John Lurie’s Art For Art’s Sake
By Mark Corroto
The release of The Invention Of Animals (Amulet, 2014) finds the return of saxophonist and visual artist John Lurie to the musical spotlight he left nearly twenty years ago. First recognized in the late 1970s for his Downtown band The Lounge Lizards, a band that introduced many listeners to artists such as Marc Ribot, Michael Blake, Roy Nathanson, Steven Bernstein and brother Evan Lurie. Lurie’s music spearheaded the political resistance to the neo-cons conservative jazz movement of the 1980s. He composed and recorded soundtracks to films including, Mystery Train, Clay Pigeons, Animal Factory and Get Shorty in addition to acting in 3 Jim Jarmusch films Stranger than Paradise and Down by Law. He can also be seen in The Last Temptation of Christ and Paris, Texas and the HBO series OZ. Lurie wrote, directed and starred in the 1991 television series, Fishing With John featuring guest appearances by Tom Waits, Matt Dillon, and Dennis Hopper.
Because of medical issues, he has focused primarily on painting since 2004. His solo museum exhibits include P.S.1. Contemporary Arts Center in New York, Musee Des Beaux- Arts De Montreal, the Musee d’Art Moderne Grand-Duc Jean in Luxembourg and the Watari Museum of Contemporary Art in Tokyo…