Wednesday, April 1, 2020

House Rules

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Sunday, August 18, 2013

4'33" 2013

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                  Contact: Norm Magnusson  917-686-0451


Woodstock, NY, August 29, 2013  -  Paul McMahon (with Linda Mary Montano) will perform John Cage’s famous composition 4’33” at the Woodstock Artists Association Museum (WAAM) at 6 pm on Thursday, August 29, 2013.  Admission is free. WAAM is located at 28 Tinker St. in Woodstock and can be reached at (845) 679-2940.

The piece 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.”  It was first performed in Woodstock on August 29, 1952, presented by The Woodstock Artists Association at the Maverick Concert Hall. This will be the 61st anniversary of that performance.

It is an enormously influential piece in the world of art and is considered by many to be the perfect minimalist creation.

Norm Magnusson, who is producing this concert, saw it performed years ago by composer, percussionist, and avant-guardian David Van Tieghem and recounts that he was “surprised at how deeply moved he was by the purity of the work.”  He adds: “4’33”, on one level, seems to be as close to artistic perfection as an artist can get.”  After hearing it performed, Magnusson researched the piece, discovered that it had debuted in Woodstock, and decided to put on an anniversary concert.  This is the third year.
Paul McMahon is a Woodstock resident, fine artist, raconteur, bumper sticker maker and amazing musician. His appetite for artistic expression is insatiable; this will be his first performance of Cage's piece. More on Paul can be read here.

Kay Larson is a longtime art critic for New York magazine, a practicing Buddhist and recently wrote a biography of John Cage, "Where the heart beats", which is now out in paperback. More on Kay can be read here.

After the performance of the Cage piece, there will be a Q&A with Kay Larson and after that, McMahon will play one or two of his own pieces.

The Woodstock Artists Association &; Museum was founded in 1919 to exhibit and collect work in all media by area artists and to support the tradition of Woodstock as the “Colony of the Arts.”  It is a super awesome place that has attained even higher levels of awesomeness by agreeing to host this concert. 

Questions?  Answers?  Call Norm Magnusson or Carl Van Brunt at WAAM.

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Cut and paste exhibition

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"Bat out of Helms"                                           d├ęcollage                            1990/1999/2013

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Monday, December 17, 2012

Gun violence in schools.

I've made so many pieces about gun violence in schools. Here are a few of them from my upcoming exhibition "Youth culture in America" at the Smart Clothes gallery

A phenomenon I've experienced with some of these pieces is that they seem clever and appropriate right up until the time of the next tragedy at which time they are hard to look at, their mere existence almost an embarrassment for their inability to capture the ghastly horror of the latest event -- right now it's the massacre at Newtown, CT.

Roger Ebert: "In short, I said, events like Columbine are influenced far less by violent movies than by CNN, the NBC Nightly News and all the other news media, who glorify the killers in the guise of "explaining" them." -Roger Ebert, excerpted from his article:

"COLUMBINE"Not yet created     Packing tape, wall
Dimensions variable

This is a piece I'm eager to see installed.   Years ago I saw a graffiti artist who had "tagged" some construction site in Times Square with translucent scotch tape.   Viewed head on, you saw nothing.   Viewed at nighttime from the right angle, the non-reflective background disappeared into blackness and the tape glowed out the letters of his name: YITO.

So it goes with the shooting at Columbine and kids' gun violence in general.   They slip away into the background until another shooting happens and then we can't see anything elst.

I would tape the letters of the word "COLUMBINE" on that gallery wall.   When viewed from one angle, it will appear there's nothing there.   From another, the letters will catch and dazzle your eye with their reflective glow.