16 April – 7 May
Colour in art can be powerful by being subdued. Muted colour is often what you’re seeing in work by artists known as colourists. Many people’s idea of colour in art is something bright, like children’s toys or Pop Art, and it’s not particularly part of what’s celebrated in contemporary art. It’s unusual today to come across anything like the sophisticated colour arrangements of historic art, which must now include Modernism. There are new technologies and the new sensibilities they produce, but these developments mean that some old sensibilities may be lost. There’s no material need to find colour now. It’s found for you in the popular medium you’re using — your camera, for example, with its colourising menu. If it’s rare for artists now to come up with the kinds of colour subtleties in painting that existed in the past it’s at least partly because the ingredients are no longer there in the social imagination.