Bill Fontana

Born in Ohio in 1947, Bill Fontana was studying traditional composition in Cleveland when he noticed, waiting outside the concert hall for his lessons, that the sounds he heard in the park were just as interesting and beautiful to him as anything he heard inside the hall and started thinking differently about sound and music. Fontana left Ohio in 1968 to study at the New School in New York City, where he took a class with John Cage that bolstered his thinking about music and composition. Not long after his graduation, Fontana began creating his first sound sculptures, pieces that explored the materiality of sound both within and taken out of its own context, geography, and architecture. He has done major radio sound art projects for the BBC, the European Broadcast Union, the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, National Public Radio, West German Radio (WDR), Swedish Radio, Radio France and the Austrian State Radio. His work has also been exhibited at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; the Museum Ludwig, Cologne; the Post Museum in Frankfurt; the Art History and Natural History Museums in Vienna; the Tate Modern and Tate Britain, London; the 48th Venice Biennale; the National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; the Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney; MAXXI, Rome; and MAAT, Lisbon.