The Score

IPMA The Score John Nixon, Colour-Music Music Composition, 2006-2010A cross-disciplinary exhibition of visual art, dance, music and vocal performance, The Ian Potter Museum of Art at The University of Melbourne presents The Score – currently on display until 5 November 2017.

Spanning all three floors of the museum and curated by Jacqueline Doughty, The Score explores musical notation as a form of translation. Transcribing sound into drawing, musical scores are a visual representation of the aural complexities of pitch, rhythm and tempo.

The exhibition expands upon this spirit of transformation to ask, if music can be represented by notes on a staff, why not by colours? If a song can be performed by the voice, why not with silent hand gestures?

In this international group exhibition, a range of contemporary and historical artworks explore transformations from one discipline to another, from the sonic to the visual to the kinaesthetic, and includes the colour music experiments of Modernist abstract painters such as Roy de Maistre and Ludwig Hirschfeld Mack.

Their works will inform the more recent abstractions of John Nixon, whose paintings will be ‘played’ in the gallery by a musical ensemble. Influential composer John Cage’s movable scores made of Plexiglass and acetate will be showcased alongside drawings by Marco Fusinato, which compress Cage’s Water Music into one moment. Performance videos by Sriwhana Spong, Yuki Kihara, and Christine Sun Kim & Thomas Mader will explore the communicative potential of gesture and movement.

A performance program will accompany the exhibition, including American artist Charles Gaines’ chamber opera Sound Text – a vocal and music score derived from political manifestoes. Michaela Gleave will present A Galaxy of Suns – a 36-part choir performance based upon the location of the stars, created in collaboration with Amanda Cole and Warren Armstrong and first performed at Dark Mofo in 2016.

Artists, dancers and musicians will also perform at the Ian Potter Museum of Art, including choreographer Sandra Parker – who will explore the notion of the exhibition as score, and Nathan Gray – who will transform the composer Cornelius Cardew’s epic graphic score, Treatise into sculpture and movement.

The Score
Ian Potter Museum of Art – The University of Melbourne, Swanston Street, Parkville
Exhibition continues to 5 November 2017
Free admission

For more information, visit: for details.

Image: John Nixon, Colour-Music Music Composition, 2006-2010. Enamel on MDF, Yamaha Electric piano (installation view) – courtesy of the artist and Anna Schwartz Gallery, Melbourne.