Urgent Museum Notice

Elena Presser

An older light-skinned woman with short, dark, curly hair looks directly at the viewer. Posed from the chest up against a light grey background, she wears a darker grey sweater, eye glasses, pearl earrings, and lipstick.

Photo by Jorge Presser; Courtesy of the artist

Born in 1940

After settling in Miami, Presser continued her studies at the University of Miami, and then at Florida International University, where she received an Outstanding Achievement in Art Award in 1978.

Presser’s work often interprets music, her subject in Unfinished Symphony. “I perceive music as the most abstract form of art. The notes in the musical score are notations of symbols, abstractions of a sound. When this notation becomes audible by the interpretation of a performer, it becomes music. The music exists while it is performed, only to disappear again into silence.

“The passage of music in time evokes in me, as a listener, emotions, colors, and images. This level of comprehension is of spontaneity. A second level is of recognition and recollection of information about the music; a rational and intellectual approach. The interaction of both levels creates in my work the spontaneity of a calligraphy that expresses or freezes a flow of music in space and time. It brings a mood in the form of color, it allows me to follow a process of reasoning and discover symbols, shapes, numbers, letters, and textures that relate to the music I am using.”

Artist Details

  • Name

    Elena Presser
  • Birth

    Buenos Aires, Argentina, 1940

Works by Elena Presser

Unfinished Symphony

Elena Presser perceives music as the most abstract form of art, and her concern is to convey musical abstraction as visual interpretation. “Unfinished Symphony,” she says, “became a visual reality following a conversation I had with a friend, a lover of art and music. He transferred to me his excitement and enjoyment of this piece by Franz Schubert.

“The first...

Large sheet of parchment with vertical creases appearing as open pages unbound from a book. Down the center spine, varying-sized squares have been cut out, creating a three-dimensional quality. The cut-out squares have been arranged to resembe musical score on the adjacent pages.