Oh color, what an unpredictable beast you are. Some people smell it, some people hear it, and others don’t know which to choose so they throw them all in there. Although associations with color have mutated over time as we’ve become a more secular society, they still possess an emotional persistence that can make them nostalgic, cold, or inviting. These two shows investigate color’s role in the visual experience.
January 21 – May 19, 2012
New York, New York
March 3 – March 22, 2012
168 7th Street, 3rd Floor
Brooklyn, New York
FLAG’s In Living Color is a fairly lean show of crowd pleasers like Fred Tomaselli, Rachel Whiteread, and Gerhard Richter. The artists involved utilize color for emphasis, optical effect, and as a point of engagement with an altered reality. The press release claims these works have all been completed in the last two years, including the work by Cy Twombly shown in his last exhibition prior to his passing. Order and chaos emerge in equal parts from the extremely varied techniques of each artist.
This group show at Brooklyn Artists Gym, on the other hand, brings together thirteen “contemporary colorists” that take command of form and texture via color. There is a extensive range of techniques and mediums. Unforgiving abstractions by Paul Behnke and
Veronique Gambier are a testament to successful composition and the “feeling” color can impart. Tracey Chan turns to photography to accentuate the color’s invasion of every day life. Many of these works feel primitive yet can challenge the contemporary viewer to distinguish what color actually does, how it changes and how it functions.
WINNER: Brooklyn Artists Gym. Although FLAG’s roster is killer, the Artists Gym has the variety and vitality of emergent work. Mary Schiliro, recently raved about for her drip-drying installations at Norte Maar, and the chromatic woven glass sculptures of Jeanne Heifetz throw an intriguing wrench into the mix of mostly flat work at the Gym.