The art on this site: drawings by Paul Koonce

Paul & I were colleagues in experimental composition at the University of Illinois, Urbana, from around 1977 to 1984, when we both left Urbana – I for Chicago and a career as a computer programmer, and Paul for La Jolla, CA and the University of California, San Diego to continue his composition work. During the late spring & summer of 1984, as we both prepared to move, Paul produced the drawings you see here, in colored pencil on paper. One of them was a gift to me; the others somehow ended up in my possession as well and have followed me around, haunting my studio & tickling my muse ever since.

Each of these drawings attempts to draw connections between things that otherwise would go unconnected, for better and worse. In addition each piece draws the viewer deep inside itself to decipher objects hugely distorted by forced perspective, often producing a vertigo moment and leading the viewer to discover yet another strange connection. Each has its glorious gestures & its outrageous juxtapositions, but they have in common several attributes I strongly identify with: happy colors, an always pleasant exterior seducing the viewer to look more closely, and an unruly grace underneath it all. Since I’m making the description, I allow myself to do so with this conceit: that my work strives to achieve just those attributes. I hope you agree in both cases!

As clearly gifted a visual artist as Paul is, his stronger calling comes from music. Paul teaches composition and electro-acoustic music at the University of Florida in Gainesville, where he continues his work helping to define what music will be fifty years from now; I can think of no one in whose hands I would prefer this task. You can hear Paul’s work on his 2000 Mode Records release Walkabout & Back: Electroacoustic Works, and on compilations by CDCM and others.

-Chris Granner 2004

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