'In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art' Investigates the Power of Color at The Mint Museum

  • CHARLOTTE, North Carolina
  • /
  • November 30, 2020

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Jennifer Steinkamp, Daisy Bell, 2008. Video installation. Dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London. Photo by Robert Wedemeyer.

Colors are linked to memories, experiences, and our environments. To celebrate the world of color and its effects on our perceived realities, The Mint Museum now presents In Vivid Color: Pushing the Boundaries of Perception in Contemporary Art. The exhibition is on view at Mint Museum Uptown and features four innovative contemporary artists—Gisela Colon, Spencer Finch, Jennifer Steinkamp, and Summer Wheat. Installations in the exhibition are experiential by design, allowing each viewer to feel and engage with the works of art based on individual perceptions of color.

Summer Wheat (American, 1977–). Foragers, 2020, colored vinyl on mylar, 805.5 x 738.5 inches. T0263.1a-qqqq. Photo credit: Chris Edwards

“We are so pleased to be able to share these powerful, engaging works of art with our visitors,” says Jonathan Stuhlman, PhD, senior curator of American art at The Mint Museum. “Not only do they demonstrate the wide range of innovative ways in which artists use color, but they also inspire us to reflect upon the many ways in which color infiltrates our memories, functions symbolically in our everyday lives, creates shared experiences, and sparks conversations and connections.”

Visitors are first greeted by Summer Wheat’s monumental installation Foragers in the Robert Haywood Morrison atrium. The four story, 3,720-square-foot installation fills 96 window panels with vibrant hand-cut layered vinyl gel panels that combine to tell the story of women as makers and providers. The presentation bathes the space in jewel-tone colors and hues that shift with natural light, enveloping the visitor. Foragers was commissioned for the Mint and generously funded by Wells Fargo Foundation Women Artists Fund.

Spencer Finch (American, 1962–). Sunset, South Texas (detail), 6/1/03, 2003, fluorescent lights, filters. Courtesy of the artist.

Located on Level 3 in the Gorelick Gallery, immersive installations Daisy Bell and Orbit 12 by pioneering digital artist Jennifer Steinkamp explore the symbolic power of color through video technology. Using repeated floral patterns and hyper-saturated colors, Daisy Bell, which is part of Bank of America’s corporate art collection, challenges viewers to rethink their relationship with the natural world. Orbit 12, a gift to the museum from the Mint Museum Auxiliary, guides viewers through four seasons in which leaves, branches, and blossoms constantly morph through cycles of growth, abundance, decay, and renewal.

At nearly 40-feet wide, Spencer Finch’s Sunset (South Texas, 6/21/03), also on loan from Bank of America, recreates a sunset on the Texas plains with green, pink, blue, yellow and orange filters fitted over fluorescent lamps. The horizontal stretch of the piece mimics the vastness of the plains and allows viewers to settle into the distance of space and color. Gisela Colon’s Hyper Ellipsoid pushes the boundaries of materials and sculptural form. Her objects, self-described as organic minimalism, use suspended pigments in acrylic to create forms that seem to shape-shift with light and motion.

The exhibition also includes 11 paintings and works on paper by artists Jennifer Bartlett, Annette Cone-Skelton, Peter Halley, Juan Logan, Harvey Quaytman, T.J. Reddy, Brian Rutenberg, Julian Stanczak, and Donald Sultan from the Mint’s permanent collection. In addition, local artist Juan Logan has loaned a painting from his Elegy series. Visitors can also play with color and light in the color shadow experience just inside the gallery. View highlights.


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