Denver's Museum of Contemporary Art announced the first ever major retrospective of the life and work of Mark Mothersbaugh, "Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia."
The bespectacled, polymath American artist, best known for his work with the experimental rock band DEVO and as the composer behind many Wes Anderson film scores ("Rushmore," "The Royal Tenenbaums", "Moonrise Kingdom") has been the subject of numerous small-scale gallery shows during a career that has so far spanned more than 40 years.
Colorado galleries that have previously exhibited Mothersbaugh's works include Th'ink Tank Gallery, Andenken Gallery and DC Gallery in Denver and NOWhere Limited in Nederland.
The Museum of Contemporary Art's exhibition, however, marks the first comprehensive solo show devoted to Mothersbaugh to date.
"Most museums are not open-ended enough about their definition of art today to consider exhibiting Mark Mothersbaugh," Adam Lerner, director of The Museum of Contemporary Art and curator of "Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia," says. "That's partly why his story has never been told."
Running from October 31, 2014 to February 15, 2015, the exhibition aims to highlight the connections between Mothersbaugh's wideranging visual and sonic projects, which include designs for rock band merchandise, video game music, cartoons and multimedia installations.
It will feature documentation and music from Mothersbaugh's early days as lead singer of DEVO as well as never-bef0re-seen artifacts relating to the artist's process, most notably around 30,000 postcard-sized works, created over decades, and journals from his student days at Kent State University in the early 1970s.
Mothersbaugh considered his journals and many of his small-scale works on paper to be part of his unedited, private practice before being approached by Lerner about a potential restrospective in 2012. They were not intended for public display.
"I never planned to show these things so I didn't edit myself at all," Mothersbaugh says. "But I got to a point where I was more at ease. I could die anyday now. And, besides, my wife and kids could take all of my stuff and dump it in the trash."
The exhibition will also include a series of illustrated wall rugs embellished with video animations and large-scale, experimental musical instruments fashioned by the artist from old organ pipes and electronics. In addition, a stripped-down, 1950s jukebox playing Mothersbaugh's handmade recordings of his musical works will be on show.
Following its run in Denver, the exhibition will tour to six other cities in the United States, including New York, Los Angeles and Austin.