"On the Spectrum: Color Conceived," a new juried student art exhibition, curated by professor Scott Anderson, opens at the Fine Arts and Design Library located on the fourth floor of George Pearl Hall Monday, March 7. The opening reception and artists' talks will be held Friday, April 1 from 4 - 6 p.m.
The exhibition features the work of five New Mexico based artists who employ strategies that maximize color's formal potential. Restraint, isolation, harmonizing and even the mere suggestion of color's presence are methods used by these artists to highlight color's formal, conceptual and expressive potency.
While having the most "open palettes" in the exhibition, artists Frol Boundin and Brent Thomas keep chaos at bay by focusing on analogous and complementary color relationships. In the case of Thomas, this visual harmony is compatible with implied spiritual narratives and the historic character of the paintings. This same smoothness of color acts as an element of tension in Boundin's work, whose overlapping cogs, gears and beams might be more appropriately rendered in a less peaceful manner. Boundin's dichotomy suggests nostalgia for the kind of mechanical aesthetic which is archaic and quaint in the Internet Age.
Jessie Raney's photographs of bound and wrapped dolls are sparsely colored. The grounds are dark and the forms are illuminated dramatically by a single light source. What color there is, describing the dolls themselves is muted and neutralized, but intense hues appear as accented needlework at the images' margins. The tiny stitches bring up notions of cuts, wounds and the means to heal them.
Amber Harper-Slaboszewicz injects color into her landscape paintings through unusual lighting situations. The light sources are intense and the colors they create unearthly. One can't help but feel the presence of apparitions, apocalyptic detonations or alien spacecraft when looking at Harper-Slabosezewicz's forests and gardens.
Norma Ortega's work is minimal and essentially devoid of any color outside the gray-scale and local properties of the materials. Despite this reading, the subject matter in the work conjures images of intense hues. For example, in "Endless Knot," a subtle gradient is superimposed over a grid-based pattern – referencing digital pixels or perhaps its analog, the RGB speckled, visual snow of a tube television screen.
The lesson taught by these artists is that color has more visual and conceptual power when it is contextualized. These artists foreground the part color plays in their work by limiting its variety, couching it in "non-color" targeting its use, and challenging the viewer to imagine its presence.
Scott Anderson is an artist living and working in Albuquerque, N.M. where he is assistant professor of painting and drawing at UNM. Anderson has exhibited his work nationally and internationally at a variety of art institutions and galleries. Anderson's own studio practice focuses on the development of a painterly language informed by the construction of myth, utopias and aftermath survival strategies.
The exhibit is on view through Monday, May 14.
For more information contact Susan Hessney-Moore at email@example.com or 925-9538, or visit elibrary.unm.edu/news.