John Cage

1912 (Los Angeles) – 1992 (New York)

He was Fischinger’s assistant and studied with Cowell and Schoenberg (who said he wasn’t a composer, but an inventor — of genius). Cage and Cunningham knew each other for 50 years, collaborated closely and were lifetime partners. Among close friends, Rauschenberg collaborated extensively, and Duchamp taught him chess. Wolff gave him the I Ching, while Milhaud told him Satie’s numbers only referred to shopping. He taught Kaprow and Brecht, helped Motherwell edit a magazine, took Bryars on as assistant, and hunted mushrooms with Segal and Higgins. Boulez said he loved his mind but not what it thought.