Homage to John Cage
January 16 through March 15, 2002
Assembled from the collections of the Western Gallery and the university's music library, the multimedia exhibition includes a video about Cage, a striking photograph of him, one of his scores - which resembles an artwork more than it does a traditional music score - and one of his own prints. Work by two of the many artists he influenced are also on view. A suite of prints which capture Cage's method of writing scores are displayed on two music stands. David Ireland, who attended the Campus School and Western before going onto become a noted Bay Area artist, created this homage shortly after Cage's death in 1992 at the age of 80. Both the content of the prints and Ireland's method of creating them reflect key elements of Cage's life and composing methods. Robert Morris' sketch for "Steam Work for Bellingham," part of Western's Outdoor Sculpture Collection, represents the influence Cage's theories of chance had upon the visual arts. Reading about Cage and the artists in the exhibition include a review of Cage's 1966 campus appearance as musical director of the Merce Cunningham dance company, which often performed to his compositions. Both his impact on music - and his unconventional approach to it - are reflected in the headline: "Way out dance company shocks, awes audience."