True Colors
July 21-Novermber 4, 2018
From Gauguin, Matisse and Kandinsky to the Color Masters of Today
Nothing in art is more powerful than color. From the shock effect of Gauguin’s orange and the inviting Mediterranean blue of Matisse to the purple and gold of the “wild beasts” (Fauves) and the rainbows of Delaunay and Kandinsky, the story of color begins on a thrilling note. By the 1970s, Color Field painting filled galleries and museums with huge expanses of outrageous tones. In today’s art, color moves beyond paint or ink to light itself and experimental media that unleash even more potent effects. Potent even to the point of being considered dangerous, it is the most exciting element of art, the strongest tool in the toolbox. Because it is also a largely uncontrollable force, it remains the most vital source of new art. “Color, above all, is a means of liberation,” Matisse declared.
The full range of color’s magic is on display in this exuberant show of over 100 works from the nineteenth century to this moment’s hottest talents. The roll call of the great colorists is a hit parade of art history’s most exciting names: Monet, Gauguin, Seurat, Kandinsky, Hofmann, Albers, Rothko, Newman, Noland, Louis, Frankenthaler, Ellsworth Kelly, Frank Stella, Gerhard Richter, Donald Judd, Dan Flavin, Andy Warhol and today’s masters of color including Wolf Kahn, Peter Halley, Brice Marden, Juan Usle, Nathan Slate Joseph and Charlie Clough. The show also introduces breakthrough artists, such as Miya Ando and Deborah Kass and packs some surprises in the form of installations made specifically for the Frick mansion, the Museum’s Gilded Age home.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a fully illustrated catalogue with essays by curator Charles A. Riley II, PhD, whose book Color Codes is on the required reading list of many art programs including the Rhode Island School of Design, Yale and MIT. In addition, the exhibition will be the center of programming that includes a multi-part director’s private seminar on color in art, design, music, literature and philosophy, as well as lectures, artist talks, demonstrations of color theory and technique, and classes in painting and drawing at the Manes Family Educational Center that are specifically tailored to the content of the show. The emphasis of the programming will be an inter-disciplinary approach to the study of color, weaving art and music, psychology, literature, philosophy and design.

Public Information: Nassau County Museum of Art, (516) 484-9338;