Exhibition of invisible art

Homage to Robert Rauschenberg Redux
Homage to Robert Rauschenberg Redux


  Inevitable jokes aside, this sounds interesting. I’d go if I could.

London’s Hayward Gallery will gather together 50 ”invisible” works by leading figures such as Andy Warhol, Yves Klein and Yoko Ono for its display of works you cannot actually see. It is thought to be the first such exhibition staged at a major institution in the UK. Gallery bosses say the £8 a head exhibition demonstrates how art is about ”firing the imagination”, rather than simply viewing objects.

Invisible: Art about the Unseen 1957 – 2012 opens on June 12 and includes an empty plinth, a canvas of invisible ink and an unseen labyrinth. It includes work and documents from French artist Klein who pioneered invisible works in the late 1950s with his concept of the ”architecture of air”.

Also in the exhibition will be Warhol’s work Invisible Sculpture – dating from 1985 – which consists of an empty plinth, on which he had once briefly stepped, one of many explorations of the nature of celebrity.

(click here to continue reading Empty plinth and blank piece of paper to feature in exhibition of invisible art – Telegraph.)

John Cage 4 33
John Cage 4’33”.PNG

I assume someone will play John Cage’s famous piece, 4’33″

4′33″ (pronounced “Four minutes, thirty-three seconds”) is a three-movement composition by American experimental composer John Cage (1912–1992). It was composed in 1952 for any instrument (or combination of instruments), and the score instructs the performer not to play the instrument during the entire duration of the piece throughout the three movements (which, for the first performance, were divided into thirty seconds for the first, two minutes and twenty-three seconds for the second, and one minute and forty seconds for the third). The piece purports to consist of the sounds of the environment that the listeners hear while it is performed, although it is commonly perceived as “four minutes thirty-three seconds of silence”

or some of his precursors:

Cage was not the first composer to conceive of a piece consisting solely of silence. Precedents and prior examples include:

  • Alphonse Allais’s 1897 Funeral March for the Obsequies of a Deaf Man, consisting of nine blank measures. Allais’s composition is arguably closer in spirit to Cage’s work; Allais was an associate of Erik Satie, and given Cage’s profound admiration for Satie, the possibility that Cage was inspired by the Funeral March is tempting. However, according to Cage himself, he was unaware of Allais’s composition at the time (though he had heard of a nineteenth century book that was completely blank). 
  • Erwin Schulhoff’s 1919 “In futurum”, a movement from the Fünf Pittoresken for piano. The Czech composer’s meticulously notated composition is made up entirely of rests. 
  • In Harold Acton’s 1928 book Cornelium a musician conducts “performances consisting largely of silence”. 
  • Yves Klein’s 1949 Monotone-Silence Symphony (informally The Monotone Symphony, conceived 1947–1948), an orchestral forty minute piece whose second and last movement is a twenty minute silence (the first movement being an unvarying twenty minute drone).

2 thoughts on “Exhibition of invisible art

  1. John Cutting says:

    Awesome. …Seth, I’m sending you an invisible check in the mail to fund your trip. You NEED to see this stuff. — and report back to us all on the many things you didn’t see.

    It makes me remember San Francisco’s Exploratorium of many moons ago. There was one piece installed high up in a corner, and it would strobe and flash images at you — but only when you were looking the other way.

    Subliminal art, like my subliminal bank account — both possibly ‘hinting’ at the real thing. (Eh-hem, about that invisible check you’ll be receiving. …Yeah, you might not want to cash that thing when you get it. The account to which it’s drawn may or may not be located at an actual bank. More of a subliminal bank, really.) My subliminal life beckons. …and I went ahead and RSVP’d on account of I didn’t have a whole lot else going on. If only I’d said ‘no’ to that instead, then I’d be freed up for something else, right? Kind of like your improv life that’s probably going grand in some other universe? Except, without you?

    Be well, and happy, and let me know if I can kick in 5 imaginary bucks for the invisible donation fund. Yep. That’s a good one. Will the gallery at least be visible? And the patrons?

  2. 😉
    I’ll be sure to deposit the check in my invisible 401(k)…

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