Whilst the Michael Werner Gallery has an exhibition devoted to Don’s paintings another of his works is also on display as part of a group exhibition. This exhibition is called “Valley of Gold: Southern California and the Phantasmagoric” and includes work by Man Ray and Marcel Duchamp. According to the publicity from the gallery: Valley of Gold explores the aesthetic legacy of the European surrealists and others who worked with similar sensibilities on the art of Southern California. Examining the influence of this charged period, the exhibition traces how its effects percolated through later movements such as California abstraction, conceptual art, and Light and Space.
[alert_box type=”info”]Bob pays tribute to the Captain’s music, but offers a dissenting voice about the paintings…[/alert_box] I discovered Don Van Vliet through a demo album of Frank Zappa’s music. The first album I heard was “Trout Mask Replica,” and I was taken with the freedom of the lyrics he creates as well as the looseness of the musical conception, without sacrificing a certain kind of rigor. His punning and word-play reminded me of James Joyce, Gertrude Stein, a bit of e. e. cummings. You could make your own associations. The music reminded me of a kid with an ear who has no training, sitting down