The Theory of Color: Pt. One Exploring Monochrome in Art

Artist's Proof
Apr 18, 2018 3:56PM

Presenting only white monochrome sculptures and paintings, we consider the philosophical, poetic and spiritual associates attributed to a color that is often perceived as ‘negative space’.  The paintings and sculptures presented in this exhibition predominately use white or black, which draws attention to the other aspects of the artwork such as the techniques, materials, textures, and forms used by the artists.  Works by local and international artists Craig Cahoon (Washington, D.C., USA), Maja Thommen (Zürich, Switzerland), Fred Bergercardi (Lyon, France), Gary Kret (Washington, D.C., USA) and John Bizas (Chios, Greece) will be exhibited this Spring.  These artists follow in the vein of their predecessors, such as 20th-century artist Robert Rauschenberg and Anish Kapoor.  Each artist engages their technique to this concept of working within the monochrome, reducing their art to its purest form with the intention that these works would be critiqued solely by their physical elements.  

Installation Shot of The Theory of Color: Pt. One

Apparitions No 2 Detail

Craig Cahoon working in his D.C. studio

Apparitions No 2

Washington D.C. native Craig Cahoon’s latest series, “Apparitions”, combines several layers of transparent paint, often iridescent in quality, reduced to a minimal, geometric shape.  Related to the prehistoric petroglyphs and goddess imagery, Cahoon relives sensations and memories while engaging in formal investigations of composition and materials.  Painted on Mylar, flakes of mica suspended in the paint receive the light waves and bounce them back, out of phase.  This refraction allows the hues and tonalities of the painting to shift, depending on the angle of light and the position of the viewer.  "These paintings have allowed me to expand my fascination with the material world while being a spiritual pursuit, a meditative practice and a link with the past," explains Craig Cahoon. The multiple transparent layers of paint correspond to the many-layered stories retold in color and its relation to light.  

Storm Detail shot  

Storm Detail shot 2

Storm Detail shot 3  

Swiss-born artist Maja Thommen's bas-reliefs - a sculptural technique that raises forms and figures above the background plane, combines archaic with contemporary techniques. The delicate fiber resin surfaces of her works vibrate in soft light.  Thommen’s latest series "Swim"  examines humanity and its relation to the natural world, particularly that of water.    As a set of seven stark white relief panels, Thommen carves the various shapes of water, from the storm to a riverbed without water.  Through viewer’s sensitivity to subtle variations in the reliefs and materials employed, the movements draw us deeper within the sculpture examining the unique power and mysterious hold that water has on us.  Each with a distinctive, apparently abstract pattern, the focus remains on the techniques and different movements of the artist's hand.   The sculptures become self-sufficient, representing nothing but itself.

Other artists to be featured include Belgian artist Fred Bergercardi and recent addition to the gallery, Greek sculptor John Bizas and American painter Gary Kret.  

Installation Shot of Fred Bergercardi's Chinese Ink paintings juxtaposed with works by  Nenad Zaric and Craig Schaffer

Bergercardi, a Chinese ink painter who’s mesmerizing and atmospheric canvases are inspired by the Chinese absurdist playwright and painter, Gao Xingjian.  Bergercardi’s work pushes the dialogue between water, ink and paper to the reach new potentials of representation while maintaining awareness of the medium’s relevance in both distant, and modern art historical trends.  Bergercardi’s most recent series is preoccupied with the process of memory.  He uses his brush to mediate internal mental landscapes of swirling emotions that rush and pool in the crevices of the mind.  His works recall the importance of memory in a rapidly evolving world.  

Aposynthesis II Detail

Aposynthesis II Detail Shot 2

Aposynthesis II Detail shot 3

John Bizas combines traditional white marble forms in a contemporary carving technique. The marble’s translucent qualities and durability combined with Bizas' emphasis on empty spaces within his sculptures, the viewer makes up the missing elements within their mind.  By omitting particular elements, Bizas furthers this discourse on the influence of monochromatic sculptures and the variety of techniques and texture to convey philosophical and spiritual significance.  


DFS Installation Shot

DFS Roses

Gary Kret employs a monochromatic color palette within his still-life paintings, which resemble Japanse woodblock prints. Inspired by his wife’s flower arrangements as they began to wither and eventually expire, Kret captures this different type of beauty. There is an ambiguous quality to the paintings, resembling that of the known world however with an element of abstraction. His anthropomorphic sculptures are carved from maple and dyed with black aniline and wax finish. Each sculpture an exacerbated movement or action. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan and Master in Fine Arts from Yale University School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut. He currently lives and works in Chevy Chase, Maryland outside of Washington, District of Columbia.

For more details, please contact Mackenzie Spriggs at [email protected] or 202. 803.2782.

Artist's Proof