Uniting fifty never-before-seen watercolor images, this book explores the powerful influence of Zen on the renowned artist and composer’s work.
This book brings together fifty never-before-seen watercolor images from the brush of renowned artist and composer John Cage. These pieces were initially considered a by-product of a 1988 Mountain Lake Workshop, test sheets used to experiment with the flow of color from Cage’s brush as he prepared for larger Zen pieces, but authors Stephen Addiss and Ray Kass unite them here to explore the influence of Zen in Cage’s life. They juxtapose the compositions with the Ten Ox-Herding Pictures, a series of images used to communicate the essence of Zen for nearly one thousand years. They refer fragments of Cage’s poetry and his many statements about Zen practice, providing a fascinating lens through which the reader can view the Mountain Lake Workshop paintings. Cage’s images seem to become mysterious echoes of the centuries-old Ten Ox-Herding Pictures themselves, images about searching for the path to enlightenment.
50 color, 12 black-and-white illustrations