agnès b. enthusiastically declares, “For me, Jonas Mekas is a living New York treasure!”
New York, November 27, 2017 - agnès b. and Anthology Editions are pleased to celebrate the launch of the new book by avant-garde filmmaker Jonas Mekas, A Dance with Fred Astaire, during a book signing and reading at the agnès b. store in SoHo, New York, on Thursday, December 14, from 6-9pm. Additional readings by Stefan Bondell and Lizzi Bougatsos. An exhibition of original artwork signed by the artist featuring images from the book will also be for sale.
Whether he’s stealing Anaïs Nin’s cookies, living alongside Janis Joplin and Patti Smith in the Chelsea Hotel, contemplating life and death with Allen Ginsberg or meeting Timothy Leary, Arthur Miller, Lenny Bruce and so many more, legendary artist Jonas Mekas has spent 94 years weaving himself inextricably into the very fabric of postwar culture. In A Dance with Fred Astaire, Mekas recalls his many chance encounters, intimate exchanges and lasting friendships with some of the most iconic and beloved artists of the last century with wry wit, lyricism, and frankness. Guided by Mekas’s distinctive prose and suffused with warmth, A Dance with Fred Astaire is rhapsodic, poetic and funny as all get out.
A Dance with Fred Astaire is an extraordinary collection of anecdotes and rare ephemera featuring a dizzying cast of cultural icons both underground and mainstream, both obscure and celebrated. Memories and diary entries, conversations and insights into his work sit alongside collages of beautifully reproduced postcards, newspaper cuttings, film negatives, lists, posters and photographs, envelopes and letters, book covers, telegrams, cartoons and doodles. Mekas has kept and archived the artifacts of his life as a cultural touchstone down to the minutiae, all of which is brought together here in the form of a unique and fascinating scrapbook of a life lived with the highest artistic commitment.
About the author
Born in Lithuania in 1922, Jonas Mekas has lived a uniquely influential life as a filmmaker, writer, critic and poet. He survived a World War II labor camp and postwar displacement before immigrating to New York in 1949 to embark upon an extraordinary career in the arts, playing an instrumental role in the careers of Jack Smith, Andy Warhol and numerous other iconic artists and hanging out with everyone from Maya Deren to John and Yoko, from Tiny Tim to Salvador Dalí, from the Kennedys to—yes—Fred Astaire.
Book Signing with Jonas Mekas
Readings by Jonas Mekas, Lizzi Bougatsos, and Stefan Bondell, with Music by Dalius Naujo
agnès b., 50 Howard Street, NYC, 10013, Thursday, December 14, 2017, 6 – 9pm
A Dance with Fred Astaire
Softcover with dust jacket, 464 pages, 306 images, 8 inches x 10 inches, $55.00