Richard Lippold Five Variations within a Sphere 1947

  • Not on view

After parting ways with his wife in 1946, Cage moved to a studio apartment in an industrial building at 326 Monroe Street in Manhattan. The June issue of Harper’s Bazaar that year announced that Cage “has launched a trend in living: artists, musicians, and writers are beginning to invade slum and industrial districts bordering on the lower East River.” His friend and neighbor Lippold specialized in weblike wire sculptures usually suspended by anchor wires. His Five Variations within a Sphere hung in Cage’s all–white studio, which Lippold modestly decorated.

Lippold recalled meeting Cage in the early 1940s and “talking about the ‘spaces’ of music and the ‘silences’ of sculpture.” Cage saw in Lippold’s seemingly “empty” sculptures the same endless possibilities of form he saw in his “silent” _4’33”: “_While looking at the constructions in wire . . . it is inevitable that one will see other things, and people too, if they happen to be there at the same time, through the network of wires.”

Gallery label from There Will Never Be Silence: Scoring John Cage’s 4’33”, October 12, 2013–June 22, 2014.
Brass, silver, stainless steel, and copper wire
6 1/2" (16.5 cm) x 6" (15.2 cm), 8" (20.3 cm) x 9" (22.9 cm) diameter, 3" (7.6 cm) x 3" (7.6 cm) diameter, 12" (30.5 cm) x 10.5" (26.7 cm) diameter, and 6" (15.2 cm) x 5" (12.7 cm) diameter
Mary Sisler Bequest
Object number
© 2024 Estate of Richard Lippold / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York
Painting and Sculpture

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