Cross-Hatched | Usuyuki: Johns in Japan

Part of Cross-Hatched

Wednesday, March 14, 2018 | 8:00 p.m.


The Broad
221 S. Grand Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90012

Adam Tendler in performance. © Ben Tran

Performed by pianist Adam Tendler, the works in this program reflect Japan’s influence on John Cage and Jasper Johns, and include compositions and Fluxus performance pieces that were taking place in Japan when Johns visited the country. Japanese culture and philosophy is a significant influence on Johns’ work. Usuyuki is the Japanese word for “light snow.” It also suggests the idea that something disappears as it is made visible, just as a snowflake melts when it hits the ground. The fleeting nature of existence is a recurring theme in Johns’ paintings, and one that Johns explored during his time in Japan. 


  • "Seven Haiku," John Cage
  • "Music for Piano," Toshi Ichiyanagi
  • "Piano Distance," Toru Takemitsu
  • "Corona," Toru Takemitsu
  • "Electronic Music for Piano," John Cage
  • "Cheap Imitation," John Cage with “Second Hand,” a video from the Merce Cunningham Dance Company


  • "Lighting Piece," Yoko Ono
  • "Distance for Piano," Takehisa Kosugi
  • "Dragging Suite," Nam June Paik
  • "Wall Piece for Orchestra to Yoko Ono," Yoko Ono
  • "Portrait Piece," Mieko Shiomi
  • "0'00"," John Cage

Tickets to this program include complimentary timed entry tickets to Jasper Johns: 'Something Resembling Truth' at an alternate date and time of your choosing, subject to availability. Please note that the museum and exhibition close at 5 p.m. on Wednesdays, with the last entry at 4 p.m. 

Jasper Johns, Usuyuki, 1981. Silkscreen, 12 screens. Art © Jasper Johns/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

About Cross-Hatched

In conversation with the special exhibition Jasper Johns: 'Something Resembling Truth', Cross-Hatched takes inspiration from Jasper Johns’ collaborative and fruitful friendships with composer John Cage and choreographer and dancer Merce Cunningham. This series includes three evenings of music, voice and dance films programmed with live accompaniment and Fluxus performances, demonstrating the close friendships between the three artists and the influence they played on each other’s creative practice. Co-curated and performed by pianist Adam Tendler, the series will also feature legendary vocalist Joan La Barbara, renowned for developing a unique vocabulary of experimental and extended vocal techniques, which have influenced generations of other composers and singers.

A Taste of Cross-Hatched


  • Wednesday, Feb. 28, 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Mar. 14, 8 p.m.
  • Wednesday, Apr. 18, 8 p.m.

“Of course, painters were a large and important part of Merce’s audience. The music was one of the strong attractions for them. I thought of John as a sort of teacher/preacher/soldier. His curiosity seemed wide-ranging and athletic, and he was able to connect his work to other fields of thought—to nature, philosophy, science and whatnot. He was generous in his willingness to explain these connections and seemed happy to convince others of the usefulness of his ideas...I think many of us felt that ideas in one medium could trigger ideas in another medium—and that mediums could be mixed in new ways.” -Jasper Johns

The Broad wishes to acknowledge The John Cage Trust and Merce Cunningham Trust for their valuable input and permissions.


Adam Tendler has been called “a virtuoso” by The Village Voice, "exuberantly expressive" by the Los Angeles Times and a “quietly charismatic... intrepid... outstanding... maverick pianist” by The New Yorker. He has performed solo recitals in all fifty states, including engagements at Carnegie Hall, Lincoln Center, The Kitchen, (le) poisson rouge, National Sawdust, Rubin Museum, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Rothko Chapel, Joe’s Pub, The Fisher Center at Bard College and James Turrell's Skypace in Sarasota, Florida. His memoir, 88x50, was a 2014 Kirkus Indie Book of the Month and a Lambda Literary Award Nominee. 2015 saw the release of Tendler's premiere recording of Edward T. Cone’s 21 Little Preludes for piano and he will record an album of works by Robert Palmer for New World Records in 2018. Adam Tendler lives in Brooklyn, serves on the faculty of Greenwich House Music School and Third Street Music School Settlement and performs in the radical new music collective, Tenth Intervention.

A recognized interpreter of modern American music, Tendler has performed the work of John Cage internationally, often from memory, working closely with the John Cage Trust. Tendler has recorded and spoken about Cage’s music for the immersive music app, Tido, produced by Cage’s publisher, Edition Peters, making him the first performer to record Cage’s music exclusively for a digital music platform.