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Classics Unwrapped: The Classic Art of John Cage

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Simone Byrne Simone Byrne | 16:00 UK time, Friday, 18 February 2011

John Cage, HV2, no. 17b, 1992 Aquatint (using twenty-four plates) Courtesy Crown Point Press © the John Cage Trust

John Cage, HV2, no. 17b, 1992 Aquatint (using twenty-four plates) Courtesy Crown Point Press © the John Cage Trust

Douglas Templeton tells us about this week's Classics Unwrapped feature which features a retrospective of work by American composer and artist John Cage.

It was great on Wednesday to go down to the Hunterian Gallery to see the final preparations for their exhibition of paintings and prints by John Cage, and record some of the talking men who have put the project together. Don't be put off by the tweed jackets - this is mind blowing stuff.

John Cage exhibition

When I arrived, there was a man up on scaffolding with an unfeasibly large spirit level, fixing the last of the prints to the wall. There are so many works in this show I don't know how they'll manage to get them straight. And multi tasking deputy-director Mungo Campbell was busy helping to hold up the pictures for the technicians, and consulting the all important random numbers on his laptop.

John Cage exhibition


But we did get a chance to chat. I have a feeling John Cage himself would have loved the sounds of the dropping spanners you can hear in the background of these interviews.

The gallery looks extraordinary, and the images are gorgeous. The arrival of Cage in Glasgow has clearly piqued a lot of interest, and as I chatted to Mungo and Martin Parker Dixon from the university music department, there were lots of media cameras rolling in other parts of the gallery.

Mungo explained to me that as the gallery was part of the University it was uniquely possible to put on a collaborative festivals like this. As it happens, as I was recording, outside the students were about to start demonstrating over cuts. I suspect we had better enjoy these free exhibitions and concerts while we can.

John Cage: New River Watercolour series IV, No. 3, 1988 Watercolour on paper © John Cage Trust

John Cage: New River Watercolour series IV, No. 3, 1988 Watercolour on paper © John Cage Trust

View the Classics Unwrapped Gallery and listen to Classics Unwrapped Sunday 1705.

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