♢ EDITORIAL by Sal McIntyre, New York ♢
Art and Music have long inhabited an enlightened friendship, with musical scores composed alongside great film, dance, theater, performance art and more, and with visual art accompanying music as costume and face paint, set designs, music videos, expressionist painting or even poster art. So inspiring are these bedfellows to each other in fact, that many an artist and musician has remarked on being able to tap into their own creativity most effectively after having experienced great works from the opposing media.
Perhaps it is the combination of two very different types of expression that leads to an unparalleled richness, evident in invisible layers of sparkle, some indescribable emanating vitality. The art being made after the world of music presents visual descriptions of the style and timbre of music, and furthermore has a resonance that exceeds the purely visual components of the work. Any music lover will find they gravitate naturally towards art in this vein, the sonorous nature instantly apparent.
For the Lincoln Center print series, Robert Motherwell was a natural fit— his abstract expressionism and emotional energy lending an unmistakable strength and freedom. This 1991 silkscreen for the Mostly Mozart Festival was his last work, made right before his death, such that he was unable to sign the prints. His brilliant and simple combination of colors and forms is much like Mozart’s music, with a core intensity that is both enduring and visionary.
In this piece Jazz Band, Jean Dubuffet’s jazz music style shines through, his impulse linework and trancelike renderings generating a near audible soundscape, with the playful edge of improvisation distinctly floating through.
The Lincoln Center Print Program, which began in 1962, is a source of a number of these unique projects, making high quality contemporary art available to the public. Fine print editions—along with handmade, collectible posters—were created by many leading artists to commemorate Lincoln Center events and series. This timeless silkscreen Lincoln Center Institute by Ilya Bolotowsky is signed and numbered out of 144.
Roy Lichtenstein makes a bright and popping geometric design for the 1967 Aspen Winter Jazz festival, his characteristic stylized forms carrying more than their usual weight and depth— the pairing of a comic style with a sophisticated subject allows for an evolved sensibility.
Pierre Fernandez Arman presents perhaps sheet music for how to play his composition Fragmentation, what seems to be a concerto for 4 pianos. It is possible that more words would take away from its disassembling perfection.
Richard Avedon’s 1967 portrait of Ringo Starr somehow hits the nail on the head, managing to convey many aspects of this mega-star’s beloved personality all at once. There are traces of psychedelic dreaming, pop music, true sensitivity, an infallible identity and that irrevocable Beatles sound.
Marc Chagall’s The Wandering Musicians is a distinctive piece, its black and white palette calling attention to Chagall’s unique form interpretations— an exotic cocktail of invention and observation. Traveling musicians have a reputation in history for the rich flavor of personality that is here so eloquently transcribed.
And for Marcus Uzilevsky, Springtime Sonata was an opportunity to allow the music to direct a pure and almost automatic articulation, brimming with the feeling, spirit and passion that only music fully knows. Its almost wall of sound encourages one to turn the brain off and simply let it wash over.