Art Brussels 2016

Art Brussels 2016

Green Doesn't Sell

21.04.16 → 24.04.16


Sorry We're Closed proposes the curatorial project GREEN DOESN'T SELL!
How to approach the green color, which is its position in the Contemporary Art, how is perceived? So many aspects as question the employment of this tint today. For AB20016, SWAC conceives its stand as a real exhibition, giving to see the work of about twenty artists of origins and diverse practices.



Before being pigment, material or light, the color is an idea, a concept []. Between the real color and the named color, there is moreover sometimes enormous gap. The white wine for example has nothing white, otherwise it would be some milk! "


This Michel Pastoureau's quotation (historian French medievalist, specialist of the symbolism of colors) outcome puts into series of six entitled books: "history of a color" in which he reviews the white, the red, the black, the green, the blue and the yellow, demonstrates us in a relevant way that our relation in the color is inferred by the context in which we apprehend it.


Numerous errors, myths or anecdotes drove us in the course of time to perceive the green color as " not grata " in our inside. In the history of the representations, that these are theatrical, pictorial, clothing or ornamental. Why the green color has suffered from this disgrace?


Here are some lightings:

The green does not exist naturally as color. It is the sum of the mixture of the blue and the yellow. Nevertheless it exists abundantly in the Nature.


Its manufacturing by the man, said alchemical because made by the fusion of two materials, the blue and the yellow, stayed for a long time an idea taboo, outlaw at the time of the Bible because it meant taking itself for the Creator.


Ancient Rome developed a range of greens from the Green Earth. This color, relatively ignored in the western Middle Ages will live again in the Renaissance with the appearance of a very accomplished work on lands, which will produce a pallet of rich and subtle greens. Unstable, expensive to make, dangerous to manipulate, the green color had only parsimoniously used.


In the Middle Ages, the verdigris, the pigment used by the painters, was also a poison. The fact that the green was often banishes would result from the toxicity of components used to make its tint (in this particular case the copper oxide or later the Cyanide) at that time, which had cost the life to some painters and actors or to great names of history such as Napoleon.


With the green, the relationship enters chemical and symbolic shows itself fascinating.


Between XI and the XIVth century, it becomes a courteous color, a color of the chivalry, the courtesy, the allegiance and it develops as well in the dye as in paint, but its use serves to represent universes very differently from those of today: sea, natural bed, devilish characters, it takes on alternately very different connotations. As long as the painters took out their studio to paint the nature directly on the motive, they did not need to use abundantly the so expensive and delicate, green color. The question arose especially from the pre-impressionists, the naturalists and the British landscape painters.


It is necessary to wait for the discovery of the chromatic circle by Newton in the XVIIth century, so that we place the green halfway enter blue and yellow. His discovery concerned the painters only enough late. " Conversely it is likely also that well before this discovery the painters had empirically noticed that by mixing of the blue and the yellow ", we obtained from the green. It is thus the couple eye and brain which produces the green.


Symbol at the same time of fate, youth, but also disease and death, mischief, but also color of the prophet, the green is as says it Michel Pastoureau: " chemically and symbolically the most unstable of colors .et will stay for a long time the emblem of the most unstable of the goddesses: the Fortune "!


Come to try your luck with Green Doesn't Sell!

Selected Images