Visual music : synaesthesia in art and music since 1900 /
organized by Kerry Brougher ... [at al.] ; essay by Olivia Mattis.
London : Thames & Hudson, 2005.
271 p. : ill. ; 31 cm
0500512175 (hbk.)
More Details
London : Thames & Hudson, 2005.
0500512175 (hbk.)
general note
Published on the occasion of the exhibition "Visual Music" held at the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Los Angeles and the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.
catalogue key
Includes bibliographical references.
A Look Inside
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Library Journal on 2005-05-15:
Published on the occasion of a seminal American exhibition by the same name, this book traces the history of synaesthesia-the blending of sight and sound-mostly in the fine arts but also in film and music in the 20th century. (The exhibit, which followed a larger related show in Paris titled Sons & Lumieres, was seen at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles, this spring and travels to the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC, this summer.) Featuring 90 showpieces by 42 well-known and lesser-known artists and filmmakers such as Paul Klee, Georgia O'Keeffe, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Thomas Wilfred, this significant text functions less as an exhibition catalog and more as a carefully conceived and thoughtful historical introduction to visual and aural phenomena that have intrigued creators and audiences for more than 100 years. Generously illustrated with 376 reproductions, of which 344 are in striking full color, the book presents contributions by distinguished museum professionals and an essay by musicologist Olivia Mattis. It also includes footnotes, a checklist, a chronology, biographies, and a selected bibliography. Worth its price to the extent that it covers new subject matter, though lacking an index, a much-needed glossary, and catalog entries for masterpieces, this book belongs in many academic, special, contemporary arts, and humanities book collections. Highly recommended.-Cheryl Ann Lajos, Free Lib. of Philadelphia Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Appeared in Choice on 2005-09-01:
An emphasis on formal elements of art has dominated analyses of abstraction in the 20th century. This important book fills a lacuna by showing how synesthesia is a thread running through abstract art and other art forms. The idea that stimulating one human sense can produce a sensation on another sense was prevalent in the 19th century (centered on music) and was adapted to the visual arts in the next century, concomitant with the demise of naturalism. Attitudes toward synesthesia range from the scientific (physiological and psychological) to the mystical (allied to Theosophy, with a cultish following among artists early in the century). Profusely and beautifully illustrated, the book is based on exhibitions at the Hirshhorn Museum of the Smithsonian Institution and the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art. In four scholarly essays numerous artists are discussed, from well-known painters (Kandinsky) and musicians (Scriabin) to lesser-known creators of light projections (Thomas Wilfred) and films (John and James Whitney). Useful are the detailed 13-page chronology (1895-2004) and another 13 pages of biographies of about 50 artists. No index. A quirky feature: "footnotes" are at the top of the pages! ^BSumming Up: Highly recommended. All levels. D. Topper University of Winnipeg
This item was reviewed in:
Library Journal, May 2005
Choice, September 2005
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