Josef Albers, Jake Berthot, Norman Bluhm, Kiah Celeste, Ed Clark, Jeff Conefry, Sonia Delaunay-Terk, David Diao, Adrienne Dixon, Friedel Dzubas, Remo Michael Farruggio, Tony Feher, Keltie Ferris, Sam Francis, Sam Gilliam, Joanne Greenbaum, Stephen Greene, Peter Halley, Hans Hofmann, Ralph Humphrey, Scott Ingram, Alfred Jensen, David Kaiser, Sol Lewitt, Chris Martin, Fritz Ruoff, Judy Rushin-Knopf, Jackie Saccoccio, Judith Scott, Alan Uglow, Wendy White, Jack Whitten
From our own skin tones to the clothes we wear, the sky outside and the food we eat, traffic signals and currency, pride flags and the screen savers on our devices—color is everywhere and is always affecting us. As a subject of study and a factor in creativity, color has engaged scientists, philosophers, writers, designers, and—of course, artists—for centuries.
Coloring is an exhibition that features primarily abstract works of painting, drawing, printmaking, and sculpture, whose dominant condition is color/colors that define hard-edged geometries, coalesce in lush atmospheres, are the result of acts of accretion or dramatic gestures, and exist in store bought or found items. In the hands of artists of varied traditions, color relationships can be made using oil and acrylic paints, nail polish and glitter, wool and thread, steel pipe and plastic bottles, among many others.
For some, the exhibition title might bring to mind the childhood process of filling in the predetermined areas of an activities book. For our purposes, it is meant to suggest that color is endlessly active: analytic and instructional, associative and emotional. Even the language we use to try to do justice to the complexities that come along with hue, chroma, and value is worth examining. As Ludwig Wittgenstein suggests in his Remarks on Color, “If the word ‘blond’ itself can sound blond, then it’s even easier for photographed hair to look blond!”
Drawn from the Museum’s collection and including several key loans from artists and collectors, Coloring attempts to raise questions about color’s singularity and mutability, and to increase awareness in the viewer while they look in the galleries and when they go about their daily lives.
Special thanks go to artists/educators Bethany Collins, Wayne Koestenbaum, and Judy Ledgerwood, who served as “color consultants” on this project, providing questions, suggested readings, and event proposals. Their contributions are incorporated into wall labels, handouts, and public programs.