#mfaNOW, a Season Celebrating Contemporary Art and Artists at MFA Boston, Will Feature Exhibitions, Overnight Parties and Programs

Art. Ideas. Events. Now.

BOSTON, MA (September 6, 2016)—This fall, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), presents #mfaNOW, a season celebrating contemporary art and artists with a variety of events and exhibitions, including UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991–2015; Christian Marclay: The Clock and Terry Winters: The Structure of Things. Two installations, Political Intent and Beyond Limits, present key works and recent acquisitions from the MFA’s collection. On four occasions, the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art will stay open after the rest of the Museum is closed for free “#mfaNOW Overnight” parties, engaging visitors with art, culture and community in new and unexpected ways.

On social media, #mfaNOW will encourage fans and followers to share their experiences and get the word out about what’s happening in real time—from film and theater festivals to panel discussions and lectures with leading artists, activists and change-makers. Visitors are also encouraged to take #mfaNOW photos with a clock display in the Main Bookstore and Shop, sharing them at the register to receive a 10-percent discount on purchases.


In addition to offering a rare opportunity to see all 24 hours of The Clock, the MFA’s series of all-night parties will transform spaces both inside and outside the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art with food trucks and lawn games, live music and DJs, artist demonstrations, performance art and futuristic films. Admission will be free, and visitors will enter through the Linde Family Wing Entrance on a first come, first served basis to see and make art, stargaze in the Norma Jean Calderwood Courtyard on inflatable lounge chairs or dance all night. Activities will continue into the morning, with coffee and conversation, yoga sessions, and art making and story hour for kids in the galleries. 

#mfaNOW Overnight: Launch Party

The series will kick off on September 17 with “#mfaNOW Overnight: Launch Party.” The evening will start with the Deborah and Martin Hale Visiting Artist Lecture, in which Frances Stark will discuss her work, featured in the exhibition UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991–2015. Music, discussions, art making and other activities will take place throughout the night. Live sound and performances will be provided by Substructure, a Boston-based DJ and artist collective. Beer, wine and cocktails will be served at Taste Café, Bravo Restaurant and in the Calderwood Courtyard. A group from Harvard University’s metaLAB will present Trust (The Presence of Secrets), an interactive installation that relates to themes found in UH-OH, and MIT Hacking Arts will host a “play table” at the intersection of art and technology, featuring robots and a virtual reality headset. Fifteen-minute Spotlight Talks will take place inside Political Intent and Beyond Limits, and MassVOTE will host a booth with voter registration and information about the general election in November.

Outside, four food trucks—Bonetown Burgers, Indulge India, North East of the Border and Sheherazad—will provide a wide range of cuisine. Local graffiti artist MerkThose will create a large-scale work in the parking lot, and the Heartbreakers—Heartbreak Hill Running Company’s running club—will lead a late-night run around the Museum’s campus. Additionally, local artists and teachers Tory Bullock and Maria Molteni will act as hosts for the night, interacting with on-site visitors and the MFA’s social media followers on Facebook Live and Periscope streams that will be projected inside the Harry and Mildred Remis Auditorium, forming a cinematic experience that unfolds in real time. Three more overnight parties will take place throughout the #mfaNOW season, each with special features to be announced at a later date:

#mfaNOW Overnight: College Edition
October 14–15, 2016, 9 pm–9 am

#mfaNOW Overnight: State of the Party
November 4–5, 2016, 9 pm–9 am

#mfaNOW Overnight: Last Call
December 9–10, 2016, 9 pm–9 am

#mfaNOW: ART

The MFA presents a range of contemporary exhibitions this fall, headlined by UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991–2015, the most comprehensive survey to date of LA-based artist and writer Frances Stark. The exhibition tracks her 25-year career from early carbon drawings and text-based works to immersive video installations and digital slideshows, providing an in-depth exploration of her singular artistic practice and voice. Christian Marclay’s contemporary masterpiece The Clock (2010) is on view for the first time in five years, since its joint acquisition by the MFA and the National Gallery of Canada. An ode to time and cinema, the 24-hour video comprises thousands of fragments of television and film history, shown in real time. Terry Winters: The Structure of Things showcases New York-based artist Terry Winters’ creative exploration and expressive mastery of art on paper. Two parallel installations in the Henry and Lois Foster Gallery present key works and recent acquisitions from the Museum’s contemporary collection. Political Intent pairs a deliberate selection of contemporary artists with historical works to open dialogues around the role of women in political imagery across centuries. Beyond Limits presents abstract works that extend beyond traditional edges—stretching imagery, materials and metaphors to optically or physically activate the surrounding space. These thematic installations will be animated with programming and partnerships in the galleries (more information below).

