Giant Steps (Primary Title)

Enrico Riley, American, born 1973 (Artist)

oil on canvas on panel
Overall: 116 × 114 in. (294.64 × 289.56 cm)
Not on view

I am trying to work with the attitude that many sources and types of subject matter can influence me as I work and that this information can be deployed in a nonlinear fashion. —Enrico Riley

Riley, who teaches at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire, was raised in Richmond. His art often concerns how visual art can represent sound. The sixty-one panels here refer to jazz saxophonist John Coltrane’s 1959 classic “Giant Steps.” Altogether, the squares and rectangles recreate the full score as shown in the Real Book, a compilation that reduces jazz standards to a single page of basic chord progressions and melody by leaving out solos and repetitions. Undertones of color lend subtle variations that relate to individual notes while a final white layer “harmonizes” the diverse parts, suggesting that color and whiteness, as much as visual art and music, are the work’s subjects.

Gift of the American Academy of Arts and Letters
© Enrico Riley

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