Alex Poots.
Photo: An Rong Xu

Alex Poots

The Shed’s artistic director is known for his mash-ups of avant-garde music, visual arts, and pop culture

When The Shed, the multidisciplinary cultural calling card of Hudson Yards, opens on April 5, it will offer something entirely new in the creative landscape of New York. “A commissioning center for all arts hadn’t been done,” says its artistic director, Alex Poots, who is known for his mash-ups of avant-garde music, visual arts, and pop culture. “I felt it was an important thing to do.”

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Among the 13 new commissions slated for the inaugural season will be Steve Reich’s collaboration with painter Gerhard Richter and composer Arvo Pärt, opening in April; come May, Björk is mounting a new staged concert series. The lineup also includes a performance piece written by poet Anne Carson and starring soprano Renée Fleming that explores the lives of Marilyn Monroe and Helen of Troy. “There’s a curiosity across disciplines,” says Poots. “In our world when we’re questioning things like equality, there being high art and low art are not really acceptable.”

A rendering of the Shed from the High Line. Photo: Brett Beyer

A version of this article first appeared in print in our 2019 Spring Issue under the headline Creative Minds. Subscribe to the magazine.

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