2019 Commissions

Additional commissions for The Sheds 2019 inaugural season will be announced periodically. Further details about these programs, remaining commissions for the 2019 inaugural season, and on-sale dates for tickets will be announced later this year.

Norma Jeane Baker of Troy

Anne Carson, a poet and professor of Classics whose radically original Eros the Bittersweet: An Essay, and Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse number among the great contemporary literary achievements, continues her formal experimentations with this melologue (partly spoken, partly sung) performance piece based on the Euripides’ ancient Greek tragedy Helen. Written for actor Ben Whishaw (Bright Star, Skyfall, The Crucible) and legendary soprano Renée Fleming, Norma Jeane Baker of Troy will be directed by Katie Mitchell (National Theatre’s The Seagull), with music by Paul Clark (co-founder of the Clod Ensemble, Here All Night at Gare St. Lazare’s Beckett in London Festival). (Location: Theater)

Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise
(Working Title)

Chen Shi-Zheng
Chen Shi-Zheng

Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise (working title) is an immersive multimedia interpretation of a Chinese myth about a sect in Queens that holds the power to extend human life. Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise will be directed by Chen Shi-Zeng (Peony Pavilion at Lincoln Center Festival; Monkey: Journey to the West at Manchester International Festival), and is written by Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger (Kung Fu Panda I–III, Trollsand co-conceived by Chen, Aibel, and Berger.

Dragon Spring Phoenix Rise features songs by Sia (1000 Forms of Fear, This is Acting)movement and aerial choreography by Akram Khan (English National Ballet’s Giselle, Royal National Theatre’s in-i); and production design and costumes by Tim Yip (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon). (Location: The McCourt)

Agnes Denes

<em>Wheatfield—A Confrontation</em>, 1982. Two acres of wheat planted and harvested by the artist on the Battery Park landfill, Manhattan, Summer 1982. Courtesy of Agnes Denes; commissioned by Public Art Fund.
Wheatfield—A Confrontation, 1982. Two acres of wheat planted and harvested by the artist on the Battery Park landfill, Manhattan, Summer 1982. Courtesy of Agnes Denes; commissioned by Public Art Fund.

Agnes Denes (b. 1931, Budapest) rose to international attention in the 1960s and 1970s as a leading figure in conceptual and environmental/ecological art.  A pioneer of several art movements, she is difficult to categorize, and employs a broad spectrum of media to explore science, philosophy, linguistics, and the human condition, in an artistic practice that weds aesthetics to social engagement. Denes has participated in more than 600 exhibitions in galleries, museums and the public realm throughout the world and her work is in the collections of major public and private institutions. Her survey exhibition at The Shed (2019) which will include major new commissions, will be her largest show in New York City to date, filling all 20,000 square feet of The Shed’s galleries. (Location: Gallery I & II)


Rendering of The Shed and Lawrence Weiner’s <em>IN FRONT OF ITSELF</em>. Courtesy Diller Scofido + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group.
Rendering of The Shed and Lawrence Weiner’s IN FRONT OF ITSELF. Courtesy Diller Scofido + Renfro in collaboration with Rockwell Group.

The Shed’s first visual art commission will be a large-scale, site-specific work by one of the world’s most influential artists, Lawrence Weiner (b. 1942). Fabricated with custom paving stones embedded in the building’s plaza—a dynamic area that will serve as a walkable outdoor space when the movable shell is nested or as the base of its largest program space, The McCourt, when the shell is extended to the east—the 20,000-square-foot work is titled IN FRONT OF ITSELF and will feature that phrase in 12-foot-high letters.


 Soundtrack of America

The Soundtrack of America creative team introduces the program.

Conceived by Turner Prize-winning artist and Oscar-winning filmmaker Steve McQueen, Soundtrack of America celebrates the unrivaled impact of African American music on art and popular culture over the past 100 years, tracing African American music’s global impact from its roots in the 17th century to present-day hip-hop, R&B, jazz, and pop. Soundtrack of America will present a weeklong concert series by leading musicians, all representing different branches of this historical family tree.

