Happy Birthday: A Celebration of Chance and Listening

This exhibit will marks the centennial of John Cage’s birth and the influences of his ideas on the visual arts on September 5, 2012. John Cage was arguably one of the most influential artists of the post-war period. He was an American composer, music theorist, writer, philosopher and visual artist. His influence ranges from his legendary teachings and performances at The Black Mountain College in the late 40’s to his infamous composition classes at the New School. Through the work of seven artists spanning several generations, the exhibit explores the ways in which Cage’s teachings and ideas live on today, with a particular focus on embracing chance and silence as a method in working process.

Featured artists include Alison Knowles, a Cage pupil from the late 50’s, who with several others created one of the grandest blending of art and life groups Fluxus; Paul Kos’s The Sound of Ice Melting, which illustrates the Cageian notion of careful listing to hear the music of the world; and Walead Beshty’s Fedex Kraft Boxes, in which tempered glass cubes are fit into standard FedEx boxes with no packing materials. The resulting cracks and chips become the marks on the otherwise minimal cube, echoing the chance operations systems of Cage’s music. Happy Birthday also features works from Ray Johnson, Brad Brown, Molly Dilworth, Luke Murphy, Stephanie Simek, and a piece by Cage himself.

This exhibition is sponsored by The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts and the Regional Arts & Culture Council.

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Happy Birthday: A Celebration of Chance and Listening