About This Exhibition

Rhythm and Hues explores the influence of music on modern and contemporary art practices. Both forms of artistic expression share compositional and stylistic similarities.

In Lester Johnson’s densely packed composition, City Women, the figures seem to pulse with energy. Their arms and legs are caught in beautiful stylized movements, reminiscent of a complicated musical score. Johnson’s work was heavily influenced by jazz, and it demonstrates the same shifts between tones and design, using bold colors and angled figures to mimic the sound of instruments interacting, tangling in an exchange of ideas.

Drawn from the permanent collection, the works of art in Rhythm and Hues explore the parallel nature of visual art and music. From regional musical styles such as bluegrass, to cultural expressions such as American Indian dances, to the birth of jazz in the early modern era, music and visual art are intimately intertwined.

Painting of women dancing. From left, woman turned slightly to the left in a black polka dot skirt and a print blouse, center, center is a man dressed in dark clothing, right is a woman dancing, arms raised up, dressed ina pink floral dress

Lester Johnson, City Women, 1974. Oil on linen, 36 x 30 inches. Wichita Art Museum, Museum Purchase, Friends of the Wichita Art Museum and the National Endowment for the Arts Museum Purchase Plan