Group exhibition at Hatton Gallery, Newcastle, 2013
Susan Hiller, Angela Bulloch, David Batchelor, Simon Payne, Guy Sherwin, James Hugonin, Max Mosscrop, Jon Thompson, Ian Davenport, Garry Fabian Miller and Winston Roeth.
This exhibition brings together eleven contemporary artists for whom colour is often a primary focus. All of the featured artists have used colour in delineated areas, strips or blocks, though in different ways and with a variety of intentions and resulting effects. A wide range of media has been included, demonstrating that the different ways in which colour is physically created and presented have a profound effect on its qualities and visual impact.
In her essay ‘Giotto’s Joy’, Julia Kristeva identified colour as enjoying ‘considerable freedom’ in art compared to the strict codes of form, composition and drawing. Artists Yves Klein and Donald Judd both emphasised that this ‘freedom’ means colour can exist as nothing more than itself, a visual ‘fact’, free of any requirement to have meaning. This ‘freedom’ is exploited by all the artists in the exhibition.
Of course, colour can also be rich with personal significance. It is associated with dreams, memory, psychological and emotional states, spirituality and the unconscious. Colour can be symbolic and representational and can play perceptual tricks. It has been, and remains, the subject of a long history of scientific theory and analysis. Ultimately though, as critic Dave Hickey has suggested, in art colour speaks for itself better than any attempt to do so on its behalf.
Touching Colour has been conceived to coincide with the Association Internationale de la Couleur’s 12th International Colour Congress, ‘Bringing Colour to Life’, at the Sage Gateshead from 8-12 July 2013.
We would particularly like to thank Dr Anya Hurlbert from the Institute of Neuroscience at Newcastle University for her support with the development of this exhibition and the financial support. Thanks are also due to Ingleby Gallery, Edinburgh and all the artists and lenders for their friendly cooperation.
Hatton Gallery, Newcastle