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Josef Albers and colour

September 10, 2018

"Colour is a deception. Colour is always fooling us", so proclaimed Josef Albers, going on to radically trawl the perceptual and imaginery nature of colour during his teaching at Black Mountain College and Yale University in the 1940's & '50's. A major source of inspiration for Albers was Goethe's 1810 Farbenlehre [Study of Colour], the colour phenomenon known by its scientific name as "simultaneous contrast",  the colour observations of the French chemist Michel Eugene Chevreul, and Wilhelm von Bezold's, The Theory of Colour and its Relation to Art and Art-History.

 

With photography, colour is essentially a distraction. The purpose is to limiit that distraction and instil  an aesthetic without disrupting the dynamic. Today, colour photography is under seige by a utopian saturation of algorithms on speed, a saccharine serenity of hyperreal kitsch, a blood letting of over bloated palettes.

 

I've been working closely with Bruer Tidman these past months on our Great Yarmouth Project and his judgement of colour resonates in his recent paintings. His use of colour reflects a complete confidence and a thorough understanding of colour both as seduction and as "deception". Beatiful to witness.

 

 Mark Cator, Bruer Tidman's studio, Great Yarmouth, 2018

 Mark Cator, Bruer Tidman's studio, Great Yarmouth, 2018

 Mark Cator, Bruer Tidman's studio, Great Yarmouth, 2018

 Bruer Tidman, Battery Road Under Moonlight, 2018

 

 

 

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