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Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967

MONTREAL.- The Musée d’art contemporain will be literally electrified this fall by the exhibition Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967. The title is taken from the eponymous Rolling Stones song. Montréal is the only stop in Canada and the Northeast for this exhibition, which will run from October 10, 2008 to January 11, 2009.

Organized by Chicago’s Museum of Contemporary Art, Sympathy for the Devil examines the history of the relationship between avant-garde art and rock music over the past forty years. From Andy Warhol’s legendary involvement with The Velvet Underground in New York in 1967 to the dazzling 2007 installation Pinball Wizard and The Byrds (Love in a Void) by British artist Jim Lambie, Sympathy for the Devil is the most comprehensive presentation ever—including artworks, album cover design, music videos and other materials—of work that has emerged from the intersection of these two cultures.

The exhibition comprises over 100 works (installations, sculptures, paintings, drawings, videos, photographs) produced by sixty artists and collectives, subdivided into six themes corresponding to the music scenes in New York, the U.K., continental Europe, the West Coast (particularly Los Angeles), the U.S. Midwest and the rest of the world.

New York
From the early 1960s on, New York was in the forefront of the convergence of art and rock music. Andy Warhol’s studio, known as The Factory, became a hub of the city’s underground cultural scene in the late sixties. Warhol collaborated with artists working well outside the mainstream of current pop music, and offered them heightened visibility and a way to merge art and rock. His Screen Tests films, with Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker, John Cale and others, are part of the exhibition. Later, in the following decade, punk, New Wave and No Wave musicians shared stages and gallery spaces with visual artists who were often performers as well.

Among the New York artists featured are Rita Ackermann, Robert Longo, Richard Prince, Christian Marclay, Adam Pendleton, Mika Tajima and Jack Pierson. A group of portrait photographs by Richard Prince depicts such legendary art and music figures as Brian Eno, David Byrne, Dee Dee Ramone, Tina Weymouth, Adele Bertei, Kate Pierson, Cindy Wilson and Laurie Anderson. Also on display are photographs from Richard Kern’s New York Girls series and stills from his film Submit to Me Now, as well as Christian Marclay’s Untitled (1987-2007), made up of vinyl LP albums spread over a gallery floor.

United Kingdom
In the U.K., art schools were hotbeds of highly creative exchanges between avant-garde art and rock music. Artists in this section include Richard Hamilton, Jeremy Deller, Steven Claydon, Scott King and Douglas Gordon. Ephemera documenting the activities of the collective Throbbing Gristle are also presented. Jim Lambie—artist, DJ and ex-member of the band The Boy Hairdressers (which became Teenage Fanclub)—skilfully captures the energy and spirit of rock music with his spectacular new sculptural installation.

Continental Europe
In continental Europe, the crossover between the visual arts and rock and roll was fostered by the overlapping of the artistic and musical avant-gardes and an awareness of industrial culture. The scene in Germany in the 1980s and 1990s, with artists such as Martin Kippenberger, Kai Althoff and Thomas Zipp, was especially active in this regard. Among the other European artists featured in the exhibition are Jutta Koether and Pipilotti Rist.

West Coast
On the U.S. West Coast, the connection between art and rock was more geographically dispersed and loosely defined than in New York. The West Coast art scene encompassed San Francisco’s psychedelic culture of the 1960s and anti-establishment figures based in Los Angeles. Included in this section are Raymond Pettibon’s drawings for flyers and album covers, Jason Rhoades’ neon sign installation Velvet Underground/Perfect World, and works by Mark Flores, Thaddeus Strode, Dave Muller and Mungo Thomson.

In Canada, Vancouver artist Rodney Graham explored installation, photography and film, as well as music with the Rodney Graham Band. Graham’s Awakening, previously seen at the Musée in the solo exhibition devoted to this artist in 2006, is presented here.

U.S. Midwest
Among the Midwest artists are Ed Paschke, Karl Wirsum (Chicago Imagists) and Pedro Bell, along with newer Chicago artists like Melanie Schiff and Tony Tasset, whose works arise out of vintage rock and roll culture.

From the drawings of Japanese neo-Pop artist Yoshimoto Nara and Daniel Guzmán’s noir rock-themed drawings to Thai artist Rirkrit Tiravanija’s recording studio and the large-scale graphic collages of the Brazilian collective assume vivid astro focus, many other countries also explore and celebrate the fusion of art and rock music.

Punctuating this journey through the exhibition are stunning video installations such as Andy Warhol’s Exploding Plastic Inevitable by Ronald Nameth; Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore by Mark Leckey; Douglas Gordon’s Bootleg series; Tony Oursler’s Sound Digressions in Seven Colors; Aïda Ruilova’s Untitled; and Slater Bradley’s The Year of the Doppelganger. Yet other videos will be shown on monitors: Rock My Religion by Dan Graham and Synesthesia by Tony Oursler. Finally, a video program will be presented, including works by Art & Language and The Red Krayola, Judith Barry, Richard Kern and Sonic Youth, Stephen Parrino, and The Residents.

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October 8, 2008

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October 7, 2008

Andy Warhol: Other Voices, Other Rooms Opens at The Hayward Gallery in London

1914! The Avant-garde and the Great War Opens at the Thyssen-Bornemisza Museum in Madrid

Dynamic Exhibition of Modern British Prints on View at Metropolitan Museum

Christie's Fall Sale of 19th Century European and and Orientalist Art Offers Discoveries of the Exquisite

Tampa Museum of Art Hires Todd D. Smith as Executive Director

Dali Foundation Presents Metamorphosis of Narcissus on Loan From Tate Gallery

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Chain of Office Given to One of Henry VIII's Closest Advisors to be Offered at Christie's in November

Sotheby's Sale of Modern and Contemporary Southeast Asian Paintings Brings US$9,165,947

Magnificent Medals from Brandenburg-Prussia on View at Kunsthistorisches Museum

Sotheby's Announces Plans to Open an Office in Qatar

Willard Wigan MBE Exhibition is Extended at Hard Days Night Hotel Gallery

Journals of the Days: Jacobshagen Notebooks Tour Nebraska's Arboreta

New Woodrow Wilson Presidential Memorial Exhibit Open to the Public

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October 6, 2008

Scuderie del Quirinale in Rome Opens Major Monographic Exhibition on Giovanni Bellini

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MoMA's International Festival of Film Preservation Showcases Newly Restored Masterworks

Baltimore Museum of Art Presents Rarely Shown British Landscapes

The Art of Italy in the Royal Collection: The Baroque to Open in November

Sotheby's Print Auction on October 30 and 31 to include Edvard Munch's Iconic Work The Scream

Ten Drawings by Leonardo da Vinci from the Royal Collection on View Next Year in Manchester

Contemporary Art Biennial Opens in Seville Including Works by Nam June Paik and Bill Viola

Fotografiemuseum Amsterdam Opens Audrey Corregan: Obviously

Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Welcomes Spared from the Storm

Classic 1930s Street Photographs of New York City on View at Metropolitan Museum

British Artist Charlotte Mann Creates Stunning Mural for The School of Life

Beside the Seaside: Snapshots of British Coastal Life, 1880-1950 on View at the National Maritime Museum

Weighing and Wanting: Selections From the Collections Opened at Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego

October 5, 2008

Impressionist Masterwork by Edgar Degas to be Sold By Sotheby's in November in New York

Rich Legacy of African Textiles on View in Metropolitan Museum Exhibition

Tradition in Transition: Russian Icons in the Age of the Romanovs Opens at Memorial Art Gallery

Sotheby's New York Sale of 19th Century European Art to be Held on October 23

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October 4, 2008

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October 3, 2008

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