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The 211th Exhibition Graphics and Music
January 20, 2017 - March 18, 2017
As humans, we typically seek to express our inner feelings or thoughts by a variety of methods. Artistic activities are one such way, with music and art being representative examples.
Whereas music, through sound and the human voice, appeals to our sense of hearing, art, through color and form, appeals to our visual sense. And although the two differ in terms of expressive method, in every era they have both evolved while maintaining a profound mutual relationship. Pictorial art has emerged under the influence of music, and vice versa. Paul Klee, for example, was an artist who sought to express the structure of musical works through his paintings, and he himself was a gifted violinist. Mendelssohn, by contrast, was a composer who also produced a large number of superlative works in watercolor.
Graphic design is a visual art whose contemporary form traces back to 19th century Europe. This was a period when, along with the formation of mass society, the need arose to communicate information to vast numbers of the public at large, and in response production of posters began as a new medium of expression. As the 19th century approached its end and Art Nouveau gained favor, publicity posters appeared to advertise the newly popular entertainments on offer at theaters and music halls: shows and revues. Leading representatives are the posters produced by Toulouse-Lautrec and Mucha – works highly acclaimed even in their day.
Ever since those early days, graphic designers have given visual form to the characteristics unique to various musical genres. Today they not only create publicity posters for musical events or design record or CD jackets on a commercial basis. At times they also create, on their own initiative, works inspired by musicians or musical works, demonstrating originality in the varied ways they seek to express a musical image.
This exhibition will introduce posters from our foundation's permanent collection of graphic design works that are in some way related to music. We believe the show will provide the visitor with insight into how designers express music and into the kinds of works that have been created as a blend of seeing and hearing.