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Writings through John Cage's Music, Poetry, and Art$
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David W. Bernstein and Christopher Hatch

Print publication date: 2001

Print ISBN-13: 9780226044071

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: March 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226044873.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 28 March 2020

Cage and the Structure of Chance

Cage and the Structure of Chance

(p.234) Eleven Cage and the Structure of Chance
Writings through John Cage's Music, Poetry, and Art

Constance Lewallen

University of Chicago Press

This chapter explains that Cage devoted his maximum time to the creation of visual artworks, especially in the medium of intaglio printing. Cage's complete fidelity to chance operations is both the most widely known and the most misunderstood aspect of his methods. Numerous of Cage's prints and watercolor paintings relate directly to the fifteenth-century Zen-style garden Ryoan-ji in Kyoto, Japan. Cage outlined the plates with graphite before printing on transparent sheets of paper in the order in which they were to be printed. His open-ended strategies resulted in the sense of a moment snatched from the constant flux of nature, as if whatever is occurring on the page is continuing outside its physical borders, though he varied the forms, the colors, and the techniques from project to project.

Keywords:   Cage, visual artworks, intaglio printing, prints, watercolor, paintings, colors

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