Colour in Art
5 February – 13 June 2010
COLOUR IN ART was a magnificent, visual journey of discovery into the inextricably close, but often stormy relationship between artists and colour in the twentieth century. It took the viewer through an array of brilliant works by the greatest names in modern art.
COLOUR in ART included each and every nuance. Here you could experience the entire history and development of modern art, seen and told through colour. Comprising 150 works by 72 different artists, the exhibition explored how artists – from the late 1800s until today – have worked and experimented with taming and interpreting colour as a medium.
COLOUR in ART was based on the Swiss couple Werner and Gabrielle Merzbacher’s rich collection. A well-kept secret until about 10 years ago, the collection has been hailed by the New York Times as “one of the world’s finest private holdings of modern art.” The couple had generously allowed Louisiana to pick and choose from its collection, the focus of which is primarily on the first half of the 20th century.
Louisiana contributed to the exhibition with works from the museum’s own collection where the main emphasis is on the post-war period. This allowd the whole palette of modern art to be displayed, from Matisse and Monet through Kandinsky and Nolde, to Richter, Hockney and Sam Francis.
The tour of the COLOUR in ART exhibition began in the museum’s East Wing with Impressionist gems from the Merzbacher collection. These mark the great change in the use of colour in the late 1800s when the Impressionists moved out into the open air to translate momentary sense impressions into painting. This revolutionary way of seeing paved the way for a new period’s colour experiments – a development you can follow as you move through the exhibition into the museum’s South Wing.
Here works from the Merzbacher collection – eight by Wassily Kandinsky that are central to the collection – were interwoven with Louisiana’s own works by such artists as Lichtenstein, Frank Stella and Morris Louis, as well as new acquisitions, for example Japanese Kusama’s Gleaming Lights of the Souls of 2008: a white cube inviting visitors to enter a gleaming ‘sea’ of small, coloured lights.
supported COLOUR in ART