Kathy Butterfly, Pillow


Sue Williams, Color Pile

Figuring Color at the ICA features works by Kathy Butterly, Felix Gonzalez-Torres, Roy McMakin and Sue Williams. The intent of the exhibit is to explore the use of color and form to speak to the body: McMakin’s brightly colored and quirky sculptures address the human form; Butterly describes her enchantingly miniaturist ceramics as self portraits of a sort, and they are full of fleshiness, sensuality and seduction; Gonzalez-Torres’s installations of candy and plastic beads are his homage to the physical absence of a loved one; Williams’s paintings veer from R. Crumb-like portrayals of violence and war to a wanton sensuality of untethered expression, the body present throughout.

Curated by Jenelle Porter, the exhibition is on view through May 20.

The wall text did a good job of addressing the mystery that is color. A few memorable quotes:

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The realm of color cannot be conquered by the intellect; it must be grasped through feeling.

–Rudolf Steiner

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As I worked along, making the sculptures as they appeared in my mind’s eye, I slowly came to realize that what I was actually trying to do was to take paintings off the wall, to set color free in three dimensions for its own sake. This was analogous to my feeling for the freedom of my own body and my own being, as if is some mysterious way I felt myself to be color.

–Anne Truitt

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Color became the breath of bodies, every hue the aching limit of a life, as if is rose up from within the substance it covered the way feeling changes the color of the chameleon, or like those remarkable cephalopods whose configurations alter with their moods, or as, inadequately, our own blood comes and goes like sunshine dreaming among moving clouds.

–William Gass

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Blue is the color of the mind in borrow of the body; it is the color consciousness becomes when caressed.

–William Gass

***
We must again find the way to live with colors, to experience their inner life, and not just to look at them and paint with them externally. It will not help, from the point of view of painting, merely to study the play of colors by staring at them. The only way is to enter with our whole souls into the way red or blue moves, and to feel the colors’ living quality. We must bring to life what is in the color…by actually discovering what is in color, in the same way as the power of laughter is in someone who laughs.

–Rudolf Steiner

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