Nathalie Karg Gallery is pleased to present No Paintings, Seth Cameron’s first exhibition with the gallery. The No paintings are square, symmetrical compositions of finely differentiated, spectrally exact complementary colors surrounding central squares of neutral gray created by the complements’ mix and equivalent to the color of the overall painting field. Extending from Ad Reinhardt’s negational prescriptions (no color, no texture, no line, no value, etc.) and Josef Alber's examination of simultaneous contrast (whereby a color assumes the complementary hue of an adjacent color), the No paintings manifest a recursive mise en abyme: paintings of nothing but themselves.
There are three hue schemes. The first (No 1 – 4) consists of French Ultramarine and Permanent Yellow Deep. The second (No 5 – 8) consists of a yellow-green (Benzimida Yellow and Pthalo Green Yellow Shade) and Dioxazine Mauve. The third (No 9 – 12) consists of Quinacridone Magenta and Pthalo Green Blue Shade. These three complement pairs are equidistant within the trichromatic visible spectrum.
There are three compositions. In the first composition (No 1, No 4, No 5, No 9) the most saturated colors appear along the the top and bottom of each painting. A neutral gray rectangle in the center is adjoined on all sides by rectangles saturated midway between the neutral and most saturated colors. The effect produced is simultaneously a horizontal transparent band and a centered transparent square.
In the second composition (No 2, No 6, No 8, No 10) a central column is composed of a neutral gray square and the most saturated complements. On each side are pairs of vertical rectangles saturated midway between the neutral and most saturated colors. Where they meet at the central horizon, these complements increase in apparent saturation, producing the effect of a horizontal band equivalent dimensionally to the vertical column.
In the third composition (No 3, No 7, No 11, No 12) two equal-sized colored squares on the left and right increase the apparent saturation of the top and bottom of the painting, while a central neutral gray square holds the effect in check.
Seth Cameron (b. 1982, South Carolina) is a painter and educator based in New York. Recent exhibitions include Suns at Susan Inglett Gallery in New York and Measure for Measure at Nina Johnson Gallery in Miami. Cameron is a frequent visiting artist and lecturer on painting, social practice and arts education across the United States and Europe and is an adjunct professor at The Cooper Union, teaching sculpture and aesthetic theory. He is a founder of The Bruce High Quality Foundation and director of BHQFU, the collaborative’s educational initiative, where he teaches creative writing and art history.