Text by CLOT Magazine
The Fundació Joan Miró presents Sound Art? a question in the form of an exhibition which addresses the presence of sound in art and explains how the introduction of sound enables art objects to state their presence in a radically different, augmented way. The show is set up as a journey tracing the imprint of the sound element in twentieth-century visual arts. It is led by curator Arnau Horta, an expert in contemporary art involving sound, in collaboration with Martina Millà.
Sound Art? unfolds along five sections which address everything from the sound element as a source of inspiration for visual artists to sound art as a possible aesthetic category, the music score as a space for experimentation, the body as a listening device, and silence as a discursive and conceptual element. The show gathers seventy pieces, including paintings, prints, drawings, sculptures and installations that illustrate the ongoing, rich conversation that the visual arts have historically held with sound.
The selection covers the late nineteenth century until today, with works by thirty-six artists from around the world, including Haroon Mirza (read here the interview CLOT Magazine did with him), Marcel Duchamp, Sonia Delaunay, John Cage, Laurie Anderson, John Baldessari, Ryoji Ikeda, Carsten Nicolai, and Joan Miró, among others.
The visual-sonic world of Rolf Julius (1939-2011), never before displayed in an exhibition in Spain, has a prominent presence in Sound Art? coinciding with the eightieth anniversary of the German artist’s birth. John Baldessari’s first (sound) sculpture, visual works by John Cage, and a sound piece by Louise Lawler installed in the Olive Tree Patio are some examples of works included in the selection. Sound Art? draws its title from the seminal article by Max Neuhaus (1939-2009), which is included in the publication for this exhibition along with other key essays on the subject, new contributions from renowned scholars, and first-hand accounts from artists and gallerists.
The exhibition is on view until February 23, 2020, at the Fundació Joan Miró in Barcelona.