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Color Theory

January 9, 2019

Color Theory, in art and design, refers to a set of principles and guidelines for working with color that includes pure colors (hues), their values, mixing and the perceptual effects of color. A complex topic with many different theories and the earliest color wheel from Sir Issac Newton. Most of the impact on Post War contemporary art is that derived from theorists and educators such as Johannes Itten (1888-1967) and his and publication of The Art of Color; Hans Hofmann (1880-1966) and his “push and pull” technique to use color and shapes to create the illusion of space, depth and motion in a two-dimensional picture plane; and Josef Albers (1988-1976) and the Interaction of Colors (Yale University Press).

 

There is a group of contemporary color theorists from Hunter College in New York City who have dedicated their careers to categorizing thousands of colors and developing their own color systems for understanding the affect of color on the human psyche and the sensations that color in terms of human emotions. These artists include Sanford Wurmfeld, Robert Swain and Gabriele Evertz.

 

 

Some basic terms and definitions:

 

Color - The property of an object based on the light it reflects or emits and that the eye receives.

 

Color wheel - color spectrum from light bent into a circle. 

 

Primary colors - The most basic colors on the color wheel, red, yellow and blue. These colors cannot be made by mixing.

 

Secondary colors - colors that are made by mixing two primary colors together. Orange, green and violet.

 

Tertiary colors - colors that are made by mixing a primary color with a secondary color.

 

Hue - the name of a pure color.

 

Chroma - a color's purity, intensity or saturation, the brightness or dullness of a color. 

 

Value - the darkness or lightness of a color. 

 

Tints - are created by adding white to a color.

 

Shades - are created by adding black to a color.

 

Additive color theory - a school of thought that refers to the behavior of color as it pertains to light - primary colors mix to create white light. 

 

Subtractive color theory - refers to the behavior of color as it pertains to the mixing of pigments like ink, paint, or dye - primary colors mix to create black.

 

 

Artists whose work explores aspects of or furthers Color Theory:

 

Richard Anuszkiewicz

Leon Berkowitz

Mark Dagley

Thomas Downing

Gabriele Evertz

Christian Haub

Andrew Huffman

Matthew Kluber

Mokha Laget

Tom Martinelli

Rakuko Naito

Paul Reed

Oli Sihvonen

Julian Stanczak

Robert Swain

Sanford Wurmfeld

Angela Johal

Beth Radford

 

 

Exhibitions that Focus on and Exploit Color Theory

 

 

CHRISTIAN HAUB 
Like A Butterfly 
October 19 - November 24, 2018 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MATTHEW KLUBER 
No Place Like Utopia 
October 19 - November 24, 2018 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANGELA JOHAL 
You Hear The Colours 
October 1 - October 27, 2018 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OPTICAL AND PATTERN PAINTINGS 
Presenting artworks by Beth Radford, Marge Rector and Eric Zammitt 
October 1 - October 27, 2018 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ANDREW HUFFMAN 
Modulated: Color and Structure 
August 23 - September 29, 2018 

 

 

 

 

 

TADASKY 
Pushing Boundaries 
August 23 - September 29, 2018 

 

 

 

 

 

JULIAN STANCZAK: DYNAMIC FIELDS

February 10 - March 17, 2018 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLI SIHVONEN
KINETIC ENERGY 
January 27 - March 3, 2018 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROBERT SWAIN 
Color: Theory and Affect 
December 9, 2017 - January 20, 2018 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MOKHA LAGET 

In Shape, In Color 
September 4 - October 7, 2017 

 

 

 

 

 

 

CHRISTIAN HAUB 
Float 
November 11, 2015 - January 16, 2016 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MATTHEW KLUBER 
DRprojects: Electr-O-Pura 
August 5 - September 19, 2015 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SENSATION 
Featuring: Richard Anuszkiewicz, Leon Berkowitz, Gabrielle Evertz, Fred Eversley, Beverly Fishman, Ted Larsen, Tom Martinelli, Matthew Penkala, Richard Roth, Julian Stanczak, Oli Sihvonen, Robert Swain, Leo Valledor, Sanford Wurmfeld 
April 4 - May 24, 2014 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JULIAN STANCZAK 
Lineal Pathways 
March 14 - April 19, 2014 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

OLI SIHVONEN 
In Motion, Rhythmic and Optical Paintings by Oli Sihvonen From 1988 to 1991 
January 31 - March 8, 2014 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THOMAS DOWNING 
Paintings from the 1970s 
January 31 - February 28, 2014 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PAUL REED 
A Career Exploring Color and Visual Perception 
June 21 - July 27, 2013 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

RICHARD ANUSZKIEWICZ 
Variations: Evolution of The Artist's Media 1986 - 2012 
May 10 - June 15, 2013 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

DYNAMOS IN PARIS 
May 8 - May 29, 2013 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TOM MARTINELLI 
OUT OF REGISTER, 1993-1998 
March 29 - May 4, 2013 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

COLORS AND OPTICS 
Richard Anuszkiewicz, Fred Eversley, Gabriele Evertz, Beverly Fishman, Rakuko Naito, Richard Roth, Julian Stanczak, Robert Swain, and Eric Zammitt 
February 13 - March 23, 2013 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GABRIELE EVERTZ 
Optic Drive 
November 9 - December 22, 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SANFORD WURMFELD 
November 9 - December 22, 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MATTHEW KLUBER 
Color Interference 
November 8 - December 22, 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

FRED EVERSLEY 
Light Lens 
September 21 - November 3, 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

TADASKY 
The Circle ReViewed: 1964 to 2012 
August 17 - September 22, 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JULIAN STANCZAK 
Grids and Planes 
August 17 - September 15, 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SEEING RED 
A Group Exhibition Featuring artwork by:
Gabriele Evertz, Beverly Fishman, Harmony Hammond, Maxwell Hendler, Tim Jag, Matsumi Kanemitsu, Tom Martinelli, Scott Malbaurn, Julian Stanczak, Yozo Suzuki, Robert Swain, Leo Valledor 
May 18 - June 23, 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ROBERT SWAIN 
Color Affect 
May 18 - June 23, 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JAY DAVIS 
Mirage 
March 2 - March 31, 2012 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

JULIAN STANCZAK 
Elusive Transparencies 
September 1 - September 30, 2011 

 

 

 

 

 

 

David Eichholtz, Manager

David Richard Gallery, LLC

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