Ray Kass

Artist & Founder — Mt Lake Workshop


Sounds of the Inner Eye: John Cage, Mark Tobey and Morris Graves

Ray Kass. Edited by Wulf Herzogenrath, Andreas Kreul, and Kunsthalle Bremen, Museum of Glass: International Center for Contemporary Art, in association with University of Washington Press, Seattle and London (2002)

Also in German: Klange des Inneren Auges, Kunsthalle Bremen/Beyeler Foundation, Munich (2002)



Sounds of the Inner Eye explores the artistic and biographical connection among three of the Pacific Northwest's most significant and highly respected artists. Mark Tobey, often aligned with the abstract expressionists, was a pioneer in integrating elements of Asian art into mystical, calligraphic paintings. Morris Graves, known as something of an art world maverick, combined Eastern religious beliefs and a deep appreciation of the natural world in his work, focusing initially on the Northwest's birds and vegetation. John Cage, an avant-garde composer, philosopher, writer, and printmaker, began his visual creations with graphic representations of musical scores, and then evolved to include printmaking, drawing, and watercolor. Sounds of the Inner Eye explores the lives and careers of these three men who were instrumental in leading a community of artists, patrons, and scholars into a deeper understanding of the potential and power of art and, in turn, had a large impact on much of what followed in modern art in America. Known as the Northwest Mystics, they were influenced by Eastern philosophies and the natural beauty of the Pacific Rim. Their legendary nickname has remained over time, helping to establish the Northwest as a center for artistic talent, worthy of the admiration of the international art community.


Known best for his music and performances, John Cage also painted and wrote extensively. Zen Buddhism influenced his approach to his work—nature as a path to self, collaboration in performance and happenstance in composition. The art and poetry in this book represent a collaboration both accidental and deliberate between Cage, Addiss and Kass. Cage was working on another series of paintings when he marked a series of brown paper towels. Artist Kass and artist/composer Addiss ordered the towels into a sequence, then Addiss culled Cage's writings to create a cutup or recomposition of found words and phrases into a new work. Cage recognized the importance of the remix long before it became fashionable. The accidental circumstances of this work's assemblage doesn't diminish its charm or delicacy. The introductory material provides essential context, but the best approach may be to read and view the work, read the essays, then review the piece again. Addiss and Kass prove the continuing relevance of the tradition of ox-herding as a format for teaching and connecting the heart to the mind. 50 color and 12 b&w illus. (Oct.) 

        —Publishers Weekly


John Cage: Zen Ox-Herding Pictures Publishers Weekly, October 1, 2009


Product Details

Paperback: 246 pages
Publisher: University of Washington Press
Publish Date: August, 2002
Language: English (and German)
ISBN-10: 0295982748
ISBN-13: 978-0295982748
Product Dimensions: 10 x 8.7 x 0.6 inches
Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds 

Copyright © 2015 Ray Kass & Mountain Lake Workshop. All Rights Reserved.