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John Cage: Rocks, Paper, Fire

August 24 – September 16, 2012
East Building, Concourse Galleries

John Cage, 10 Stones 2, 1989, color spitbite aquatint and sugarlift on smoked Whatman paper, Gift of Kathan Brown, 1996.93.59

This exhibition is no longer on view at the National Gallery.

Overview: An influential composer, writer, and artist, John Cage (1912–1992) devised complicated creative strategies that were dependent on chance outcomes dictated by the I Ching, an ancient Chinese book of divination. Featuring six prints from the Gallery's collection, John Cage: Rocks, Paper, Fire explores his experimental approach to creating visual art. The selection of prints highlights Cage's unconventional utilization of fire as a printmaking medium and his systematic employment of stones as templates for tracing. By ceding key formal decisions to chance, Cage sought to avoid expressing personal taste and intention. His commitment to indeterminacy as a creative strategy proved to be a wellspring of beauty.

Organization: Organized by the National Gallery of Art, Washington, to coincide with the John Cage Centennial Festival Washington, DC.

Cage, John
American, 1912 - 1992
PASSAGE 7: John Cage- incidents, texts, conversations, and music
Audio, Released: September 11, 2012, (48:45 minutes)