The Alan Cristea Gallery will be holding a mixed exhibition based around the theme of a single colour - blue. In his seminal book, The Theory of Colour, Goethe talks of the indescribable effect the colour blue has on the human eye. The colour of the sky and water, it is also a term that alludes to a variety of moods and emotions.
The work of over twenty artists including George Braque, Jim Dine, Robert Motherwell, Mimmo Paladino, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist, Roy Lichtenstein, Howard Hodgkin, Naum Gabo and Richard Hamilton will be hung together, in each case showing how they have utilised the colour in a variety of ways.
It is significant that in so many works the world blue appears as an integral part of the title. Richard Hamilton's Soft Blue Landscape and Victor Pasmore's Blue Fantasy are just two examples showing how the colour becomes more than just a decorative motif and instead a crucial part of the idea behind the image.
The exhibition will juxtapose pieces such as Roy Lichtenstein's Blue Face against Naum Gabo's monoprints and Georges Braque's Birds. Each work will explore an artist's use of the colour in their prints.
In certain cases the colour itself is the driving force behind the printed image. In Howard Hodgkin's Venice Evening, two layers of blue wash were applied by hand to the paper, before printing another rich blue aquatint layer on top. The intensity that this combination creates echoes the unique mood and feeling of a brooding Venice evening.
More than any other colour, blue has been an inspiration to artists. From Yves Klein to Derek Jarman, blue has been portrayed as a signifier of the spiritual, neutral and provocative elements of life.