DEVO Does Denver

MCA Denver debuts an exciting exhibition from renowned composer and artist Mark Mothersbaugh.
February 7 2014, 9:55 AM

Most of us know Mark Mothersbaugh from the ‘80s pop hit “Whip It.” Wes Anderson fans probably recognize the renowned composer’s music from The Royal Tenenbaums, Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou, and Rushmore. And if you have kids, you might know his scores from Rugrats, Clifford the Big Red Dog, or (out this month) The Lego Movie.

Well, you’re about to meet another side of Mark Mothersbaugh. MCA Denver just announced this fall it will premiere Mark Mothersbaugh: Myopia (October 31, 2014 to February 15, 2015). The retrospective will examine Mothersbaugh’s pre-DEVO work as a college-student (captured in his early journals) all the way up through DEVO to the present.

Highlights include Mothersbaugh’s lifelong collection of more than 30,000 postcard-sized drawings (he still sketches every day); a musical contraption made entirely from bird calls, some of them dating back to the Victorian era; and one of the world’s largest (imperfect) rubies—a near 30-pound gem—carved with one of Mothersbaugh’s drawings. Plus, of course, photographs, drawings, and audio installations from his DEVO days and beyond.

“Though DEVO’s popularity was significant enough to draw attention away from Mothersbaugh’s many other achievements,” writes MCA director Adam Lerner in an essay about Mothersbaugh’s cultural influence that will appear in a book to accompany the exhibition, “sadly, even DEVO is misunderstood.”

The MCA exhibition offers an opportunity to correct that. After its Denver tenure, the exhibition will tour nationally, visiting five other cities: Minneapolis, Cincinnati, Austin, Santa Monica, and New York.

We’re just giving you ample time to mark your calendar.

Images courtesy of MCA Denver

Follow senior editor Kasey Cordell on Twitter @KaseyCordell.