The Condition of Music at the Oxford Gallery
Tuesday, April 14, 2015 3:00 AM
For Immediate Release:
James E. Hall
267 Oxford St.
Rochester, NY 14607
The Condition of Music
In the history of modern aesthetics, few sayings are more famous than that of Victorian essayist Walter Pater: "All art constantly aspires toward the condition of music." In the years since its first publication in the 1877 essay "The School of Giorgione," Pater's statement has received numerous scholarly explications. At the core of his sentiment, though, is Pater's view that music is the least 'mediated' art form. It is in music that content and form are most fully integrated: that the intellectual and the emotional aspects of the aesthetic experience are one and inseparable. Pater's concepts helped fuel the Aesthetic Movement and have echoed through subsequent generations of artists. James McNeill Whistler, for example, routinely used musical terms such as "caprice," "nocturne," or "symphony" in the titles of his paintings, and theories about the relationship between color and sound preoccupied that pioneer of modern abstraction, Vasily Kandinsky.
The theme of Oxford's spring exhibit derives from Pater's famous dictum. In The Condition of Music, over 50 artists explore the relationship between music and the visual arts. Works exhibited may be literal depictions of some aspect of music, such as an instrument or a musical score, or attempts to convey through visual analogy the feelings or emotions induced by a musical performance. The range for interpretation is wide, and the fascination for the viewer lay in the sheer variety of approaches.
The Condition of Music will open Saturday, April 25 and continue through Saturday, June 6. An Artists' Reception will be held Saturday, May 9 from 5:30 to 8:00 PM. It is open to the public.
Jappie King Black
Phyllis Bryce Ely