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When the soul looks out of its body, it should see only beauty in its path. These are the sights we must hold in mind, in order to move to a higher place.
    —Yusef Lateef

Yusef Lateef: Towards the Unknown
March 20-May 10, 2015

Trinosophes is pleased to present Yusef Lateef: Towards the Unknown, an exhibition of drawings by the master musician, composer and artist, Dr. Yusef Lateef (1920 – 2013). The exhibition of rarely seen work touches upon Dr. Lateef’s ongoing search for ways to reflect peace and love in the world, a creative practice that resonates throughout his music and visual art.

Dr. Lateef came of age amid the rich musical environment and historic modernist jazz scene of the 1930s in Detroit. It is especially meaningful that the exhibition is organized by Trinosophes, located in Eastern Market, a site that is featured in Dr. Lateef’s renowned album, Yusef Lateef's Detroit (Latitude 42° 30' Longitude 83°) (1969).

A Grammy Award-winning composer and virtuosic wind player, Dr. Lateef toured, performed and recorded worldwide, creating a prolific body of work. Dr. Lateef was among the first to incorporate Middle Eastern and Asian instruments into the African American music tradition.

Throughout his career, Dr. Lateef was immersed in a deep exploration of ‘autophysiopsychic music’, which he described as music that comes from one’s physical, mental and spiritual self or ‘from the heart’. As part of his creative continuum, he made over 100 drawings, as well as innovative graphic notations and scores in which numbers and shapes organize complex interval-based music. The exhibition at Trinosophes includes examples of these notations alongside a selection of drawings created with watercolor, pen, ink, graphite and glitter.

The title of the exhibition is borrowed from an album, co-released with composer and percussionist Adam Rudolph, with new compositions and recordings by Dr. Lateef. The phrase invokes an essence of his seven-decades long meditation on sonic dimensions and their broader social significances, which he practiced across macro and micro planes, moving always and ever, Towards the Unknown.

Towards the Unknown is curated by Alhena Katsof and organized with White Columns in New York City. The exhibition was installed at White Columns from November 8-December 20, 2014, and at Hampshire College from February 6-26, 2015, as part of Black History and Africana Studies Programming.

The exhibition at Trinosophes is generously supported by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.

Related Programming
Saturday, March 21 at 2 pm / free:
Discussion with Alhena Katsof (curator), Lars Bjorn and Jim Gallert (co-authors, Before Motown)
Saturday evening at 8 pm / $10-$20 suggested:
Performance by Lateef's long-time musical collaborators, Adam Rudolph and Ralph Jones