Color in Sculpture: An Integral Component

by Kim Carpenter

Bright, bold, daring, jarring. Color in sculpture has a wide range of uses. It can add meaning, substance, texture, and gravitas—or it can lend a sense of whimsy, quirkiness, and humor. Indeed, color is a powerful tool that defines how viewers experience sculpture, and, for this reason, examining it as an integral component of a sculptor’s work illustrates how essential it is to the figure as a whole.

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Conversant Color and Form

by Wolfgang Mabry
Conversant Color and Forms

Willy Verginer decided early in life to be an artist. While on a walk with his father in one of the many breathtakingly beautiful valleys of South Tyrol, Italy, the young Willy noticed a man painting en plein air. He asked his father what the man was doing. “He is an artist,” said his father. “I want to be an artist,” said Willy. His father was quick to reply, “That is not a profession,” but it was already too late to dissuade Willy from pursuing his passion from that point onward.

Today, Verginer sculpts lifelike, often life-size figures, and paints parts of them in hard-edged bands and blocks of saturated color. He organizes his work into thematically related groupings. The only hints he gives observers are in the titles of the groupings, individual titles, and his distinctive use of expressive color. Only rarely does Verginer suggest emotion by means of facial expression, preferring more often to depict faces at rest, neither smiling nor frowning, nor revealing much more about the subject than a quiet attentiveness devoid of theatrical emoting and histrionics. His sculptures seem as much to be observing as to being observed. He delegates the dramatic duties to his use of color.

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Environmental and Conservation: Exhibitions On View

by Patricia Delahanty
Environmental and Conservation

In recent years we have all been made acutely aware of the impact environmental issues have on the balance of the Earth’s climate and its inhabitants. Several museums around the country have dedicated exhibitions addressing these urgent issues. Environmental Impact is a traveling museum exhibition of work by leading contemporary artists that focuses on global climate changes and their implications, and a variety of other environmental crises. Curated by wildlife art scholar Dr. David J. Wagner, the show packs a powerhouse of messages embodied in a unique collection of work. “The works on view are different from traditional works of art because they deal with ominous environmental issues and implications ranging from industrial scale resource consumption and development, to oil spills, the perils of nuclear energy, global warming, and many other phenomena that impact and afflict people and other inhabitants that populate the planet today,” says Wagner. Among the seventy-five artists whose works are on display are Leo E. Osborne, Kent Ullberg, and Bart Walter. The show opened at the Canton Museum of Art in Ohio in September 2013, and will travel to several museums and galleries in the United States through early 2016.

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Red—the Color of Life

by Lois Swirnoff
Red-the Color of Life

The question asked, why is red the preferred color, used more frequently than any other hue by graphic designers, for signage, TV commercials, and other applied arts? To explain this propensity, begin with a question; what is Color?

For centuries, definitions have been offered, depending upon the particular discipline in which color plays a role. The artist Josef Albers (1888–1976), the former Bauhaus professor who became head of the Department of Design at Yale University in 1950, made the study of color an empirical process of discovery. For decades he explored the interaction of colors in his teaching and painting, assessing their changes in identity when they are placed adjacent to one another, or changing appearance when surrounded by a larger contrasting color area. His published work, Interaction of Color (1963), is known worldwide, and has been translated into many languages.

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