Artist’s Proof Presents The Theory of Color: A Two-Part Exhibition

By Editorial Team on April 10, 2018
Maja Thommen, Wave Series, The Storm, 2018 Fiber Resin bas-relief. Courtesy of Artist’s Proof Gallery.
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Opening Reception: Saturday, April 14 from 4pm to 6pm
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Artist Demonstration: Saturday, April 14 at 4:30pm

In all of the elements of art, perhaps the most obvious would be the influence of color. Due to colors’ visceral characteristics, the interpretation of the artist’s intent is often immediate because of the cultural and emotional associations induced by a particular color or lack thereof. Artist’s Proof will be exploring the intricacies of color in The Theory of Color – a two-part exhibition this Spring.

Presenting only white monochrome sculptures and paintings in April, they consider the philosophical, poetic and spiritual associates attributed to a color that is often perceived as ‘negative space’. The paintings and sculptures presented in this exhibition predominately use white or black, which often draws attention to the other aspects of the artwork such as the techniques, materials, textures, and forms used by the artists. Each artist engages their technique to this concept of working within the monochrome, reducing their art to its elemental form. At the opening reception on April 14, 2018, from 4-6 pm, Washington, DC based artist Craig Cahoon will be conducting a workshop on the monochromatic interference paint he employs within the presented series.

In May, the gallery switches direction to present works in which color and the attributed emotions to them is the predominant influence on the artists’ intention. The highly abstract works encourage the viewer to interpret the work through their impressions, cultural influences and memories associated with the colors they view. Iranian-American painter Saya Behnam will be conducting a workshop on how she sources, tests and uses natural pigments, such as saffron and crushed lapis lazuli stones, in her art at the opening reception on May 5, 2018, from 4-6 pm.

Part One: Exploring the Philosophical, Poetic and Spiritual Associations of White Monochrome Paintings
Saturday, April 14 from 4-6 pm
Artist Demonstration to begin at 4:30
Artist’s Proof Gallery at 1533 Wisconsin Ave. NW
Presenting only white monochrome sculptures and paintings in April, we consider the philosophical, poetic and spiritual associates attributed to a color that is often perceived as ‘negative space’. The paintings and sculptures presented in this exhibition predominately use white or black, which draws attention to the other aspects of the artwork such as the techniques, materials, textures, and forms used by the artists. Works by local and international artists Craig Cahoon (Washington, D.C., USA), Maja Thommen (Zürich, Switzerland), Fred Bergercardi (Lyon, France) and John Bizas (Chios, Greece) will be exhibited this Spring. These artists follow in the vein of their predecessors, such as 20th-century artist Robert Rauschenberg and Anish Kapoor. Each artist engages their technique to this concept of working within the monochrome, reducing their art to its purest form with the intention that these works would be critiqued solely by their physical elements.

Washington DC native Craig Cahoon’s latest series, Apparitions, combines several layers of transparent paint, often iridescent in quality, reduced to a minimal, geometric shape. Related to the prehistoric petroglyphs and goddess imagery, Cahoon relives sensations and memories while engaging in formal investigations of composition and materials. Painted on Mylar, flakes of mica suspended in the paint receive the light waves and bounce them back, out of phase. This refraction allows the hues and tonalities of the painting to shift, depending on the angle of light and the position of the viewer. “These paintings have allowed me to expand my fascination with the material world while being a spiritual pursuit, a meditative practice and a link with the past,” explains Craig Cahoon. The multiple transparent layers of paint correspond to the many-layered stories retold in color and its relation to light.

Swiss-born artist Maja Thommen’s bas-reliefs – a sculptural technique that raises forms and figures above the background plane, combines archaic with contemporary techniques. The delicate fiber resin surfaces of her works vibrate in soft light. Thommen’s latest series Swim examines humanity and its relation to the natural world, particularly that of water.

As a set of seven stark white relief panels, Thommen carves the various shapes of water, from the storm to a riverbed without water. Through viewer’s sensitivity to subtle variations in the reliefs and materials employed, the movements draw us deeper within the sculpture examining the unique power and mysterious hold that water has on us. Each with a distinctive, apparently abstract pattern, the focus remains on the techniques and different movements of the artist’s hand. The sculptures become self- sufficient, representing nothing but itself.

Other artists to be featured include Belgian artist Fred Bergercardi and recent addition to the gallery, Greek sculptor John Bizas.

Bergercardi, a Chinese ink painter who’s mesmerizing and atmospheric canvases are inspired by the Chinese absurdist playwright and painter, Gao Xingjian. Bergercardi’s work pushes the dialogue between water, ink and paper to the reach new potentials of representation while maintaining awareness of the medium’s relevance in both distant, and modern art historical trends. Bergercardi’s most recent series is preoccupied with the process of memory. He uses his brush to mediate internal mental landscapes of swirling emotions that rush and pool in the crevices of the mind. His works recall the importance of memory in a rapidly evolving world.

John Bizas combines traditional white marble forms in a contemporary carving technique. The marble’s translucent qualities and durability combined with Bizas’ emphasis on empty spaces within his sculptures, the viewer makes up the missing elements within their mind. By omitting particular elements, Bizas furthers this discourse on the influence of monochromatic sculptures and the variety of techniques and texture to convey philosophical and spiritual significance.

Artist’s Proof is located at 1533 Wisconsin Ave. NW. For more information, visit www.aproof.net.