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Untitled (Soprano)

A work made of collage of cut printed, painted, and colored papers, with opaque and translucent watercolors, black porous-point pen, and wax, on board.

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  • A work made of collage of cut printed, painted, and colored papers, with opaque and translucent watercolors, black porous-point pen, and wax, on board.

Date:

c. 1953-58

Artist:

Ray Johnson
American, 1927-1995

About this artwork

This work’s central circular form consists of collaged strips from a playbill for a performance of The Bald Soprano (1950), an absurdist play by Romanian-French playwright Eugene Ionesco marked by disorienting non-sequiturs and circuitous dialogue. As a student at Black Mountain College in North Carolina from 1945 to 1948, Ray Johnson took part in similarly unconventional performances. By the mid-1950s, when he made this work, Johnson was living in New York and collaborating with artists working in experimental dance and theater. Untitled (Soprano)’s radiating collaged forms evoke such interdisciplinary influences, giving it a sense of dynamism that exists somewhere between the stillness of painting and the movement and fleeting quality of performance.

Status

Currently Off View

Department

Prints and Drawings

Artist

Ray Johnson

Title

Untitled (Soprano)

Place

United States (Artist's nationality:)

Date  Dates are not always precisely known, but the Art Institute strives to present this information as consistently and legibly as possible. Dates may be represented as a range that spans decades, centuries, dynasties, or periods and may include qualifiers such as c. (circa) or BCE.

c. 1953–1958

Medium

Collage of cut printed, painted, and colored papers, with opaque and translucent watercolors, black porous-point pen, and wax, on board

Dimensions

27.4 × 19 cm (10 13/16 × 7 1/2 in.)

Credit Line

Promised gift of The William S. Wilson Collection of Ray Johnson

Reference Number

Obj: 248629

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email . Information about image downloads and licensing is available here.

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