MUSIC FOR SIX-SIDED KEYBOARD, Fusebox 2016
A prolific artist, musician, and maker, Mark Mothersbaugh (American, born 1950 in Akron, Ohio), has been making art between and beyond individual mediums since before the inception of his band DEVO in the early 1970s. While Mothersbaugh is most often described as a musician, Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia, the artist’s first solo museum retrospective, now on view at The Contemporary Austin, re-contextualizes his career through the lens of his avant-garde origins and lifelong, multifaceted art practice.
Mothersbaugh attended university in a time of political and social upheaval, amid Vietnam War protests, escalating threats of nuclear annihilation, and widespread cultural change. The era’s impact can be seen in the artist’s fascination with mutation, technocracy, and consumerism and their psychological effects on humankind. Yet Mothersbaugh’s practice does not ring the doomsday bells but instead fuses whimsical play with cultural criticism, revealing a darkly humorous, thought-provoking vision of creativity in the face of conformity and other dehumanizing threats.