The Contemporary Austin presents Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia opening reception
An incredibly prolific artist, musician, and tinkerer, Mark Mothersbaugh has been making art between and beyond individual mediums since before the inception of his band DEVO in the early 1970s. His body of work presents a surreal vision of cultural criticism and personal expression through drawings, films, paintings, sculpture, and music.
Drawing together some of his earliest and most recent projects, the exhibition illuminates the social and political environment of Mothersbaugh’s artistic origins and the evolution of his ideas over time. For this exhibition, the first floor of the Jones Center focuses primarily on Mothersbaugh’s performative work from the DEVO years, displaying photographs, posters, video, music, and other ephemera.
On the second floor of the Jones Center, the exhibition features a series of postcard-sized drawings Mothersbaugh has been producing daily since the 1970s, which now exceed 30,000 in number. The drawings are mainly rendered in pen and ink in an impish comic book style that grew out of the Underground Comix movement of the late 1960s and early 1970s. Alongside these works, the aforementioned themes of mutation and technology intertwine in graphic rugs that metamorphose the artist’s drawings into domestic objects. A diverse array of Mothersbaugh’s hard-to-categorize experiments are also exhibited on this floor, including his orchestrions, sculptural sonic machines that cull found elements (such as birdcalls or abandoned organ pipes) to produce unexpected musical scores.
Following the opening reception, the exhibit will be on display through April 17.