Tuesday Tunes: A Playlist for Robert Motherwell

Taking inspiration from the major theme of music in Ten Americans: After Paul Klee, we paired 11 staff members with 11 works from the exhibition and asked them to respond to create a playlist in response to their individual artwork. Zuzana Jurisova, Education Coordinator, created this playlist in response to Robert Motherwell’s “Figure in Black (Girl with Stripes).”

Robert Motherwell, Figure in Black (Girl with Stripes), 1947, Oil on paper on fiberboard, 24 x 19 7/8 in. Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington DC, Gift of the Dedalus Foundation and museum purchase © Dedalus Foundation, Inc./Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

When I looked at Figure in Black (Girl with Stripes) by Robert Motherwell, I immediately thought of a traveler, an adventurer that is undertaking a voyage to an undiscovered land. I was struck by the fact that the figure in the painting is a girl and shown seemingly alone in the work, but unafraid. The songs I have chosen reflect a journey (both physically and within one’s self) from dissatisfaction (Running Up That Hill, Sprawl II) and the thrill of embarking on an adventure (Verdis Quo, Walking on a Dream). I finished the playlist with Yellow by Coldplay as Motherwell was heavily influenced by the ocher color of his childhood in California and the song also feels like a homecoming of sorts.

Zuzana Jurisova, Education Coordinator

Feeling inspired? Create your own playlist based around works in the exhibition and send it to us at communications@phillipscollection.org and we may feature it on our blog and social media.

Tuesday Tunes: A Playlist for Kenneth Noland

Taking inspiration from the major theme of music in Ten Americans: After Paul Klee, we paired 11 staff members with 11 works from the exhibition and asked them to respond to create a playlist in response to their individual artwork. Mika Rautiainen, IT Support Specialist, created this playlist in response to Kenneth Noland’s “In the Garden.”

Kenneth Noland, In the Garden, 1952. Oil on hardboard, 19 1/2 x 30 in. The Phillips Collection, Washington, DC, Acquired 1952 © Estate of Kenneth Noland/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY

My playlist for Kenneth Noland’s In the Garden is fairly short—it’s the EP to the everyone else’s LP, so to speak. I went with my gut, and while some of the songs have more clear word association with the painting, I didn’t particularly look for one, nor did I look for songs of the painting’s time period.

The first three songs came to me immediately—they are what I imagine to be playing inside the painting, eerie yet fairly mellow. The last two songs popped into my mind the second time I looked at it in detail. Why grunge? I don’t know, I’m not really even that big of a fan. I suppose it’s something about the painting’s color and shapes that just scream early ’90s to me.

Mika Rautiainen, IT Support Specialist

Feeling inspired? Create your own playlist based around works in the exhibition and send it to us at communications@phillipscollection.org and we may feature it on our blog and social media.

Tuesday Tunes: A Playlist for Jackson Pollock

Taking inspiration from the major theme of music in Ten Americans: After Paul Klee, we paired 11 staff members with 11 works from the exhibition and asked them to create a playlist in response to their individual artwork. Miriam Deaver, Manager of School and Outreach Programs created this playlist in response to Jackson Pollock’s “Untitled (Page from a Lost Sketchbook).”

Jackson Pollock, Untitled (Page from a Lost Sketchbook), c. 1939–42, Brush and India ink on paper, 17 1/2 x 14 in., The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Gift of Lee Krasner Pollock, 1982 © Pollock-Krasner Foundation/Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

As with most works by Jackson Pollock, the emphasis for me is the feeling his work evokes from the viewer. Devoid of color, yet acutely expressive, Untitled (Page from a Lost Sketchbook) conveys aggression, disconnection, and movement. Its raw quality emphasizes the hand of the artist, thus Pollock is also present in this playlist at times—he was here, and he left a legacy. Enjoy!

Miriam Deaver, Manager of School and Outreach Programs

Feeling inspired? Create your own playlist based around works in the exhibition and send it to us at communications@phillipscollection.org and we may feature it on our blog and social media.