Rouse Visiting Artist Lecture: James Welling, “Pathological Color”




Lectures Cambridge, MA, USA November 13, 2017

Statement from the artist:

For over 20 years, I have been tinkering with color. Color became an option for me—previously I’d worked mainly in black and white—when I started using with a Macintosh computer and the image management program Adobe Photoshop. Working with color, “hands on” as it were, required a familiarity with trichromacity, the mechanism whereby organisms (and devices) deploy red, green, and blue receptors (or elements in mechanical reproduction) in the eye to mediate the visual world.

As I moved beyond a simple understanding of how the eye and film register color, I became drawn to what Goethe calls, in his Theory of Colors, “pathological color.” This intuition lead me to diverge from normative, one to one reproductive color matching and to look closely at 1960’s multichannel color experiments, ranging from Andy Warhol’s silkscreen paintings to Richard Avedon’s psychedelic portraits of the Beatles.

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