Monday, July 22, 2013

Color Acting @ Saint Petersburg Museum of Fine Art.

Work by Josef Albers
We tend to think, color blindness aside, that we all see more or less the same, color-wise. This is not true. There is a 128 time range of variation in non-pathological human color vision. Worse, color is not absolute, it is relative.Color appears to change, chameleon-like, depending on what other colors and tones are surrounding it. People's memory of color also varies greatly, even of very familiar colors, like Coca-Cola red, once they are isolated from their usual chromatic context.

Goethe Color Wheel

Leonardo Da Vinci developed his own theory of color. Isaac Newton followed. The German poet Goethe came up with the color wheel in 1810. Albert Munsell developed the color system later used by the US Bureau of Standards in the late 1800s. Around 30 years later, Kandinsky's extremely interesting book on color came out. Later, Farber, Johannes Itten and Albers.


 This is a history and theories every artist should know, and Color Acting at the Museum of Fine Arts is  good place to start.Most of the work is from the MFA collection, with some works brought in. It is the first show put together by the new Chief Curator, Katherine Pill. It's a great show.

All at 255 Beach Drive.


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