The program will be developed in partnership with 27-time Grammy Award-winner and chief music advisor Quincy Jones, NYU Associate Professor of Music Maureen Mahon, and preeminent hip hop producer Dion ‘No I.D.’ Wilson. Advisors Regina N. Bradley, Nelson George, Alisha Lola Jones, Hamza Walker, and Matthew D. Morrison will support the creative team. (Location: The McCourt)

Reich Richter Pärt

Gerhard Richter 930-6 Strip (2013/2016). Digital print on paper mounted between Alu Dibond and Perspex (Diasec) 78 11/16 x 393 11/16 inches (200 x 1000 cm). Courtesy the artist and Marian Goodman Gallery.

Reich Richter Pärt plumbs the depths of a shared language between painting and music, exploring how each medium might affect our sensory experience of the other. The Shed’s 12,500-square-foot Gallery I will be divided into two spaces: one will house a collaboration between Steve Reich and Gerhard Richter, the other between Richter and Arvo Pärt, each expanding on a shared interest in the historical significance of the relationship between art and music. The Reich/Richter partnership is based on the notion of seriality and expands on both Richter’s formula for his “Patterns” series, which divides, mirrors, and repeats a single painting, and Reich’s systematic compositions from the 1960s and ’70s. Together, Reich’s music and Richter’s paintings become a unified work  with a shared structure between art and music. The world premiere of Reich’s new commission will be performed by musicians from the Ensemble Signal, the International Contemporary Ensemble, and AXIOM.

Pairing Richter paintings with music is a concept first developed by Alex Poots and Hans Ulrich Obrist for the 2015 Manchester International Festival, for which Pärt was commissioned to compose a choral piece, Drei Hirtenkinder aus Fátima, in response to new paintings by Richter. Members of Vox Clamantis from Estonia and the Choir of Trinity Wall Street will perform this piece in the other half of the gallery. As an extension of this exhibition, Richter, with the filmmaker Corinna Belz, will make a film for his collaboration with Reich. The film will grow out of the algorithmic processing of Richter’s abstract paintings. (Location: Gallery I)

Trisha Donnelly

Trisha Donnelly, No title (2018). Video still. Courtesy the artist.

Trisha Donnelly was born in 1974 in San Francisco; she now lives and works in New York.


A Prelude to

May 1–13, 2018

  • ABRA
  • Kunlé Adeyemi
  • Arca
  • Asmara
  • Azealia Banks
  • William Forsythe
  • Reggie ‘Regg Roc’ Gray
  • Dorothea von Hantelmann
  • DJ Haram
  • Josh Johnson
  • Cedric Price
  • Asad Raza
  • Tino Sehgal
  • Total Freedom
  • Yves Tumor
10th Ave and 31st St

From May 1 to 13, The Shed will present our pre-opening program A Prelude to The Shed, a free arts event, at 10th Avenue and 31st Street in Manhattan, one block from our permanent home opening in spring 2019.

A transformable structure is as vital to the architecture of Prelude as it is for The Shed, a building designed to flexibly accommodate multiple artistic disciplines under one roof. Kunlé Adeyemi of NLÉ Works has collaborated closely with artist Tino Sehgal to design a temporary space in which dancers move and reconfigure the structure in a fluid integration of architecture and choreography.

A stroll through the fun palace presents an influential but unrealized project developed in 1961 by architect Cedric Price and theater director Joan Littlewood: The Fun Palace, a key reference for The Shed’s permanent building.

Each afternoon, and into the early evening, Sehgal’s work This variation will be enacted in alternation with choreographer William Forsythe’s Pas de Deux Cent Douze, a radical reimagining of the central duet from his seminal 1987 ballet In the Middle, Somewhat Elevated specially commissioned for Prelude.

D.R.E.A.M. Ring dance battles, organized by Reggie ‘Regg Roc’ Gray, take place early evenings. The D.R.E.A.M. Ring dancers are part of The Shed’s pre-opening commission FlexNYC, whose participants (elementary through high-school age) explore social issues and self-expression through flexn, a form of street dance with roots in Jamaican Bruk Up.

