I see red everywhere, a color that connects us as humans and in the arts. With any lineage, the past is rich with stories, experiences and archives, that make what we see today possible. A lineage that is recognized by civilizations all over the world throughout time. Red has continued to bind us all through emotional, psychological, physical effects. The pigment of red carried lots of weight in the economy of the Renaissance and the continual discovery of newer shades of red that set the rest of civilization up for a broader spectrum of red. The comparison of Reds has allowed for a clearer understanding of how these reds originated and where some have ended. Red Ochre and Cadmium Red share a lineage that breaks apart into the artificial versus natural pigments in the 1800’s. This story of how mechanical and chemical revolution have created a new world of pigments and a new world of red. A world that I am trying to decipher in my paintings. With two specific series of work “Dear Red” and “Contained” I try to achieve a dialogue of the natural versus artificial pigments. To see how they can be contained either through chemical reaction or by my hand. Experimenting with my own pigments and how they react with the pigments that have been manufactured. The sensation of red is being revealed through history, science and a personal narrative. Together they illuminate the question of how these pigments through the ages have and are effecting art today.
Finlay, Victoria. Color: A Natural History of the Palette. Random House Trade Paperbacks. 2003. Print.
Describing the ‘paintbox’ of pigments through the ages, Victoria Finlay gives a general outline of the development of each color of the spectrum. Guiding us through her personal experience of finding the lineage of each pigment. Finlay’s travels and experiences and constant research brings a personal narrative to the documentation. I hope to achieve her ability to maintain the facts with a personal twist that keeps readers engaged, as I was.
Butler Greenfield, Amy. A Perfect Red: Empire, Espionage and the Quest for Color of Desire. Harper Perennial. 2006. Print
Amy Butler Greenfield enlivens the story of the pigment red throughout the history of time. Telling the riveting journey of Cochineal to Europe from South America and the influence that money, power and chemical evolution had on the evolution of the pigment red through Europe. Her understanding of how red has become a long lasting entity in every civilization and the importance that it has. The crucial information of red that Greenfield surfaces is crucial in the placement of each red pigment on a time line to decipher the lineage of red.
Ball, Phillip. Bright Earth; Art and the Invention of Color. University of Chicago Press. 2003. Print.
Bright Earth gives an overview of the chemical makeup of natures pigments, how they have evolved from the beginning of civilization and how artists have influenced the path in which these pigments followed. Bridging science, history and art history, Balls’ research on the industrial revolution and the effects on pigments is critical to my journey of comparing the artificial versus the natural pigments.
Anfam, David; Cooper, Harry; Fine, Ruth and Rothko, Christopher. Mark Rothko The Decisive Decade 1940-1950. Skira Rizzoli. 2012. Print
Mark Rothko is an inspiration in the applying of paint and the color theory that he alludes to in his work. Understanding his process and the decisions he executes are captivating for my own work. Some works in specific speak volumes of the monochromatic composition and how that effects the viewer.
Hess, Thomas. Barnett Newman. Museum of Modern Art; distributed by New York Graphic Society. Greenwich, Conn. 1971. Print.
As an acclaimed color field artist, Barnett Newman’s approach to color and the space in which it represents is also critical to my own work and how I execute color in a composition. Similar to Mark Rothko’s process, I look to both of these artists for a similar thought process and similar personal backgrounds to gain perspective in my own work and what I would like to do in the future.
Albers, Josef. Interaction of Color. Yale University Press. New Haven and London. 2009. Print.
Interaction of Color is the guide in which led me to begin my research in color and pigments. His exercises allow you to focus and know the basics of color theory according Albers himself. Constantly utilizing this book to gain strength in my intuitive color theory knowledge. Using this theories to implement various reds to depict a narrative and reaction.
Ball, Philip. “Color in Nature.” Natural History March 2002: 64. print.
Knowing the basics of how we see color in nature helps to explain where we are in the spectrum of seeing various shades of red. Ball describes how light and optics are the crucial ingredients in color detection. Understanding how the eye sees and how perception and anatomy contribute highly to our vision of color.
Ball, Philip. “The making of Cezanne’s palette.” Helix 2001: X(2). print.
Ball’s interpretation of Cezanne’s ability to mix pigments and the how he utilized the new modern day paints that were slowly trickling out is incredible in describing the issues of an artist mixing their own paints and the preferences in which they had. Understanding an artists usage of pigments and colors helps me see where the color red fall in history and how it was used.
Ball, Philip. “Alchemy in the Colours of the Renaissance.” UCL Chemistry department. 2002. Print.
Ball brings to the surface of alchemist and artist as the same. The evolution of pigments through the Renaissance and specifically the evolution of Vermillion through the ages. As an important facet in my paper, the history of Vermillion or Cadmium red needs to be clear and Ball goes into greater detail than in Bright Earth on the alchemist side of creating the pigment.