Milan Grygar’s art is unparalleled in the contemporary art world, yet it stems from the simple act of observation. Everyone certainly knows that a pencil drawing a line on paper can also emit sound, but only in Grygar did this inspire great art. Since 1965 he has made drawings by using pencils, brushes as well as a variety of objects whose random sounds are recorded, thus creating “acoustic drawings” that accompany sound compositions. For each drawing there is a sound recording that one can now listen to on the iPhone located next to the drawing. Simply put on the headphones, fix your eyes on the drawing and plunge into a world of unusual sounds. Lines become long and drawn-out, dots staccato. In some cases these sounds come from wind-up toy chickens whose beaks are submerged in ink and then left to obediently peck holes into the paper. Looking at the drawing and perceiving the sounds thus become an integral experience; perhaps never before has the connection between visual symbol and sound been so close. In this regard, Grygar’s drawings are far more radical than the experiments conducted by world-renowned U.S. artist John Cage. His events that show how acoustic drawings are created or, like the “Finger Score” from 1982, give rise to compositions played on a drum set following Grygar’s drawings, are unforgettable. Whoever has had the chance to experience Grygar’s drawings has gained one rare skill forever: the ability to see sounds and hear drawings.
Noemi Smolik, independent curator from Czech
About the Exhibition
Organizer: Today Art Museum
Duration: May 28-June 17, 2012 10:00am-8:00pm
Venue: 2nd floor exhibition hall of Building No.1, Today Art Museum
Add: Today Art Museum, No.32 Baiziwan Road, Chaoyang District, Beijing, 100022