Schema for a School is a two-week-long experimental course for students of varied backgrounds taking place throughout Prelude. Developed by Asad Raza, together with Jeff Dolven and D. Graham Burnett, Schema aims to enact more embodied models for teaching and learning. The main thematic focus of this course is “We”—the first-person plural. It will be open to the public on Saturday, May 5, and Saturday, May 12, from 11:30 a.m.

On multiple evenings Prelude will feature a series of live solo concerts by Atlanta-based R&B singer-songwriter ABRA; Venezuelan electronic music producer, DJ, and songwriter Arca; and New York-based rapper and singer-songwriter Azealia Banks.

Prelude’s series of evening conversations on new institutional models for the 21st century considers the politics of ritualized gatherings and the role of art and culture in social connectivity. Dorothea von Hantelmann, Professor of Art and Society at Bard College Berlin, and Shed Senior Program Advisor Hans Ulrich Obrist organized the talks; The Shed’s Chief Science and Technology Officer Kevin Slavin served as an advisor. Von Hantelmann has written an essay, specially commissioned for Prelude, that considers new ritual forms for the 21st century. Von Hantelmann’s booklet will be distributed freely at the Prelude site.

If you are interested in participating in Schema for a School please apply here.

Prelude is programmed by Alex Poots, Hans Ulrich Obrist, Tino Sehgal, Dorothea von Hantelmann, Julia Simpson, Tamara McCaw, and Kevin Slavin. 

The site for Prelude has been generously provided by Frank H. McCourt, Jr., and McCourt Global.

We are grateful to our Board of Directors and to our early supporters for their vision, courage, and commitment to our growing, ambitious organization.

Selection from the Cedric Price Archive curated by the Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal. All works by Cedric Price are from the Cedric Price fonds at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. 

We are grateful to the University of Southern California Glorya Kaufman School of Dance for supporting the development of William Forsythe’s commission.

We are grateful to the Office of the Provost and the Center for the Humanities at The Graduate Center, CUNY, for supporting the participation of the CUNY students taking part in Schema for a School.

Thank you to Lorenza Baroncelli, Scientific Director of the exhibition Cedric Price & Lucius Burckhardt, A stroll through a fun palace, and to the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia for their support of the exhibition’s presentation at the Swiss Pavilion at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale.


Are Prelude tickets free?

Yes, admission is free. A number of walk-in tickets to all events, including those sold out online, will be available onsite daily

If an event is sold out in advance, will there be a standby line? Is it worth coming for the standby line?

Yes and we recommend trying the standby line. We will do our best to accommodate as many people as possible.

Can I leave and come back?

Please note that we have a no re-entry policy. If you leave the Prelude site you will need to get a new ticket at the onsite box office, if they are available.

Is this a rain or shine event?

Yes, Prelude will take place outdoors and will continue in all weather. Free ponchos will be available in the event of rain. Please leave umbrellas at home so that all attendees can view the stage.

Is this a seated event?

Tickets are standing room, general admission.

What shoes should I wear?

As this is an outdoor event with variable terrain, we recommend flat, closed-toe shoes.  

Is the event ADA accessible?

Yes, the ADA entrance is located at 31st Street and Tenth Avenue. Please speak with our staff if you have additional needs that will help you enjoy the program.

How can I learn more about The Shed?

Please explore this wesbsite and follow our social channels @theshedny.

How can I support The Shed?

Please click here to learn more about becoming a Shed Mover, our new membership program, for only $10, or to make a donation.

Is there anything I can’t bring on site?

Please note the following items are prohibited on the Prelude site:

  • Weapons of any kind
  • Outside food or beverages
  • Large bags and suitcases (larger than 13” x 17”)
  • Professional cameras / video / audio recording devices
  • Tripods or selfie sticks
  • Bicycles, skates, scooters, skateboards, segways, drones, or similar devices
  • Chairs or blankets
  • Coolers
  • Noise-making devices
  • Flags or signs
  • Pets
  • Umbrellas
  • Flammable or explosive devices
  • Any items deemed to potentially cause a safety or security concern

Is there food available on site?

Yes, there is a café that will serve grab-and-go fare, as well as beverages including wine and beer. Please note, payment is only accepted by credit card; no cash will be accepted onsite.