October 30, 2014–April 26, 2015
October 30, 2014–April 26, 2015
Mark Mothersbaugh began creating work as an undergraduate art student at Kent State University in the late 1960's and has since created tens of thousands of works in various mediums including, rubber stamp designs, mail art, decals, prints, ink illustrations, oil paintings, ceramic sculptures, manipulated photographs, video, film compositions, sonic sculptures, rugs, screen savers and so on. Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia presented a unique combination of cultural criticism and personal expression through these objects. At once an artist, musician and tinkerer, Mothersbaugh offers a key to understanding the current state of art, with its hybridity, subjectivity and fluid boundaries. This retrospective offered the most comprehensive presentation of Mothersbaugh’s work to date, not only revealing his unique artistic voice but also asserting his role in the intersecting legacies that have formed contemporary culture.
The intention of this retrospective is to reveal the creative and artistic mind behind what is familiar to many people. While touring with his band DEVO, it was not uncommon for Mothersbaugh to lightly “correct” or add onto the bland paintings and prints that adorned the many hundreds of otherwise unmemorable hotel rooms that he occupied for one night at a time. Using a van, bus, hotel room, airplane, or any space as his workspace, he has created over 40,000 drawings which serve as the genesis of ideas that later emerge in his larger projects. Mothersbaugh views much of his work as experiments in “beatnik-stream of consciousness” poetry, which to him, is related to speaking in tongues; the surrendering of the intellect to the primordial, or science vs. faith.
Mark Mothersbaugh was born in 1950 in Akron, Ohio. He studies art at Kent State University, Ohio. While at Kent State, Mothersbaugh met Jerry Casale and Bob Lewis, who ultimately joined him in forming DEVO. In addition to his work with Devo, Mothersbaugh has made music for television series, films and video games via his production company, Mutato Muzika. In 2004, he received the Richard Kirk award at the BMI Film and TV Awards for his contributions to film and television music and In 2008, Mothersbaugh received an honorary doctorate of humane letters from Kent State University. He lives and works in Los Angeles.
Adam Lerner, Mark G. Falcone "MaFa" Director and Chief Animator
Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia was supported by lead sponsors John Caulkins, Martha Records & Rich Rainaldi, and Factory Design Labs, LLC and by presenting sponsors David Caulkins, Liberty Global, Inc., J.F Maddox Foundation, Nina & Min Sohn, Heidi & Scott Mellin, James Zigras, Etkin Johnson Real Estate Partners and Springhill Suites at MSU Denver. Further support was provided by MCA Denver Director’s Vision Society members. MCA Denver also thanks the citizens of the Scientific and Cultural Facilities District.
The exhibition travelled to the Minneapolis Institute of the Arts, June 18, 2015–August 30, 2015; Contemporary Art Center, Cincinnati, September 25, 2015–January 09, 2016; The Austin Contemporary, February 13, 2016–April 17, 2016; Akrin Art Museum, Ohio, May 29, 2016–August 28, 2016; and Museum of Contemporary Art Cleveland, May 27, 2016–August 28, 2016.
A major catalogue was published in conjunction with the exhibition and includes a preface by Wes Anderson and essays by Shepard Fairey, Adam Lerner, Cary S. Levine, Steven Wolf and other scholars.