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William Anastasi, Sink, 1963, rusted steel, water, 20 x 20 x 1/2". From “Notations: The Cage Effect Today.”

“Notations: The Cage Effect Today”

Bertha and Karl Leubsdorf Art Gallery, Hunter College

William Anastasi, Sink, 1963, rusted steel, water, 20 x 20 x 1/2". From “Notations: The Cage Effect Today.”

No study of composer John Cage’s legacy would be complete without acknowledging his own influences and frequent collaborations. In the case of visual-art practices, his work with Robert Rauschenberg looms largest. Indeed, in Hunter College’s exhibition “Notations: The Cage Effect Today,” organized by Joachim Pissarro with the help of an international group of curators (Bibi Calderaro, Julio Grinblatt, and Michelle Yun), Rauschenberg is a silent but dominant partner in the proceedings.

Cage credited Rauschenberg, whom he met in New York in 1951 and worked with at Black Mountain College and beyond, with opening up a space of apparent emptiness in art and revealing it to be, in fact, full of diverse activity and experience. At the time of their meeting, Rauschenberg was exploring what seemed to be the ultimate “anti-art” provocation—the monochromatic canvas. Cage was intrigued

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