Color is both a simple and complex concept—associated with emotions, symbols, and thoughts. Human beings learn about color at a young age and it becomes familiar. Still, the use of it as an artistic or design choice is layered and sometimes subjective.
Studies involving color “officially” began in the 1700s. Sir Isaac Newton is credited as inventing the first color wheel, which showed sunlight divided into a spectrum. In 1810, Johann Wolfgang Goethe drew on Newton’s investigations as he explored the psychological effects of various hues. The color wheel most often used today—based on the primary shades of red, yellow, and blue—was formulated by Swiss color and art theorist, Johannes Itten, an instructor at the Bauhaus School of Applied Arts in Weimar, Germany. Modern artists, such as Josef Albers (1888-1976) and Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944), identified color as a primary element of their compositions, underscoring its use to convey ideas and expression.
While many contemporary artists use color as a principal element, Spectrum focuses on it—sometimes combined in patterns or through multiple objects—as a defining principle in form and design for work that is not figurative. This exhibition primarily features glass, ceramic, and polymer works by artists from RAM’s collection.
Artists in the Exhibition
Sonja Blomdhal, Stuart Braunstein, Sandra Byers, Rose Cabat, Dale Chihuly, Dan Cormier, Jeffrey Lloyd Dever, Benjamin Edols and Kathy Elliot, Bean Finneran, Laritza Garcia, Lindly Haunani, Mary Heilman, Jun Kaneko, Cliff Lee, Robert Levin, James Lovera, James Makins, Dante Marioni, Choonsun Moon, Jay Musler, Gertrud and Otto Natzler, Jeffrey Oestreich, Polia Pillin, Sigrid Thach, Marlene True, Stephanie Voegele, Pier Voulkos, and Toots Zynsky