I am having a love affair with red at the moment. Maybe it’s a winter thing.
As I indulge myself cruising around artstack, pinterest, and the bulging folders of artworks on my hard drive – works saved over many years, just-in-case – I notice my heart reaching out towards those pieces that are unashamedly vibrant with red, red, red – red a hundred ways; in every language red’s wild energy makes human beings stop, sit up, and most often, smile. (Oh yes, I’m aware of the connections this colour can have with anger and frustration, but for most of us, it’s the colour of life.) Here are a few favourites that get my smile muscles going and make my heart happy.
Henri Matisse – The Red Studio, 1911
Colin McCahon – Ahipara, 1970
Georgia O’Keeffe – Black Door with Red, 1954
Deborah Barlow – Colasee
Fabienne Verdier – Shen (La Quintessence)
Jean Miro – Paysage
Diane Foug – Red
Mark Rothko – Untitled (Red), 1958
Emily Mason – Slipped Beyond, 2009
Shane Drinkwater – Red 2
Do you have favourite red paintings? How do they affect you? If you’re an artist, do you work with strong reds?
I’ve only played with red in a small way – when I was working with dyes on silk. Oh the lustre of red silk! (Interestingly, one of those pieces won a National award.)
I can feel a reunion with RED coming on: watch this space.