ERIC SMIGEl Though he is not yet widely known, American composer Eric Richards has been a continuous and highly respected presence in the avant-garde community since the 1970s, and his music has been gaining exposure in recent years.1 Richards is part of a generation of composers who came of artistic age during the counterculture of the 1960s, when liberal experimentalism and interdisciplinary curiosity were pervasive in various arts. like other New York artists, Richards took special note of recent developments in the downtown visual arts scene that had been garnering international attention. Abstract expressionism, with the dramatic spontaneity and bold physical presence of works by painters like Jackson Pollock and Willem de Kooning, was gradually being supplanted by the sensually vibrant and emotionally detached aesthetic of minimalism. The carefully measured reductionist techniques of artists like Frank Stella and Donald Judd produced works that focus on an essential quality of a limited collection of materials, creating an immediacy of effect that many artists of the period sought to capture in their own media. At the same time, figures such as Robert Rauschenberg and Jasper Johns incorporated Eric Smigel is assistant professor of music and coordinator of the musicology program
American Music – University of Illinois Press
Published: Jul 22, 2009
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