Ray Kass

Although it is generally known that John Cage’s work in performance and experimental music exerted a profound influence in the development of American and European art after W.W. II, , it is less known that he also produced nearly 1000 individual visual art works that reflect the innovative influence of his music and writings.   

          My presentation will discuss Cage’s remarkable watercolors; a unique body of paintings that Cage made at the Mountain Lake Workshop in the Appalachian region of Southwestern Virginia in the 1980s. I will discuss Cage’s  involvement with visual art and its relationship to his early artistic development, and will present an illustrated Powerpoint that will represent examples of Cage’s  paintings, etchings and drawings and discuss them in relation to his writing, music notation, and the strategy of his compositions for music and theatre.

          My discussion will include photographic images documenting Cage at work on his watercolours at the Mountain Lake Workshop. A twelve minute video documentary of John Cage discussing his watercolour paintings in 1988 is also available for presentation.