and Latin American scenes. Known for weaving traces of classical and Latin influences into the unique textures of his “folkloric futurism,” Klein’s nimble approach to writing for his large jazz ensemble displays orchestral and melodic prowess, lush harmonic layering, and rhythmic subtlety.
Bedroom Community 10th Anniversary Tour
Valgeir Sigurðsson, Nico Muhly, Sam Amidon, Ben Frost
Fri, Apr 1 | 8 pm
Lincoln Theatre (769 E. Long St.)
Bedroom Community is an influential Icelandic record label/arts collective formed in 2006 by Valgeir Sigurðsson with Nico Muhly and Ben Frost, later adding Sam Amidon and other notable musical explorers and collaborators from around the globe. For this special anniversary celebration, these forward-thinking composers join together to create a borderless blend of their respective strains of new chamber music, indie rock, electronica, and future folk.
Thank You for Coming: Attendance
Thu–Sat, Apr 14–16 | 8 pm
Sun, Apr 17 | 2 pm
Choreographer Faye Driscoll’s witty and immensely charming Thank You for Coming: Attendance is designed to draw you ever deeper into its vortex. Performers pass through ever-morphing states of physical entanglement and madcap scenes of distorted familiarity, with Driscoll’s choreography building new bodies, new stories, new ways of reimagining group experience.
Steve Lehman Octet
Fri, May 6 | 8 pm
Jazz saxophonist and composer Steve Lehman brings his octet to the best room for jazz in town in this evening of inventive and exhilarating music. Named Rising Star Jazz Artist and Rising Star Alto Saxophonist in Downbeat’s 2015 Critics Poll, Lehman employs advanced theories of spectral harmony—using novel juxtapositions to create shimmering timbres and complex harmonic overtones—to shape his unique, ultramodern sound.
Witness: Black Independent Film
Jan 21–Feb 18
This short but eclectic five-night series offers highlights from both of those major filmmaking towns, but also includes major works from less established filmmaking regions and traditions. Although Spike Lee’s She’s Gotta Have It marked the moment when black independent movies reached larger audiences, this series is mainly focused on the pioneers who created landmark films with meager resources as well as couple of the most radical recent black films made far from Hollywood—in terms of geography, resources, and politics.
Out 1 (Jacques Rivette, 1971)
Sat, Feb 13 & 20 | 2 pm
“The cinephile’s holy grail.”—New York Times
French New Wave icon Jacques Rivette’s monumental 13-hour masterpiece Out 1 has been nearly impossible to see, which makes its restoration and reappearance one of the most extraordinary cinema events of the year. The film makes for ideal winter binge viewing as we show its eight episodes over two days. Get ready for French New Wave movie stars, secret societies, puzzle-box story structures, and an unforgettable portrait of post-May 1968 Paris where, as Rivette described it, “the fiction swallows up everything and then self-destructs.”
Cinema Revival: A Festival Of Film Restoration
Wed–Sun, Feb 24–28
Following the success of last year’s inaugural edition, we’re delighted to announce our second festival celebrating the art and practice of film restoration. Look forward to engaging talks by the Academy Film Archive’s Mark Toscano and Twentieth Century Fox’s Schawn Belston and screenings of such recently restored gems as Orson Welles’s Chimes at Midnight (1965), Lucio Visconti’s Rocco and His Brothers (1960), and Charles Vidor’s Cover Girl (1944), a Technicolor musical starring Gene Kelly and a radiant Rita Hayworth.
Banff Mountain Film Festival
Tue–Wed, Mar 29–30 | 7 pm
Each year, the Banff Mountain Film Festival presents the most creative and inspiring examples of outdoor adventure filmmaking from around the world. Once again, we’re presenting two entirely different programs over two nights.
Pages Open Mic and Reception
10th Anniversary Celebration
Celebrate the first decade of Pages, the Wexner Center’s literacy and writing program for students from Columbus-area high schools. Held in partnership with the Columbus Metropolitan Library, this anniversary reception features an open mic reading by this year’s participants, who share the prose, poetry, and art they’ve created in response to cutting-edge contemporary art at the Wex (and captured in a commemorative, limited-run publication).
Art & Environment Student Project
Help us celebrate the creativity of the special young person you’ve selected to create a semi-permanent, environmentally informed work of art for the Grange Insurance Audubon Center.