Minus Space is delighted to present the exhibition Sanford Wurmfeld: Variations. This is the NYC artist’s second solo exhibition at the gallery and it will highlight a suite of new abstract paintings meticulously organized around a select palette of 29 colors.
For more than five decades, Sanford Wurmfeld has exhaustively investigated the subject of color and its capacity to elicit wide-ranging emotional responses in the viewer. He has produced work across a broad array of media during his career, including painting, works on paper, sculpture, installation, and filmmaking.
For his new exhibition, Wurmfeld presents his latest inquiry into color’s three essential qualities: hue (a single, pure color), value (lightness or darkness of a color), and saturation (relative purity or intensity of a color). Using Arthur Pope’s color system as a point of departure – Pope was an early 20th Century color theorist and fine arts instructor at Harvard University – Wurmfeld organizes his new paintings around a 12-part color circle. which includes each of the 12 colors at full saturation, 10 of those same colors at half saturation (with the exception of yellow and violet), and 7 grays. Wurmfeld then places selections of those 29 colors onto layered grids of shifting alignment, which are often bookended by narrow bands of contrasting colors.
Wurmfeld recognizes color perception to be a highly subjective experience and he openly embraces differing, individualized responses on the part of the viewer. He writes, “For the last hundred years, some artist’s intentional selection of color in painting has been crucial to formulating expression. Such use of particular color choices by the discerning artist, creating through experiences of assimilation and contrast, give rise to various pictorial structures of pattern, space, duration, film, and luminosity. When the active, searching viewer has such emergent experiences, even though these experiences are ambiguous and shifting, the expressive feeling of the work is communicated.”