Color is a fundamental element in one’s experience of visual art and of the world at large. Variations of tone, hue, and saturation, along with numerous combinations across the color wheel can influence moods, communicate messages, and build familiar correlations between experiences across time and place. Color theory studies the human perception of the relationships between colors, informing their use in art and design as a visual strategy.
Colorway brings together photographs in the Burchfield Penney collection that emphasize color in the natural and constructed environments that surround us. The selection of photographs considers how an arrangement or combination of colors plays a role in shaping meaning and connection. Featured subjects range from the vibrant, highly saturated industrial scene in Stephen Mangione’s Last Pour at Bethlehem Steel (1983), to a meditative, monochromatic landscape in Stanford Lipsey’s Reflections of Peace Forest Lawn (1985) and Roman Zabinski’s striking, high-contrast portrait, St. Lucia Doorway. The colors in the selected compositions move across the color spectrum – commonly referred to as ROY G. BIV or red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, and violet – encouraging viewers to consider their own relationships to color and the associated feelings they evoke. The exhibition ponders the use of color as a theme, and its ability to forge aesthetic connections across diverse subject matter. The focus on static photographic images offers a way to examine the presence of colors and their influence on our day-to-day encounters more closely.