Cage and the Structure of Chance

Constance Lewallen

in Writings through John Cage's Music, Poetry, and Art

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print July 2001 | ISBN: 9780226044071
Published online March 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226044873 | DOI:
Cage and the Structure of Chance

Show Summary Details


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

Chapter.  3704 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Music Theory and Analysis

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.