Color spit bite and sugar lift aquatint on smoked paper
Support: Whatman wove paper
Platemark: 20.3 x 36.5 cm (8 x 14 3/8 in.); Sheet: 46.3 x 58.3 cm (18 1/4 x 22 15/16 in.)
Alma Kroeger Fund 2013.93
Though known today primarily as one of 20th-century America's most influential composers and music theorists, John Cage was also a visual artist, especially in the last decades of his life.
At the beginning of his career, John Cage, an innovator whose experiments became profoundly influential to avant-garde music, was equally attracted to the visual arts. However, Cage honored the promise he made to his teacher Arnold Schönberg to dedicate his life exclusively to music. In the last decades of his life, Cage made a body of visual art whose forms he intended to "sober and quiet the mind." In this print, the forms of 10 stones are derived from tracings Cage made of rocks found in the New River near Mountain Lake, Virginia. The evanescent tones that seem to billow from the rocks were created by smoke, deliberately created by the artist’s printers who extinguished burning newspapers with the press, creating 20 unique impressions.
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