Learning to See Color

January 14 through March 6, 2016
Opening Reception: January 14, 5-7 PM

This exhibition explores the underpinnings of color, with a particular emphasis on the shifting and elusive quality of the concept, in order to help the viewer see color in a richer and more complex way. Artworks drawn from the University Art Collections will be placed in dialog with works by regional and national contemporary artists. Selections from the University Art Collections’ pristine portfolio of color studies by Bauhaus master Josef Albers (Formations and Articulations) will provide a through-line because this stunning collection of master prints was created as a career retrospective of his lifetime studying color and composition.

Major event tie-ins include a Colorado Symphony Orchestra concert at the Newman Center for the Performing Arts on the DU campus and a “Learning to See Color” symposium co-presented by the Clyfford Still Museum. The exhibition is co-curated by Vicki Myhren Gallery Director Dan Jacobs, and Adjunct instructor of drawing and color theory Jeffrey Keith. The Vicki Myhren Gallery acknowledges programming partnerships with The Clyfford Still Museum, RedLine, the Colorado Symphony Orchestra, the Newman Center for the Performing Arts (DU), the Lamont School of Music (DU), the Anchor Center for the Blind, and many others.

For information on the CSO performance at the Newman Center, please click here.

For information on the Learning to See Color symposium, please click here.

Five questions about color:

Is color the same everywhere and for everyone?
Color varies over time, across geography and cultural context.

Does color “exist” or is it just a by-product of perception?
Color exists as a measurable physical phenomenon and as perception; there is an imperfect correspondence between the two.

How do artists use color to create space?
Color creates the sense of physical space, and also emotional spaces or states of mind.

How have artists attempted to control color?
Just as there are many musical scales and modes, artists use various systems—some traditional, some are based on available materials, and some on personal experience.

What does color “mean”?
Color has cultural meanings, personal meanings, political meanings. In the end, it’s the variability of these meanings that may be most significant. The ability to alter how color signals meaning is a key tool in the hands of the artist.