In the chaos of summer and all the work being done to get ready for Tuesday reopening, it is a real joy this Sunday to find all these colorful flowers that Kris left on my desk before leaving for Shanghai. It is a bouquet – a flower a day… one flower more colorful than the next. Kris says he paints colorfully only when he is depressed, and always uses black and white or dark colors when he is in a good mood. Something to think about, and it might make real sense. I believe we all have a personal color theory – artists simply think about it.
Kris Ruhs work is really not the place to look for color. For him white – the color that rejects all colors of the spectrum, and black – the color that absorbs all colors of the spectrum – are the favorites. And deep brown red. But all is about his mood and period, like all artists. Here a 2003 limited edition book of hand painted drawings in black and white, and left a 2005 book of 100 colored drawings. Which has more color then?
The book that holds the whole spectrum of colors? Or the book with a few colors?
One interesting quote I always liked, because I love writing, is from one of my favorite artists, Jean Arp. From Jean Arp: ” I use very little red. I use blue, a little green, but especially…black, white and grey. There is a certain need in me for communication with human beings. Black and white is writing”. Here “Dreams and Project”,1952.
A little while ago somebody asked me if I collect art. It seemed such a strange question I said nothing. I live art. Not only collect, I buy and sell, enjoy, explore, present, love and cannot imagine my life without art. I mentioned Holly Solomon, an American gallerist, a friend, a great woman. The person in front of me didn’t know of her, but Holly Solomon Gallery was an important home to New York art and artists in SoHo during the 1970’s. Sweet, cultured, fashionable, sad and joyful and dearly missed. Here a Warhol portrait of “Holly Solomon” 1966, with all the color pallettes of her personality.
It is hard to imagine that something so sensuous as this rainbow mouth is nothing but mathematics! But according to physics all colors are a series of increasing frequencies that act on the eye the way music acts on the ear. Iris was the rainbow goddess that brought messages from the gods. Each color from red to purple leaves an impression through the iris and into the mind. Max Luscher tests are used today for psychoanalysis ,employment, selection, marketing, advertising. Our color preference is really revealing our personalities? I did the test…not sure it worked for me.
Here, four of the colors of Max Luscher’s color test. A Swiss pioneer in color psychology, psychotherapist who developed in the ’70’s a theory of personality based on color choice says that there are four basic color catagories: Blue for Contentment, Green for Self Respect, Red for Self Confidence and Yellow for Development. He has advised many companies on color choices for packages and products and given his color test in over 30 countries.
At the end, often my color reference is still Matisse.
In his writings “Notes of a Painter” in 1908, he says often people like to think of painting as an appendage of literature, a way to express literary ideas. Matisse says, “I am fully aware that a painter’s best spokesman is his work”. And he continues, ” My choice of colors does not rest on any scientific theory, it is based on sensitivity, felt experience”. “I simply try to put down colors which render my sensation”.
Here “The Snail”, painted in 1953, when he was confined to his bed and 83 years old… the blocks of colors seem to float, in motion.