Spencer Finch, Study for Back to Kansas, 2014, acrylic and pencil on paper. McEvoy Family Collection. Courtesy of James Cohan

Spencer Finch, Study for Back to Kansas, 2014, acrylic and pencil on paper. McEvoy Family Collection. Courtesy of James Cohan

Exhibition

Color Code

McEvoy Arts’ fifth anniversary exhibition celebrates the many ways that color is used to convey meaning and elicit emotion.

McEvoy Arts’ fifth anniversary exhibition Color Code explores, challenges, and expands on the many ways that color is used to convey meaning and elicit emotion. Decades of modern and contemporary works from the McEvoy Family Collection join four new commissions by Bay Area artists Sadie Barnette, Angela Hennessy, Clare Rojas, and Zio Ziegler to showcase how we bring color into our lives.

Over the centuries in science and in the arts, color theories abound. Aristotle held that God sent down color from the heavens as celestial rays, while Sir Isaac Newton’s experiments with prisms led him to declare that the real basis for color is in light itself. For visual artists, filmmakers, and designers, color is a tool used to connect us to the stories, cultures, and values embedded in their works. So much of the human experience—joy and suffering, peace and war, power and subjugation—have been tied to the meanings we attribute to color.

Color Code brings these histories and meanings together to consider the ways in which color can bind us together and pull us apart. Barnette’s installation is a rainbow tribute to family that celebrates connection and legacy. Hennessy’s tableaus bring forth the complicated racial and colonialist histories embedded in black and gold. Inspired by her roots in printmaking, Rojas’s portraits of a girl play with the ways in which palette can alter space, character, and mood. And Ziegler’s paintings are as complex as the imaginary landscapes of Hieronymous Bosch, delving into memory as a fiction in the digital age. These new works supplement a wide array of painting, sculpture, and photography from the McEvoy Family Collection by such visionaries as Etel Adnan, Ricci Albenda, David Alekhuogie, William Eggleston, Spencer Finch, Justine Kurland, Marilyn Minter, Gordon Parks, and David Benjamin Sherry, among others.

In the Screening Room, a concurrent program of short films focuses on the relationship between light and color, organized by the Exploratorium’s film curators Liz Keim, Kathleen Maguire, and Samuel Sharkland. A complementary slate of public programs, including live workshops and demonstrations by artists and designers, to be announced.