Hanes Art Gallery
Curated by Paul Bright
John Cage / Rocks: Ryoan-ji & New River is an exhibition of drawings and watercolors. Concerning these works, the artist remarked: “I worked once or twice [a year] at the Crown Point Press. Etchings. Once Kathan Brown said, ‘You wouldn’t just sit down and draw.’ Now I do: drawings around stones, stones placed on a grid at chance-determined points. These drawings have also made musical notation: Renga, Score and Twenty‑three Parts, and Ryoanji (but drawing from left to right, halfway around a stone). Ray Kass, an artist who teaches watercolor at Virginia Tech, became interested in my graphic work with chance operations. With his aid and that of students he enlisted I have made fifty‑two watercolors. And those have led me to aquatints, brushes, acids, and their combination with fire, smoke, and stones with etchings.”
From “An Autobiographical Statement” by John Cage, written for the Inamori Foundation and delivered in Kyoto as a commemorative lecture in response to having received the Kyoto Prize in November 1989. Courtesy of the John Cage Trust.