Additionally, a number of contemporary works—Josiah McElheny’s Endlessly Repeating Twentieth Century Modernism (2007), Kehinde Wiley’s John, 1st Baron Byron (2013), Fred Wilson’s Iago’s Mirror (2009) and Iván Navarro’s Man Hole (Yellow) (2011)—have been reinstalled among historic works in Art of Europe and Art of the Americas galleries, highlighting connections between the present and the past.

Gallery Talks and Tours

UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991–2015
Thursday, September 22, 1–2 pm
Liz Munsell, Assistant Curator of Contemporary Art and Special Initiatives, a position supported by Lorraine Bressler, offers an in-depth look at the comprehensive Frances Stark survey.

Jenny Holzer: Personal Ideas + Public Spaces = Political Art
Wednesday, September 28, 6–7 pm
Jen Mergel, Robert L. Beal, Enid L. Beal and Bruce A. Beal Senior Curator of Contemporary Art offers an introduction to Political Intent with a focused look at how artist Jenny Holzer has raised questions about social morals, truth and justice in her text-based art.

Artist Demonstrations

Mixed-Media Collage with Jane Maxwell
Sunday, November 6, 12–3 pm
Mixed-media artist Jane Maxwell demonstrates her special technique of layering with vintage papers, beeswax and found objects. Visitors can observe and learn as she creates her unique figurative work, as well as join in and create their own small collages.


The City Talks
Select Wednesdays, 7–8 pm, October and November
Boston-area thinkers, activists and artists convene in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art for a series of free public forums on topics related to political art, migration, immigration, rhetoric, issues in Boston and the presidential election. Made possible by the Lowell Institute.

Amalia Pica’s Now Speak!
Select Wednesdays
The MFA is partnering with Roxbury-based agency Project Hope—which provides access to education, jobs, housing and emergency services to low-income women with children—on a series of performances in Political Intent. Ambassadors from Project Hope’s Speakers Bureau, a program that enables participants to share their personal journeys, will perform historical speeches and tell their own stories at Amalia Pica’s Now Speak! lectern.

Additional performances at the lectern, taking place throughout the #mfaNOW season, will engage members of the Museum’s Teen Arts Council and Company One Theatre. Visitors are also encouraged to perform at the lectern anytime during regular Museum hours—printouts of historic speeches chosen by MFA staff, artists and professors will be available for inspiration.

Every 28 Hours
November 5, 2016
This theater festival refers to the disputed notion that every 28 hours in the US, a man, woman or child who identifies as black is murdered at the hands of a vigilante, security guard or police officer. The project Every 28 Hours, presented by Company One Theatre in collaboration with Oregon Shakespeare Festival and The One-Minute Play Festival, consists of 80 one-minute plays inspired by the work and message of Black Lives Matter. The plays were written by more than 40 playwrights who are part of a national movement initiated by theater companies across the country, originated in Ferguson, Missouri.



Frances Stark: UH-OH
Deborah and Martin Hale Visiting Artist Lecture
September 17, 2016, 6:30–7:30 pm
As part of the opening celebrations for UH-OH: Frances Stark 1991–2015, interdisciplinary artist and author Frances Stark discusses her 25-year career and the survey exhibition at the MFA.

Finding Your Myth
Ananda Coomaraswamy Annual Lecture
September 30, 2016, 7–8 pm
Oscar-nominated director of Sanjay’s Superteam, Pixar animator Sanjay Patel tells a story of fitting in and finding his identity. Patel has written and illustrated graphic novels and picture books exploring Hindu mythology with an eye towards retelling the tales in a contemporary way, including Ganesha’s Sweet Tooth and Ramayana: Divine Loophole.

