Yellow Heptagonal
W98 x H104.5 cm

Teal Half Venn
W200 x H66.7 cm

Mint Vertical Diagonal
W86 x H172 cm

Beige Rounded Triangle

Blue Inverted Cycloid

Pink Third
W173.2 x H100 cm

Orange Inflected Triamond
W136.5 x H59 cm

Red Inflected Diamond

Maroon Inflected Triangle

Violet Segment

The Shape of Color
An Ode to Ellsworth

Works in Painted Plywood

In Progress

We regard shape and color as independent characteristics; they are traits and concepts that do not typically bear on one another. This collection of works is a thought experiment into bringing them into a direct relation. Their form is their shape; their content is their color. The scale of the work is related to their presence in a room, which posits a relationship to your body. They are not exercises in size - the scale is felt by the body. Scale is the mediating factor - it is what allows shape and color to dissolve into one another - a synesthetic idea.

At this bodily scale, their shape becomes inseparable from their color as they become independent bodies. The shapes are not regular, though they are closely related to recognizable formations. They each begin with a regular shape or configuration and undergo a series of basic operations to become the shapes you see here. They are hung from the wall at a dimension identical to their own thickness - a practical solution, but also one that casts a shadow. With this shadow, the shape contains an implied body of negative space immediately behind it. The projection of the picture plane underscores the works’ volume, presence, and material quality. Each work is composed of plywood, though some effort has been made to conceal this fact. The scale and flatness of the works demonstrate that color can also become material. The manifest opticity of color conceals the work’s native material cues. The shapes are not merely painted plywood. Rather, they are color and plywood.

The title for the body of work refers to two texts written near the middle of the twentieth century: The Shape of Content by Ben Shahn and The Shape of Time by George Kubler.  Shahn’s text lucidly proclaims that the form of an artwork is the shape of its content. The statement is not entirely disagreeable until you consider Donald Judd’s assertion that form and content are somewhat arbitrary divisions akin to the somewhat arbitrary division of thinking and feeling. Thinking enables a shape to be derived out of geometry and mathematical variations, but feeling may determine which color is best associated with the derivation. With Kubler’s text in mind, one might assume that the resultant works from The Shape of Color may only contain self-signals, which communicate only self-evident qualities of its existence. However, considering the whole of contemporary art history one is left with a myriad of adherent signals wherein historical touchstones present themselves to those with the archive to access the references.