Purchase

“Soundings”

Neuberger Museum of Art, Purchase College

“Soundings” was a vast smorgasbord of a show, more akin to a Beaubourg extravaganza than anything normally experienced in an American museum. It had as its goal nothing less than a survey of the marriage of art and sound in this century.

The show was divided into four main categories: “Paintings, objects and books that sound or imply sound”; “Instruments as sculpture and sculpture as instruments”; “Records and tapes”; and “Sound installations/Documentation of sound projects.” The loveliest work in the first category came from the dervish days just prior to World War I, when Europe was spinning with a creativity that would change the course of art. Representing that period were the audio-intensive paintings of Georges Braque, Wassily Kandinsky, Frantisek Kupka, Pablo Picasso, and Gino Severini. These works strive after a synesthetic ideal which was enthusiastically reinforced by the rhythmic

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