Milan Grygar: Sound on Paper

23. 7. – 30. 10. 2016

This solo show presents the unique works of Milan Grygar (born in 1926), which he creates using visual and acoustic elements. You have the opportunity to see, hear, and listen to much more than Grygar’s first Acoustic Drawings from 1965. Also included are several variations
(of his works) created using Grygar’s musical scores – originally recorded on magnetic
tape, but digitalised by the ZKM for the exhibition. The programme for the exhibition opening on Friday, 22 July 2016, includes a re-performance of Grygar’s Architectonic Score from 1971 by the professional musicians of the Freiburg-based Ensemble Chronophie comprising flute, oboe, trumpet, drums, and electronic sound.

Artist Milan Grygar, who lives in Prague, has been focusing on the interrelationships between drawing, visual images, and sound since the 1960s. In 1965, he started recording the rustling and other sounds generated by his drawing, and they immediately became a fixed component of his works. Grygar calls these works, consisting of acoustic and visual elements, Acoustic Drawings. He has repeatedly participated in various performances, including one in 1986, when he was invited by Jan Van Hoet to the Stedelijk Museum voor Actuele Kunst (SMAK) in Ghent, Belgium. During these shows, he makes drawings with the help of various sound-generating objects, or, working with musicians, generates a musical interpretation of his drawings.
In addition, he creates drawings and paintings which he considers to be preparatory studies for musical performances, such as his Finger Score from 1972, which was conceived for percussion.
Between 1970 and 1981, Grygar collaborated with the German musician Erhard Karkoschka and other professional musicians for a number of performances, such as the Score for the Direction of Sound in 1970, the Architectonic Score in 1971, and the Landscape Score in 1973. These were presented in Stuttgart, Ghent, Saarbrucken, Warsaw, Paris, Łódź, New York, Stockholm, and Prague. In 1976, Karkoschka made a studio recording using Grygar’s Landscape Score for E. Karkoschka (from 1971) at an electronic music studio in Santa Clara. Later, in 1981, Karkoschka recorded Grygar’s Score for Permanent Sound (from 1973) at the BMS Computer Music Studio in Stockholm.

One of Milan Gyrgar’s Acoustic Drawings will be shown during the exhibition Art in Europe 1945-1968, which will take place from 22 October 2016 to 29 January 2017.  This exhibition is an attempt to reinterpret developments in art in Europe from the pan-European perspective.
An eponymous catalogue – Milan Grygar: Sound on Paper – has been published to accompany the exhibition, which includes Hans Ulrich Obrist’s interview with Milan Grygar, and texts written by Jörg Heiser, Noemi Smolik, and Peter Weibel.
The exhibition catalogue is available for purchase at the Zdeněk Sklenář Gallery.