Art Fag City at The L Magazine: Defining A Cagean Aesthetic

by Paddy Johnson on April 11, 2012 The L Magazine

Waltercio Caldas's “The Transparent (from the Veneza Series)” (1997), Colección Patricia Phelps de Cisneros

This week at The L Magazine I go to Hunter College to discuss their exhibition Notations: The Cage Effect Today. It’s up through April 21st, and I recommend anyone who can visit the show. It’s fantastic. A teaser talking about some of the reasons why below.

It's hard to imagine a show that effectively surveys John Cage's influence while remaining fresh. The musician, philosopher, and artist's influence is simply too large to track, and his strategies have been so thoroughly digested that they often appear as cliches.

So what that we haven't already seen can a show on his influence offer? A cohesive look at Cagean aesthetics is probably the most obvious answer, though the very concept sounds like an oxymoron. Logically, a comprehensive survey of Cage's interest in chance should not yield any unity save randomness.

Luckily, if curators Joachim Pissarro, Bibi Calderaro, Julio Grinblatt, and Michelle Yun thought about that difficulty, it didn't stop them from putting a show together. Notations: The Cage Effect Today, at Hunter College (through April 21), includes more than 25 artists whose work has been touched in some way by Cage. Through the eyes of the artists and curators alike, Cagean aesthetics is defined through use of line, shape and form.

To read the full piece click here. To visit their Times Square Gallery go to 450 West 41st Street, (between Dyer and 10th).

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