May 15 Art Minute: Spencer Finch, In-Between Colors

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Spencer Finch (American, born 1962), In-Between Colors. Portfolio of six color aquatints, 2015. Toledo Museum of Art, 2017.9a–i.

Spencer Finch (American, born 1962), In-Between Colors. Portfolio of six color aquatints, 2015. Toledo Museum of Art, 2017.9a–i.

These glowing chromatic designs by Spencer Finch build upon the tradition of many earlier artists known for their celebration of the beauty and mystery of light and color (see, for example, nearby works by Josef Albers and Julian Stanczak). Each grid design of In-Between Colors consists of one of six colors from the spectrum, produced from two layered plates.

Printed to create grids that visually describe the various combinations of color and density, the titles of each impression Yellowish-Orange, Orangish-Red, Reddish-Violet, Violetish-Blue, etc.—speak to the idea of trying to describe a color, which is often subjective and elusive. Finch states that his work was informed by the theoretical essay “Remarks on Color” and its questioning of the language of color by Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951).

In-Between Colors combines Finch’s meticulous recording of color as occurring in nature with philosophical speculations about its ambiguous nature, thereby connecting the outer physical world with inner, intellectual thought.


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