Art and Music Find Common Ground At MOMA

"Radio" by Hiroshi Ohchi

“Radio” by Hiroshi Ohchi

There is a point in the creative culture were all things intersect, particularly in the “Big Apple”, where New York abstract artists can find commercial acceptance in a button-down culture such as the music industry.

Currently at the New York Museum of Modern Art, one can experience a wealth of sensory pleasure, both visual and aural, in the museum’s “Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye” exhibition, which runs through January 17, 2016.

The museum exhibit offers an amazing marriage of abstract and contemporary art and photography, and the album culture of the late 20th Century. The art exhibition, which is being staged at the Philip Johnson Architecture and Design Galleries, third floor, is complemented by a lecture and gallery talk, “Making “Music” Modern: Rock, Punk, and Other Abominations.”

Making Music Modern: Design for Ear and Eye

According to the MOMA website, “(m)usic and design—art forms that share aesthetics of rhythm, tonality, harmony, interaction, and improvisation—have long had a close affinity, perhaps never more so than during the 20th century. Radical design and technological innovations, from the LP to the iPod and from the transistor radio to the Stratocaster, have profoundly altered our sense of how music can be performed, heard, distributed, and visualized.“Avant-garde designers—among them Charles Rennie Mackintosh, Lilly Reich, Saul Bass, Jørn Utzon, and Daniel Libeskind—have pushed the boundaries of their design work in tandem with the music of their time. Drawn entirely from the Museum’s collection, Making Music Modern gathers designs for auditoriums, instruments, and equipment for listening to music, along with posters, record sleeves, sheet music, and animation.

“The exhibition examines alternative music cultures of the early 20th century, the rise of radio during the interwar period, how design shaped the “cool” aesthetic of midcentury jazz and hi-fidelity culture, and its role in countercultural music scenes from pop to punk, and later 20th-century design explorations at the intersection of art, technology, and perception.”

This exhibit also offers a special treat for museum-goers on Friday evening at 5:45 as it holds a screening on the 1963 “Scopitone” — an early music film jukebox.

Making Music Modern: Rock, Punk, and Other Abominations

Album cover for Polvo's 2009 album "In Prism"

Album cover for Polvo’s 2009 album “In Prism”

Not all music and art is good, it’s really all about perception. “To be modern often means to be unconventional, shockingly outrageous, and even…bad.” touts the MOMA website about this gallery lecture and tour. This session highlights the “interdependence of radical design movements of the 1960s and 1970s and radical forms of popular music like rock and punk.”This interactive gallery experience is only offered once, on June 12, at 11:30 a.m., so make sure you put this on your calendar. If music and art are your muses, then this is an exhibition not to be missed!


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