Austin Museum of Art

Austin, TX

512.495.9224 Downtown - 512.458-8191 Laguna Gloria


It's Only Rock and Roll: Rock and Roll Currents In Contemporary Art


The Austin Museum of Art hosts the exhibition It's Only Rock and Roll: Rock and Roll Currents In Contemporary Art through April 3,1999 at AMOA-Downtown, 823 Congress Avenue and AMOA-Laguna Gloria, 3809 West 35th Street. The exhibition is sponsored by Philip Morris Companies Inc.

This major exhibition is the first to explore the significant role that rock-and-roll music has played as an influence on the visual arts since the 1960s. The exhibition features works by nearly 100 artists including such well known figures as Robert Rauschenberg, Nam June Paik, and Andy Warhol, as well as by many significant younger artists like Christian Marclay, Luis Cruz Azaceta, and Carrie Mae Weems. Featuring nearly 150 works in a variety of artistic media, the exhibition is divided between the Museum's two sites, AMOA-Downtown and AMOA-Laguna Gloria. Austin Museum of Art Director Elizabeth Ferrer said, "We are proud to offer this exhibition to Austin as a complement to the city's rich music scene. It is also fitting that the timing of this exhibition will coincide with the SXSW Music Festival."

It's Only Rock and Roll: Rock and Roll Currents In Contemporary Art is organized by Exhibition Management Inc. and is curated by David Rubin, Curator of Twentieth Century Art at the Phoenix Art Museum. The exhibition begins with Pop-inspired works from the 1960s by such artists as Derek Boshier and Peter Blake, demonstrating the manner in which artists integrated images from rock-and-roll culture in their work even in the early years of rock's ascendance. It continues with works from the later 1960s that suggest how a rock-and-roll "style" began to take visual form, manifested in Andy Warhol's silkscreen portraits of performers like Mick Jagger or Wallace Berman's psychedelic-era inspired collages. Since this time, rock and roll has inspired artists in disparate ways, as in Annie Leibovitz's memorable portraits of rock stars, Christian Marclay's conceptually based art incorporating such objects as album covers and recycled records, or Pruitt-Early's explorations of contemporary male teen culture and aesthetic values. In combining these diverse works, the exhibition also provides a fascinating look into the varied currents of contemporary visual arts over the last three decades.

This exhibition is accompanied by a major catalogue with over 100 color illustrations and an introduction by Deborah Harry. The catalogue will be sold in the shops of both Museum locations.

From top to bottom: Robert Arneson (American, 1930-1992), Willie, 1984, ceramic, 21 1/2 x 13 x 17 inches, collection of Mr. and Mrs. William Wilson III, San Mateo, CA; Nam June Paik, (Korean, b. 1932), Dharma Wheel Turns, 1990, 78 rpm and 45 rpm records, CD, reel to reel tape, headphone, TV tubes, tape cassettes, 16 1/4 x 15 1/2 x 12 inches, courtesy of the Holly Solomon Gallery, New York; Edward Ruscha (American,b. 1937), Hit Record, 1980, pastel on paper, 23 x 29 inches, courtesy of the artist; Robert Rauschenberg, (American, b. 1925), Signs, 1970, silkscreen, edition of 250, 43 x 34 inches, collection of Lindy and Richard Barnett, Cleveland, © Robert Rauschenberg, licensed by VAGA, New York, NY; Luis Cruz Azaceta, (American, b. Cuba, 1942), What a Wonderful World, 1992, acrylic on canvas, with photos 120 x 120 inches, courtesy of Franklin/Adams Gallery, New York; Peter Brake, (British, b. 1932), Everly Wall, 1959, collage on hardboard, 36 x 24 inches, courtesy of Terry Blake, London; Robert Mapplethorpe (American, 1946-1989), Patti Smith, 1975, gelatin silver print, 20 x 16 inches, © 1975 The Estate of Robert Mapplethorpe, courtesy of Robert Miller Gallery, New York


Read more in Resource Library about Austin Museum of Art.

Search for more articles and essays on American art in Resource Library. See America's Distinguished Artists for biographical information on historic artists.

This page was originally published in 1999 in Resource Library Magazine. Please see Resource Library's Overview section for more information.

Copyright 2012 Traditional Fine Arts Organization, Inc., an Arizona nonprofit corporation. All rights reserved.