“to understand a work that I love by Mark Tobey, and how he achieved the effect that’s in it. Maybe it’s a monoprint. There is almost nothing in it ... [just] reddish gray. I wanted to achieve the same sense of opposites — fire and water.”
- John Cage
Cage made four series of paintings during the workshop. While each series impacted the next, these works are among the last paintings Cage made, and some of the most beautiful. As they distill the Heracleitean opposites of fire and water, their respective sobriety invokes that which led Cage to joke that he wanted “to change fire into water”, as if seen through reflections of light within the great spatial structure of complexity.