From August 2022, the Art Gallery of New South Wales, in collaboration with Kaldor Public Art Projects, presents Sol LeWitt: Affinities and Resonances. This exhibition places the work of influential American artist Sol LeWitt in conversation with paintings by Anmatyerr artists Emily Kame Kngwarreye and Gloria Tamerre Petyarre. It also introduces three newly commissioned musical works that have been composed in response to LeWitt’s Wall drawing #955, Loopy Doopy (red and purple) 2000, installed in the John Kaldor Family Hall at the Art Gallery.
These three unique works of durational music have each been developed collaboratively by an American musician and an Aboriginal musician: Chuck Johnson and JWPATON; Steve Gunn and amby downs; and Claire Rousay and E Fishpool. Sydney-based Longform Editions is streaming these three pieces that accompany the exhibition. Conceived as a gallery for listening, Longform Editions presents expansive musical works that reflect notions of time and space.
LeWitt was an avid collector of music, from contemporary experimental music to American jazz and European classical forms. He compared his instructional artworks to musical scores that could be remade by different people and exist in more than one place at the same time. Taking flight from this idea, the musicians drew inspiration from the undulating patterns of Loopy Doopy (red and purple) to create an enhanced audio reading of LeWitt’s work. In so doing, they offer it a new dimension, inviting listeners into realms of feeling, from the intimate to the opulent.
Chuck Johnson and JWPATON created Tangled mirror yarn together from their respective homes in Oakland, California, and on Darug Country in Western Sydney, casting a vast spectrum of swirling swells and peaks, imbued with granular tones and orchestral resonance.
Murri musician amby downs and American musician Steve Gunn spent time creating across the globe. From Melbourne to Gadigal land in Sydney, to the East Coast of the United States and then across Europe, Looming change / Building fabric is a journey that moves like the travel that both composers undertook in the first half of 2022. It drifts and twists with a singular beauty that mirrors the internal logic of LeWitt’s wall drawing.
In Distance therapy Budawang musician E Fishpool and American musician Claire Rousay explore the softness of the 2D artworks and their sense of movement, with subtly glitched rhythms and wavy synth textures.
This first collaboration between the Art Gallery of New South Wales curated music program is the first of several with Longform Editions, and a first for the Art Gallery as it moves to expand its music programs beyond the performative or as entertainment following the appointment of a music and community curator.
We hope you enjoy these musical works as a complete set or individually as they bring the 2D artworks to new life through the experience of durational listening.
JWPATON and Chuck Johnson perform in front of Sol LeWitt’s Wall drawing #955, Loopy Doopy (red and purple) 2000 at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, 31 August 2022