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Dream for Light Years: Ali Smith and Michael Alec Rose

Ali Smith, Underworld

Ali Smith
Underworld (detail), 2016
Oil on canvas
84 x 96 inches

The Vanderbilt University Fine Arts Gallery is pleased to present Dream for Light Years, a collaboration between California-based painter Ali Smith and Blair School of Music professor of composition Michael Alec Rose.

Visual artists and composers have long engaged in dynamic dialogues. The exchange of musical ideas and visual aesthetics were famously vibrant in the collaborations between Monet and Debussy, Kandinsky and Schoenberg, and other artists of the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries. The artist Ali Smith and composer Michael Alec Rose continue this conversation into a new millennium, allowing the Vanderbilt community and wider Nashville public a window into their process. We look forward the opportunity to see and hear how one art form can give sustained attention to another, while attempting to translate not only the specific features, but also the essence of an artwork, from the language of one medium to another.

The opening reception will feature a performance of the composition by Rose made specifically with Smith’s large-scale oil paintings in mind. The players in the quartet are distinguished faculty of the Blair School: Molly Barth (flute), Stephen Miahky (violin), Jeremy Wilson (trombone), and Felix Wang (cello).


Listen:  Mornington Caprice (Divine Art Recordings, Catalogue No. MSV 28574)
Composition by Michael Alec Rose: A duo inspired by English artist Frank Auerbach's painting Mornington Crescent–Early Morning (1991), premiered at the Frank Auerbach retrospective at Tate Britain, March 2016.