JOHN CAGE – ‘SPEECH’ (1955)
AS PART OF FRIEZE LOS ANGELES’
‘AGAINST THE EDGE’ PROGRAM
Thursday, February 16, 2023
Doors at 7pm, Performance at 7:30pm
Merry-Go-Round Building at the Santa Monica Pier
1550 Appian Way | Santa Monica, CA | 90401
Walter Hopps, “Action 1” flyer, 1955, 9’/2 x 12’/2 in. (23 x 30.5 cm).
Craig Kauffman Papers, Archives of American Art, Smithsonian Institute.
Los Angeles curator Walter Hopps organized his first major group exhibition ‘Action’ (1955) in the Santa Monica Pier’s Merry-Go-Round building. Hopps wrapped the carousel in fabric and suspended paintings by a number of California abstract painters including Sonia Gechtoff, Craig Kauffman, Jay DeFeo and Richard Diebenkorn. Unusually, Hopps also included a musical component to the exhibition, playing recorded jazz music and the carousel’s soundtrack as well as his own renditions of John Cage’s ‘Imaginary Landscape No. 4′ for twelve radios.
As part of Frieze Los Angeles’ ‘Against the Edge’ program, Jonathan Hepfer, Artistic Director of Monday Evening Concerts, has devised a program of music to play in homage to Hopps’s exhibition. On Thursday, February 16th at 7:30 PM, Hepfer and a cast of notable figures from the worlds of visual art, literature and music will perform John Cage’s Speech, composed the same year as the Hopps exhibition took place. (Monday Evening Concerts, or MEC, was founded in 1939 by Peter Yates, music critic for Arts & Architecture magazine.)