»It's John. John Cage.«

On the occasion of the 100th birthday
21 July – 11 November 2012

On the occasion of the 100th birthday of John Cage (5 September 1912-12 August 1992), the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart is pleased to present its diverse holdings on this extraordinary artist. On display are 23 prints, 2 drawings, 1 object (plexigram) and 4 rarely presented books by John Cage from almost all creative periods - from 1969 to 1990 - as well as extensive archive material from the Sohm Archive.

These works are complemented by selected compositions by the artist, which can be heard both via a listening station in the exhibition and in concerts in the course of the extensive supporting programme.

The exhibition thus offers an insight into John Cage's varied visual artistic oeuvre and, together with the supporting programme, shows individual facets of the multifaceted oeuvre of this charismatic personality: composer and visual artist, poet and passionate mushroom picker.

John Cage - composer and visual artist

The American John Cage is best known as a composer. He incorporated radio and sound carriers into his compositions at an early stage, composed pieces in which he expanded the usual range of instruments to include everyday objects and gave chance a major role in his works. From the end of the 1960s, Cage also worked increasingly as a visual artist. He experimented with various printing techniques and design possibilities with the aid of the principle of chance, thus transferring his compositional methods to graphic works. Cage's cross-genre art was also an impetus for various art movements, such as Fluxus or Pop Art.

John Cage in the collection of the Staatsgalerie

The majority of Cage's works in the possession of the Staatsgalerie can be attributed to the visual arts: Drawings, prints and, with Plexigram No. III "Not Wanting to Say Anything About Marcel", a three-dimensional object. Since 1981, there have been continuous purchases for the Prints and Drawings Collection - including several by the "Konrad Kohlhammer Foundation" to the "Friends of the Staatsgalerie Stuttgart". In 2003, the "Legacy Günther and Renate Hauff", the last print by Cage to date, entered the collection. More prints from the two foundations can also be seen until 30 September 2012 in the special exhibition "To the Museum of Modern Dreams | Künstlerpositionen der 1960er- bis 1980er-Jahre". Further works by and about John Cage - above all books and archive material - will be presented in part for the first time in the context of this exhibition. They come from the Sohm Archive, which houses one of the world's most important collections of Fluxus art and was acquired by the Staatsgalerie in 1981. A catalogue documenting the Staatsgalerie's rich holdings of works by John Cage has been published to accompany the exhibition.