Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago
Sympathy for the Devil
Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967 examines the dynamic relationship between rock music and contemporary visual art, a relationship that crosses continents, generations, and cultures. Since the late 1950s this unlikely hybrid of rhythm-and-blues and country music has had an undeniable impact on society while drastically changing with the times. Artists from the 1960s to the present have maintained a strong connection to rock, beginning with Andy Warhol’s involvement with The Velvet Underground (who released their Warhol-produced landmark album The Velvet Underground and Nico in 1967 -- the same year the MCA opened its doors). More recently, artists such as Slater Bradley, Raymond Pettibon, and Mike Kelley have created album covers and music videos for rock bands, while many noted rock musicians such as John Lennon, Bryan Ferry, and Peter Townsend have emerged from art schools.
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This exhibition is the most serious and comprehensive look at the intimate and inspired relationship between the visual arts and rock-and-roll culture to date, charting their intersection through works of art, album covers, music videos, and other materials. The exhibition addresses the importance of specific cities such as London, New York, Los Angeles, and Cologne; rock and roll’s style, celebrity, and identity politics in art; the experience, energy, and sense of devotion rock music inspires; and the dual role that many individuals play in both the sonic and visual realms. This exhibition is curated by MCA Curator Dominic Molon.
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