Portales - José Caldas.
1. Serpiente - Ixul
2. Transformaciones - De la serie Punto y coma
3. Claude Monet. Impresión, Sol naciente, 1872.
4. Jardín I. Morela Avilán

In the investigations that continued at the beginning of the 20th century with the new isms, both in the figurative and abstract aspects, color had a relevant role. It is seen in the emotional strength of the figures of Fauvism and Expressionism. In gestural or geometric abstractionism, color is separated from nature, and freed from any narration anchored to reality. As an element of visual expression, it began to have its own foundation, associated with music in the case of Vasili Kandinsky, theosophy with Piet Mondrian, or Auguste Herbin’s alphabet of colors, shapes, and music, among many others.

5. Piet Mondrian. Composition II in Red, Blue and Yellow, 1930.
6. Sin título. Gonzalo Figueroa.

5. The relativity of color and physical color in art

Josef Albers was one of the artists trained at the Bauhaus School, who studied the relativity of color: the dialogue between two tones of blue is different, when they are close to a red or a yellow. In each situation the color ‘feels’ differently. Albers proposed the concept of the relativity of color in painting, which occurs especially in the areas of color contact, in which a new tone arises generated by a physiological effect of the retina. It is an ephemeral perception that remains for a short time in the eye.

Other artists delved into this research. In kinetic art, Jesús Soto (Venezuela, 1923 — France, 2005), dematerialized the support, superimposing planes or using nylon threads, thus generating the vibration of color. Other artists separated themselves from the canvas as a support and conceived their work based on physical color. Among the most emblematic, we could mention Carlos Cruz-Diez (Venezuela, 1923 — France, 2019) and James Turrel (USA, 1943) who have aimed their work at color as a perceptual and sensory phenomenon. Their works are an unstable and ephemeral event, which requires the movement or presence of the person, time and space to be completed.

7. Carlos Cruz-Diez. Cámara de cromosaturación. Museo de la Estampa y del Diseño Carlos Cruz- Diez, 1965–2004, instalación con intervención cromática (iluminación de color), 52m2 (planta física). Colección FMN-MEDCCD. Fotografía: José Betancourt

Written by our chief curator, Anny Bello

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