The Kitchen’s Tim Griffin and Composer David Lang to be Awarded Chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters

October 15, 2015 | By French Culture

NEW YORK, October 15, 2015 – Tim Griffin and David Lang will be awarded the insignia of chevalier of the Order of Arts and Letters by Bénédicte de Montlaur, Cultural Counselor of the French Embassy, on Friday, October 16, 2015, at the Payne Whitney Mansion in New York, home to the Cultural Services of the French Embassy.

As Executive Director and Chief Curator of The Kitchen, Tim Griffin continues to influence the contemporary art scene with his piercing, thought-provoking curatorial choices—the grounds for which were established during his previous tenure as editor in chief of Artforum International—and through his writings on art informed by a wide cultural, philosophical, and cinematographic perspective.

A firm supporter of many French and Francophone artists through the years such as Guy de Cointet, Chris Marker, Pierre Huyghe, Philippe Parreno, Dominique Gonzalez-Foerster and Cyprien Gaillard, Griffin has also contributed to several arts initiatives of the French Embassy, including DANSE: A Franco-American Festival of Performance and Ideas (May 2014) and ART2: An International Platform on Contemporary art (April 2014). He held a 2014 symposium at The Kitchen entitled “The New Existentialism” engaging with French thinkers such as Patricia Falguières, Patrice Maniglier, Emily Apter, and Tristan Garcia and has a forthcoming book under the same title. Griffin recently penned the keynote essay for Martin Kipperberger's catalogue raisonné, and has written extensively on artists including Paul Sietsema, Elad Lassry, Wade Guyton, and Taryn Simon. His volume on shifting terms for site-specificity, titled Compression, is forthcoming; and he is currently co-curating the exhibition "From Minimalism into Algorithm" at The Kitchen.      

Renowned composer David Lang has long shown himself to be committed to music that resists categorization, constantly creating new forms.  His range of works is extensive (opera, orchestra, chamber and solo works), and performed internationally by the Opéra Garnier, the BBC Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, the Santa Fe Opera, the Kronos Quartet and many others. Lang is co-founder and co-artistic director of the legendary music collective Bang on a Can, dedicated to promoting, performing, and creating contemporary music, while introducing more fluidity among musical genres. Through its touring and recordings, the group has become a veritable ambassador of contemporary music in France and throughout the world.  Lang’s music has won many awards, including a Grammy, a Bessie, an Obie, and, for the little match girl passion, the 2008 Pulitzer Prize for music. His most recent project is music for Paolo Sorrentino’s new film Youth.

Lang often provides musical accompaniments to the works of French choreographers such as Maud le Pladec and Benjamin Millepied, and composed the ballet Plainspoken with the latter in 2010 for the New York City Ballet. He has also contributed to imaginative projects and installations based in France, in diverse locations such as the Fondation Cartier and the Raymond Poincaré hospital.


The Order of Arts and Letters (Ordre des Arts et des Lettres) was established in 1957 to recognize eminent artists and writers, as well as people who have contributed significantly to furthering the arts in France and throughout the world. The Order of Arts and Letters is given out under the jurisdiction of the Minister of Culture and Communication.  American recipients of the award include Paul Auster, Ornette Coleman, Agnes Gund, Marilyn Horne, Jim Jarmusch, Richard Meier, Robert Paxton, Robert Redford, Meryl Streep, and Uma Thurman. 

The Cultural Services of the French Embassy promotes the best of French arts, literature, cinema, language, and higher education across the US. Based in New York City, Washington D.C., and eight other cities across the country, the Cultural Services brings artists, authors, educational and university programs to cities nationwide. It also builds partnerships between French and American artists, institutions and universities on both sides of the Atlantic. In New York, through its bookshop Albertine, it fosters French-American exchange around literature and the arts. www.frenchculture.org


Media Contact:
Judith Walker - + 1 (212) 439-1417 – judith.walker@diplomatie.gouv.fr
Frenchculture.org - @franceinnyc - facebook.com/frenchculture

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