New York

Glenn Branca


The recent efforts of certain artists to reexplore dichotomies of emotional affect through the conventions of abstract geometric art, such as the often cited paintings of Peter Halley and Philip Taaffe, have a much overlooked conceptual precedent in the post-Minimal experimental noise rock of New York’s “no wave” music scene. The musician Glenn Branca, in his first solo exhibition of drawings, “Classical Space: Forms of Infinite Regress Within a Finite Field,” provided a connection between his music and “neo-geo” (the unfortunate label for the current proliferation of new abstraction). It was Branca, and his contemporary Rhys Chatham, who took the unnerving monotony and sonic drone of Minimalist avant-garde composers like La Monte Young into the new, more dynamic context of New York’s downtown rock clubs in the mid to late ’70s. They were pioneers of noise rock, with its heavy-metal clash

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