Monday, September 22, 2014

Music and Visual Art, two artists at Prospect.3

Terry Atkins

Terry Roger Adkins ( 1953-2014) was born in Washington, D.C., into a musical household. His father sang and played the organ, his mother was an amateur clarinetist and pianist. As a young man, Mr. Adkins planned to be a musician, but found himself drawn increasingly to visual art. He earned a B.S. in printmaking from Fisk University in Nashville (1975), followed by an M.S. in the field from Illinois State University (1977) and an M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Kentucky (1979). A sculptor and saxophonist, his interest in music permeated the conceptual artist's career as illustrated in his genre-blurring pieces, combinations of visual art, spoken-word performance, video and live music. At his death, he was Professor of Fine Arts in the School of Design at the University of Pennsylvania.
Early in his practice, he collected found objects with “an animistic approach to materials where you feel that they have more than just physical mass. There’s a spirit in them."
His sculptures were often inspired by, and dedicated to, historical figures, from musical heroes like blues singer Bessie Smith, guitarist Jimi Hendrix or composer Ludwig van Beethoven to the writer and activist W. E. B. Du Bois and the abolitionist John Brown.
He performed music throughout his career, forming the Lone Wolf Recital Corps in 1986, with which he performed widely and even forged immense, curious instruments like a set of 18-foot long horns he called arkaphones.
Atkins stated about his work: “My quest has been to find a way to make music as physical as sculpture might be, and sculpture as ethereal as music is. It’s kind of challenging to make both of those pursuits do what they are normally not able to do.”

His work is held in numerous public collections, including those of Tate Modern, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington, D.C., and the High Museum of Art in Atlanta.

link to Artsy

Frederick J. Brown

Frederick J. Brown (1945-2012) was born in Greensboro, GA and grew up on Chicago's South Side surrounded by musicians like the blues men Howlin’ Wolf and Muddy Waters who were family friends. Brown attended Chicago Vocational High School (CVS) and studied architecture. After learning the fundamentals of architecture, Brown attended Southern Illinois University in Carbondale, Illinois (SIU). Brown graduated from Southern Illinois University in 1968 with a Bachelor's degree in Art and Psychology. At SIU Brown was also an assistant instructor of art and was included in the University's 1968 group exhibition. In 1970 Brown had his first one-man show at the Illinois Bell Telephone Gallery in Chicago. During that period, he traveled to Europe and in 1970 settled in SoHo where he mingled with other artists and musicians. In 1972-1973, he directed and produced "Be Aware", a show combining visual art, dance and poetry. For a time in the 1980's he lived in China, where he taught in Beijing at the Central College of Fine Arts and Crafts, a sojourn that ended with a retrospective of his work at the Museum of the Chinese Revolution (now the National Museum of China) in Tienanmen Square. Brown's exhibition was considered a success and made him the first Western artist to exhibit his works at that venue. Furthermore, during this time Brown was the subject of a short film which aired on Chinese national television and documented his first visit.
Influenced by the German Expressionists and Abstract Expressionists like Willem de Kooning, who was his mentor for a time, the artist is best known for his hundreds of figurative portraits of jazz and blues musicians. He also produced works with religious, historical and urban themes. In 1993, Brown unveiled "the Assumption of Mary" at Xavier University of Louisiana.The painting is currently the largest religious work of art on canvas at three-stories tall. A year later Brown unveiled "the History of Art", a series of 110 paintings chronicling the progression of art through human history, through his own personal interpretation, now included in the permanent collection of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art.  
 His work is represented in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, Mo.

Brown called music “the catalyst for much of what I do” and often worked on a portrait while listening to the subject’s music.

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