Sun / Mar 26


About the Exhibition

Cited as the most popular color worldwide, blue incites joy and sadness, wonder and nostalgia, vitality and illness, nature and science. While this spectrum of meaning and effect embraces broad polarities, longing and transformation consistently attend contemporary artistic use of blue as mood and hue. Brilliant blue pigment derived from lapis lazuli stones has been prized by artists since Medieval times; Renaissance painters reserved blue to denote divinity; and the blue fabrics featured in 18th and 19th century portraits signaled exalted social or political status. “A quest for the infinite” is how 20th-century French artist Yves Klein described his obsession with the color blue: in 1958 he patented International Klein Blue.

The transformation of everyday materials, experience, and imagery animates this contemporary exploration of the chromatic, sensory, and psychological effects of blue as color and concept. Blue horizons illuminate utopian visions of nature and art in paintings by Hubert Noi Johannesson and Marta Kucsora; blue skies suffuse the dream-like visions in photographs and videos by Pano Pra Manga, Denise Grunstein, Dinh Q Le, Mark Fox, and Alain Declerq; blue is the hue or mood of obsession in works by Elmgreen and Dragset, Slater Bradley, Graham Dolphin, and others; and blue lends existential resonance to meditations on family, adolescence, and aging by Gaela Erwin, Anders Krisar, Pierre Gonnord, Trine Sondergaard, and Alessandra Sanguinetti. Patricia Piccinini’s wall sculpture alludes at once to the evolution of nature and 21st-century technology and the abiding longing to reach new, farther shores: Mare Cognitum—“the sea which has become known”—is the name given by scientists to a lunar sea bed.

“The weight of the world is love,” repeat the three graces featured in Ragnar Kjartansson’s six-hour video, Song. Filmed in Pittsburgh’s Carnegie Museum of Art, the neo-classical setting aligns Kjartansson’s contemporary reverie with the ancient Greek ideal of beauty and truth. Here, truth emerges from endurance and idealization, offering a transformative immersion into the blue.


Exhibited works to include:

Ragnar Kjartansson (Icelandic)
Song, 2011
Single channel HD video with sound
Running time 6:00:00

Denise Grünstein (Swedish)
Headhunter, 2009
C-print on aluminum

Patricia Piccinini (Australian)
Mare Cognitum, 2010
Automotive paint on ABS plastic
Courtesy of the artist and Conner Contemporary Art, Washington, D.C

Hubert Noi Johannesson (Icelandic)
Malverk af Malverki, 2007-2008
Oil on canvas

Trine Søndergaarde (Danish)
Strude #17, 2010
Chromogenic print on Dibond

Strude #1, 2010
Chromogenic print on Dibond

Pano Pra Manga (Brazilian)
The Flying Lesson, 2007
Single channel video with sound
Running time 4:00 minutes

Dinh Q. Lê (Vietnamese-American)
Go Cong Do Beach 4, 2006
Chromogenic print

Go Cong Do Beach 2, 2006
Chromogenic print

Slater Bradley (American)
I’m not sad, I’m sure I will be, 2001-2003
Single channel video with sound
Running time 51:34 minutes

I hate myself and want to die, 2003-2004
Chromogenic print

Gottfried Helnwein (Austrian)
Marcel Duchamp, 1994
Oil and acrylic on canvas

Graham Dolphin (British)
Johnny Cash Spiral, 2007
Scratched album cover

Elmgreen and Dragset (Danish and Norwegian)
Ganymede (Jockstrap), 2009
Laserchrome color print mounted on aluminum

Marta Kucsora (Hungarian)
Fluctus, 2007
Oil on canvas

Gaela Erwin (Louisville-based)
Love Gloves, 2011
Pastel on paper

Mental Dental, 2011
Pastel on paper

Pierre Gonnord (French)
Miroslaw, 2011
Chromogenic print

Do Ho Suh (Korean)
Karma, 2004
Lithograph with hand coloring

Julie Blackmon (American)
Candy, 2007
Archival digital print

Venetia Dearden (British)
Tom explores, 2005-2007
Chromogenic type print

Mark Fox (American)
40 Days: Elegy for the Great Hall, 2003
Single channel video with sound
Running time 46:00 minutes

Alessandra Sanguinetti (American)
Belinda and Rosita, 1999
Fujiflex print

Five Minute Angst, 1999
Fujiflex print

Immaculate Conception, 1999
Fujiflex print

Anders Krisar (Swedish)
Two as One, 2005
Aluminum, magnets, cable, hardware

Alain Declercq (French)
B52, 2003
Offset print

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