Music as a Structural Model


Since I have been a lifetime student of classical music (piano), which involves an understanding of music composition, it occurred to me that musical compositions are built upon patterns of theme and variation. Since that epiphany, I have structured several works on classical music forms. I select an image for the silkscreen as the composer selects the basic musical theme(s) for a composition. Then I devise visual parallels for the thematic manipulations in music. Images are presented as “themes” to be manipulated (through my own vocabulary of paper manipulation and construction techniques) parallel to musical devices. In order to examining subtle changes the viewer must walk along them thereby experiencing the works over a span of time… just like music!

Stone’s Stones installation at the Barnsdall Junior Arts Center Gallery, 1988
Stone’s Stones 1987, segment of 39 panels 39″h totaling 84’6″ in a continuous loop
Stone’s Stones (detail)

“The interwoven conceptual play of text, title and art reached its zenith in Stone’s Stones. As if pitting herself against no less than Claude Monet, Bleifer printed a huge eighty-four-and-one-half–foot long nature piece, designed to be seen from inside as a continuous encircling form. Stone’s Stones is intended as a visual correspondence to music by Carl Stone, the music developed electronically from sounds of water falling on rock.”

– by Isabel Anderson, Paper Etiquette – Sandra Bleifer in Los Angeles, Visions Art Quarterly, Summer 1992