Mar 1, 2017

Sonata I-IV

Sonata I-IV


Part of a set. See all set records

Nam June Paik

(Korean, 1932-2006)

Portfolio of 4 prints, each: lithograph, screenprint, and etching

Sheet: 53.3 x 66 cm (21 x 26 in.); Image: 51.8 x 64.8 cm (20 3/8 x 25 1/2 in.)

The A. W. Ellenberger, Sr., Endowment Fund 2015.144



From a set of four prints entitled Sonata, these prints juxtapose collaged images from Nam June Paik’s childhood, including photographs, musical compositions, and clips from his video works. Comprising life events and artistic pieces significant to the artist, the rectangular-shaped images convey a striking resemblance to a set of epitaph tablets—not only in appearance but in function—as a chronicle of the tomb owner’s achievements.

In the final row of Sonata I, Paik includes an image capturing his sensational performance with cellist and performance artist Charlotte Moorman in 1965. Paik and a bare-breasted Moorman played his composition Cello Sonata No. 1 for Adults Only. The couple was arrested for public indecency immediately after the performance.

As one of the core members of Fluxus (literally, flowing), an international experimental and interdisciplinary art movement of the 1960s and ’70s, Nam June Paik stood out with his electronic works employing television sets and a stream of endless images and videos clips.

See also

Contact us

The information about this object, including provenance information, is based on historic information and may not be currently accurate or complete. Research on objects is an ongoing process, but the information about this object may not reflect the most current information available to CMA. If you notice a mistake or have additional information about this object, please email

To request more information about this object, study images, or bibliography, contact the Ingalls Library Reference Desk.

Request a digital file from Image Services that is not available through CC0, a detail image, or any image with a color bar. If you have questions about requesting an image, please email