Alan Licht

  • Cover of Robert Wyatt’s Dondestan (Revisited) (Domino, 1998).

    Robert Wyatt

    IN 2006, A NEW WORD, Wyatting, entered the lexicon. Referring to the prankish activity of sneaking an experimental music track onto an unsuspecting pub jukebox in order to vex other patrons, it got its name from an English teacher who suggested that Dondestan, a 1991 album by Robert Wyatt, epitomized the kind of music suitable for such a venture. While it’s hard to imagine one of Wyatt’s records actually clearing a room, he is the consummate cult figure with a taste for subversion—albeit one with a vulnerable, inimitable voice as cherished by his fans as Chet Baker’s or Chan Marshall’s by

  • Martin Kippenberger, New York, 1979. © Estate of Martin Kippenberger, Galerie Gisela Capitain, Cologne.

    Martin Kippenberger’s Musik 1979–1995

    LIKE MOST VISUAL ARTISTS’ musical forays, the recording career of Martin Kippenberger has been relegated to a footnote to his output in the plastic arts. Kippenberger’s discography numbers eight records, mostly seven-inches, whose tracks were first collected on the 1996 self-released CD Greatest Hits and are now available again in a handsome box set, Musik 1979–1995, that consists of three ten-inch records or one CD, plus an accompanying book. The book is dominated by a cursory oral history focusing on the artist’s perennially outsize personality, which implies that the Kippenberger legend alone

  • Iannis Xenakis

    IANNIS XENAKIS, WHO DIED IN 2001 at the age of seventy-eight, was the embodiment of Goethe’s famous quote “I call architecture frozen music.” Trained as a civil engineer, Xenakis went on to study composition with Olivier Messiaen, and his mature work intensified the two forms’ interrelationship: He fashioned musical scores from the notations of advanced mathematics and designed buildings utilizing the geometric shapes incorporated in the scores. While Xenakis’s music is scientific in construction, as Messiaen once observed “the preliminary calculations are completely forgotten at audition. . .

  • Mike Kelley and Michael Smith

    OVER THE PAST FEW DECADES, dancing, dressing up, and infantilism have been consistent components of the video and performance works of both Mike Kelley and Michael Smith, artists who frequently team with like-minded conspirators (Kelley with Paul McCarthy, Raymond Pettibon, and Tony Oursler; Smith with Joshua White, Seth Price, and Doug Skinner) but who never collaborated with each other until now. For their video/sculpture/sound installation titled A Voyage of Growth and Discovery (curated and produced by Emi Fontana of West of Rome Public Art, Los Angeles; curated at SculptureCenter by Mary

  • “White Noise”

    Another group show based on the to-and-fro between artists and music and musicians and art, “White Noise” boasted a solid cross section of youngish musicians (Jason Ajemian, Brendan Fowler, Mario Diaz de León), visual artists from older generations with a verifiable interest in rock music (Robert Smithson, Raymond Pettibon), and figures who work extensively in both media (Yoko Ono, Christian Marclay, Jutta Koether, Rodney Graham, Emily Sundblad). By raising expectations of sonic overlap in the title, curator Elyse Goldberg acknowledged the difficulties in containing individual sounds in an