– 18 & 19 May, The Box Athens, Dorileou 12, Mavili Square
Exhibition opening on 18 May, 19:30 pm , @ The Box Athens.
– 15 June – 15 September, Deximi Art Shop, Astypalaia
Design and curation: George Oratis
Co-curator: Demosthenes Agrafiotis
Artists whose work is presented in the exhibition:
Francois L’Hotel, Demosthenes Agrafiotis, Minos Argyrakis, Antonis Vathis, Giannis Vogiatzis, Marianna Katsoulidi, Millys Martioniou, Konstantinos Papamichalopoulos, Konstantinos Patsios, Andres Rodriguez, Olga Soulachaki, Maria Chatzigaki, Despoina Georgiadi et al.
Pulse Gallery email@example.com
The Decalogue of Yellow
The Decalogue of Yellow
- In Pont Aven, in the south of Brittany, France, for almost a century (1850-1940) dozens of painters capture and illustrate its exotic landscape. On 1888, Paul Gauguin walks in Bois d’ Amour, next to river Aven and gives instructions – in the form of questions- at Paul Sérusier: “How do you see these trees? Are they yellow? Use yellow paint then! ̇Does this shadow seem more blue? Then you should paint it with clean outremer. Are those tree leaves red? Then use vermillon!”. (The conversation was documented and revealed much later on by Maurice Denis). It was in this way that the important painting «Le talisman» emerged. It was not about a study on light (impressionism), but colour is perceived as aesthetic self-esteem, the tradition of drawing subsides and that of stained glass lapses. The issue is not the representation of nature but its refinement, with the help of imagination and reflection. The School of Synthetism (synthétisme), which then influenced the Nabis, the Fauves, the symbolists and finally Henri Matisse, and the movement of abstract art, it was led by Paul Gaugin and Emile Bernard.
- Paul Gauguin in 1889 painted the “Yellow Christ” , inspired by the Crucified Jesus carved in wood, located in the Church of Trémalo in Pont Aven. The yellow colour of the dead body interacts with the yellow colour of the fields. The painter is somehow portrayed on the face of Christ. The divine flesh is attributed by the yellow colour, as are the fields, and the red colour of the trees, makes one think of the summer and harvesting periods without any attempt to document them. However, the main point, the sanctuary of supreme sacrifice, is attributed in the same way as the fertility of the land. The colour – here the colour yellow – combines two opposing elements: the body of Christ with the body of our planet. The colour, which is now industrially produced in easy-to-use packaging, is given with its entire sensual range, leading the painting into in complex paths of questions.
- Vincent Van Gogh and his friend Paul Gauguin wandered together in the south, where, unlike the green north, the yellow colour dominates: from the colour of the moon (with its multiple presences in the same Gogh painting) tp the sunflowers, from the cultivated fields to the strong presence of the flowers (Gauguin) . Landscapes and objects emerge from the light, and the colour yellow conjures up their existence in their intake by the human eye.
- Both Gauguin and Van Gogh have been influenced by Japanese art as it is depicted in woodcuts (ukiyo-e) and ceramics. Japaneseism led to a new use of the colours, design, perspective and thematic direction of le japonèisme (19th-20th century). Most importantly, it might be said that in Japanese, the words used for colours refer to colour schemes of nature’s products (fruits, leaves, etc.) at certain times of the year. Thus, a meal in Japan is offered as a delight for the eyes above all, which as they go through the dishes, prepare for the delight that will come from the taste. In the country of the rising sun, the colour yellow is associated with the yellow of the chrysanthemums. (colour in Japanese: iro; yellow colour: ki-iro, unfortunately the origins of this word are not clear).
- Bretons do not distinguish the colour green from the colour blue. The Japanese also use the words “blue” and “green” without distinction. The painter Georges Lacombe draws – in the summer of 1892 in Brittany – a painting where yellow dominates in contrast to black – the yellow is used for (and reflected by) the sea, and the black is used for the cliffs’ edges, to compose a marine landscape, where the transcendent emerges from the tangible sensation .
- The Japanese paint the sun red and not yellow. The yellow colour conveys the sunbeams and nature. In Eastern Japan it is considered to be a holy colour, while in the West it is the colour of betrayal. The colour semantics is culturally dependent!
- During Nazism, the yellow star was used to mark Jewish people. Although in Germany “yellow” indicates jealousy, in China it is the colour of pornography. Yet, in the Japanese tradition yellow is associated with courage, wealth and sophistication. In addition, the yellow chrysanthemums represent the imperial family.
- Physiologists inform us that yellow is the colour that is detected by the human eye with greatest intensity and precision. Thus, taxis are painted yellow to be easily detected; the colour yellow is used to give warnings for danger (usually together with black); yellow is used to make notes (paper or digital), highlighting… a servant colour for all the small needs of everyday life.
- “Henri Roché.A la gerbe Pastels et couleurs pour les artistes”, a production of dry pastel colors from 1720. In the three centuries 1200 colours with plant dyes from all parts of the world. There are 300 shades of yellow for the yellow. The most expensive pastel of the collection, a yellow produced by processing a root from Indonesia. By the end of 1990, the family had no direct descendants, centuries’-old know-how secrets could be lost. A friend from New York advised me to go to Paris to buy one of the few last boxes. Eventually I got two boxes, almost the last ones from the empty shelves of the former temple-of-pastels. Degas, Sisley, and others used to buy their magic wands from this lab. Production was revived as a distant relative decided to take over to revive the lost tradition.(https://www.lamaiso
ndupastel.com/history.php). In fact, now they offer 1201 colors!
- The Chinese poets used to write poems by referring to paintings – landscapes ( “scenes of water and stones” according to Chinese terminology) and using ideograms in relation to the colours of images. When chinese poems are translated into another language, a problem arises: naming of colours by Chinese poets and naming of colours in the host language do not coincide. On the contrary, they diverge or differ, ultimately creating confusion and ambiguity. The untranslatable of colours into words is followed by the untranslatable of languages. In this spirit, in each language colours are recognised, separated and named in a special way, without guarantee of matches and equivalences when languages are compared. This linguistic incompatibility demonstrates the non-readable and reducible materiality of colour in the field of meanings, it cultivates the need for a poetic approach to colour (both within the same cultural territory and between different cultural territories), and underlines the explosively sensual presence of colour.
poet, multimedia artist
- Paul Sérurier, “Le talisman. L’ Aven au Bois d’ Amour”, 10/1988, Λάδι σε ξύλο, 27 Χ 21,5 , Musée d’ Orsay, Paris, France.
- Paul Gauguin, “Le Christ jaune”, 1989 ̇ Λάδι σε καμβά, 92 Χ 73, Albright Knox Art Gallery, Buffalo, USA.
- Paul Gauguin, ”Le paysage d’Arles”,1888, Λάδι σε καμβα, 60×80,Museum, Stockholm.
- Georges Lacombe (1868 – 1916), “La mer jaune, Camaret”, (1892), Musé des beaux arts de Brest, France – Bretagne.