Nothing in art is more powerful than color. From the shock effect of Gauguin’s orange and the inviting Mediterranean blue of Matisse to the purple and gold of the “wild beasts” (Fauves) and the rainbows of Delaunay and Kandinsky, the story of color begins on a thrilling note. By the 1970s, Color Field painting filled galleries and museums with huge expanses of outrageous tones. In today’s art, color moves beyond paint or ink to light itself and experimental media that unleash even more potent effects. Potent even to the point of being considered dangerous, it is the most exciting element of art, the strongest tool in the toolbox. Because it is also a largely uncontrollable force, it remains the most vital source of new art. “Color, above all, is a means of liberation,” Matisse declared.
The full range of color’s magic is on display in this exuberant show of over 100 works from the nineteenth century to this moment’s hottest talents. The roll call of the great colorists is a hit parade of art history’s most exciting names: Monet, Gauguin, Seurat, Kandinsky, Hofmann, Albers, Rothko, Newman, Noland, Louis, Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, Gerhard Richter, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Andy Warhol and today’s masters of color including Wolf Kahn, Peter Halley, Brice Marden, Juan Usle, Nathan Slate Joseph and Charlie Clough. It all begins with a monumental painting by Titian, considered the original champion of color in art, in a dramatic installation.
Public Information: Nassau County Museum of Art, (516) 484-9338; nassaumuseum.org