Elaine de Kooning’s 'Bacchus #10' // 'Masquerade' by Anna Clyne
At first glance, Elaine de Kooning’s “Bacchus #10” seems like an abstraction that doesn’t represent anything - purely a combination of colors, lines, and shapes. When you take a closer look at the swaths of gray, blue, and purple at the center of the painting, does something begin to emerge? What do you see?
De Kooning was inspired by a 19th century sculpture of the Roman god Bacchus, painting a series of works capturing the twisting, dynamic form of the statue. As the god of wine, debauchery, and excess, Bacchus (also known as Dionysus in Greek mythology) has inspired countless rituals, parties, and festivals throughout the ages.
When listening to Anna Clyne’s “Masquerade,” you can hear party-goers dance around wildly, watch acrobatics in the street, or even set off fireworks. Inspired by 18th century promenade concerts held in London’s pleasure gardens, Clyne’s music paints a similar portrait of revelry as de Kooning’s depiction of Bacchus. As you listen, it’s easy to reflect on how humans have gathered to celebrate together throughout history.
Want to explore more music inspired by art from 'Beyond Ninth Street: Legacies of Women in Abstraction?' Listen to our Spotify playlist for full pieces.
Find more information about 'Beyond Ninth Street: Legacies of Women in Abstraction' on the Kemper's website.
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View the full Kemper Museum Permanent Collection here.