Juan Felipe Herrera: Sharing Stories in Diverse Communities
Ruth and Carl J. Shapiro Celebrity Lecture
December 7, 2016, 6:30–7:30 pm
Juan Felipe Herrera is the author of 30 books, including collections of poetry, prose, short stories, young adult novels and picture books for children. He discusses how his poetry and performances have reached communities across America and the world. A book signing follows in the Main Bookstore and Shop.


Street Pianos Boston 2016: Play Me, I’m Yours
September 23–October 10, 2016
Artist Luke Jerram’s popular art installation of dozens of street pianos—decorated by local artists and community groups—is available all around Boston for anyone to play and enjoy. Visitors can drop by to tickle the keys at the MFA’s painted piano outside the Huntington Avenue Entrance, open during Museum hours.

Sound Bites: Nancy Lee Clark Concert Series
Every second Thursday of the month, 6–8 pm
Group ensembles perform classical, folk and world music in the Linde Family Wing for Contemporary Art.

Harold López-Nussa Trio
October 5, 2016, 7:30–9:30 pm
Born into a family of acclaimed musicians in Havana, Cuba, Harold López-Nussa is a virtuoso jazz pianist, and the first to release an album internationally since the lifting of many of the restrictions associated with the longstanding trade embargo.

Darcy James Argue’s Secret Society
October 7, 2016, 7:30– 9 pm
Brooklyn-based composer Darcy James Argue and his 18-piece ensemble Secret Society take the stage for a night of 21st-century Big Band rhythms.


Reagan in Hollywood: The Origins of a Conservative Icon
September 8–30, 2016
Thirty-four years after he was elected president, Ronald Reagan remains a symbol of conservative values in the US. This series showcases some of his quintessential acting roles—as a sheriff, a soldier, a secret service agent, a football star and more. Viewed through a contemporary lens, the films pose intriguing questions: How did Reagan’s on-screen persona shape viewers’ perception of him? How did Hollywood depictions of patriotism and masculinity affect the nation’s thoughts and actions in real life? And most of all, how do ideologies put forward by film and television continue to affect politics today?

Hieronymus Bosch, Touched by the Devil
September 24–October 2, 2016
This year marks the 500th anniversary of the death of Hieronymus Bosch (1460–1516), one of the most celebrated painters of all time. Known worldwide for his fantastic imagery of heaven and hell, Bosch is having a bit of a revival these days; there are major exhibitions planned in Holland, Venice and Madrid, and in February 2016 it was announced that a new Bosch painting was discovered in the US. The film follows a team of Bosch experts over four years as they travel the world to examine all of the known Bosch paintings with new technology: high-res macro, x-ray and infrared cameras. For the first time, viewers can see behind the varnish—penetrating the paintings to reveal his unseen creative process.

The 10th Annual Boston Palestine Film Festival
October 14–30, 2016
A global showcase of compelling films offers independent views of Palestine’s history, culture and geographically dispersed society. This year’s festival kicks off on October 14 with Mai Masri’s topical prison drama 3,000 Nights, followed by free live Palestinian music in the Bravo restaurant. The festival closes with a film trilogy by Larissa Sansour, who uses the science fiction genre to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict from a uniquely surreal perspective.

The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (MFA), is recognized for the quality and scope of its collection, representing all cultures and time periods. The Museum has more than 140 galleries displaying its encyclopedic collection, which includes Art of the Americas; Art of Europe; Contemporary Art; Art of Asia, Oceania, and Africa; Art of the Ancient World; Prints, Drawings, and Photographs; Textile and Fashion Arts; and Musical Instruments. Open seven days a week, the MFA’s hours are Saturday through Tuesday, 10 am–5 pm; and Wednesday through Friday, 10 am–10 pm. Admission (which includes one repeat visit within 10 days) is $25 for adults and $23 for seniors and students age 18 and older, and includes entry to all galleries and special exhibitions. Admission is free for University Members and individual youths age 17 and younger. Wednesday nights after 4 pm admission is by voluntary contribution (suggested donation $25). MFA Members are always admitted for free. The Museum’s mobile MFA Guide is available at ticket desks and the Sharf Visitor Center for $5, members; $6, non-members; and $4, youths. The Museum is closed on New Year’s Day, Patriots’ Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving, and Christmas. For more information, visit mfa.org or call 617.267.9300. The MFA is located on the Avenue of the Arts at 465 Huntington Avenue, Boston, MA 02115.