Color Country installation shot, work by Anne Thompson (foreground) and Tom Gregg (on the wall).
We’ve all learned our lessons about the relative nature of color. We’ve made one color look like two, or two look like one, been proud of our chromatic grays and the glow that happens in our paintings after ever so slight alterations of tone. Color Country is a small exhibit I put together for the University of Central Missouri’s Gallery 115 of artists who find content in color’s relativity: Tom Gregg, Daniel Reneau and Anne Thompson. All three make work that considers the perception of color, and also the desire to define color, make it mean something certain and constant. The problem is, and this is what makes these three artists approach to color so interesting, is that it’s as impossible to define color, to make it mean something simple and absolute, as it is to look at color as optically constant. The problem becomes almost existential.
More images after the cut.
In Tom Gregg’s paintings, seductive color causes a physical attraction while the subject matter–raw meat, dog food and hand grenades–cause a very different reaction. In the gallery with these paintings, I keep feeling something similar to the way I feel on seeing Meret Oppenheim’s famous fur lined teacup.
Daniel Reneau’s latest work brings together different languages into single paintings. Specifically, there is a dialogue between these elements that are signs of control–grids, flat color, etc–and elements that are signs of intuition–gesture, tone and broken color. This is a big change from his older work, where certainty and control held sway.
Anne Thompson shows work from her ongoing project that connects color theory to psychology in a range of media. She is showing a sculpture, two gouaches, a large painting and two artist books.