Review: Nick Hennies at the IMA


3.5 stars

Indianapolis Museum of Art; July 30; part of the Tara

Donovan exhibition. Austin-based percussionist and composer Nick Hennies set up

his wares in the middle of the now-closed exhibition by Tara Donovan and played

two pieces over the course of about 45 minutes. The first, "Objects," was, as

the musician later told us, "partially inspired" by Donovan's work, and it was

a breeze to see why. Just like Donovan's stacking of everyday objects to create

dimensional landscapes, Hennies uses his instruments to create rhythmic

stacking, beating on the woodblocks, snare, marimba and triangle with a

persistent tempo that results in waves of sonic resonance. The second piece,

"Psalms," broken into five sub-pieces, continued the theme, proving that

Donovan and Hennies are two peas in an artistic pod, their respective artforms

painstaking, while their art gathers itself up into something beguiling, even

transcendent. By what turned out to be the fifth "Psalm," I had long lost count,

eyes closed, stacking my own art in my head.