San Francisco, CA. August 18, 2022 – McEvoy Foundation for the Arts announces new programs for Color Code (September 23, 2022–February 11, 2023), its fall exhibition about the many expressions of color in the arts. Marking the organization’s fifth anniversary, Color Code presents modern and contemporary artworks from the McEvoy Family Collection and commissions by Bay Area colorists Sadie Barnette, Angela Hennessy, Clare Rojas, and Zio Ziegler. The exhibition is joined by Visible Light, an original program of short films about color as light, and a series of hands-on workshops that give attendees opportunities to connect with their inner color spectrum through color meditation and discover new identities through costume design.
For many visual artists, filmmakers, and designers, color is a tool used to connects us to the stories, cultures, and values embedded in their works. Color Code brings painting, sculpture, and photography from the McEvoy Family Collection together with new commissions in an exhibition that features a variety of expressions and applications of color.
Each of the four commissioned Bay Area artists has developed an original presentation that expresses their unique approach to color. 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.
“It has been a deeply satisfying experience to organize and share this exhibition and its related programs with the world,” says McEvoy Arts executive director Susan Miller. “In assembling this show, we’ve encountered so many talented artists and designers who use color powerfully in their creative practices. It has also given us an opportunity to explore the McEvoy Family Collection from a fresh angle and bring works together that reveal the power of color in art. Color is all around us, and so often we take it for granted—Color Code seeks to create a space to contemplate its varied meanings, whether widely shared or deeply personal.”
Works from the McEvoy Family Collection include examples by rigorous colorists Etel Adnan and Richard Diebenkorn whose work addresses color’s psychological and optical effects. David Alekhuogie and Gordon Parks use color to frame personal narratives and amplify historical voices. Photographers Bruce Davidson and Marilyn Minter focus their lens on specific clothing and makeup choices, illustrating color’s key role in identity and self-fashioning. Minimalist sculptors Donald Judd and Katharina Fritsch use monochrome palettes to pin one color in space and scrutinize how shifts in light alter saturation levels.
Color Code artists make deliberate choices about how much color to use, with some using a limited palette to harness the power and potential of a single color, as in Rico Gatson’s lime-green rays to illuminate Aretha Franklin’s aura, and others engaging a wide spectrum to unify disparate parts, as in Spencer Finch’s annotated grid of seventy colors from the Technicolor classic The Wizard of Oz. From the delight of the unexpected reds and oranges that give dimension to Wayne Thiebaud’s shadows, to the awe of the immersive swirl of colors that Petra Cortright sources from the internet and uses as “paint” in her digital paintings, Color Code celebrates how color holds a wealth of feelings, ideas, and stories within it that are unveiled if we’re willing to look close enough.
Visible Light, a program of short films expands the exhibition’s themes into the realm of moving images, runs daily. This two-part, two-hour program features more than a dozen 20th and 21st century films by filmmakers from all over the globe. The first program, Aberration, features experimental films that explore shifting spectrums over time and various deviations in color representation. It is followed by Meditation, a program of contemplative works designed to inspire and delight in projected luminescence.
Visible Light is guest curated by San Francisco Exploratorium’s film curators Samuel Sharkland, Liz Keim, and Kathleen Maguire.
Alfred, Esther Urlus, 2019/20, 6 min.
Attraction, Emily Scaife, 2019, 5 min.
CMYK, Marv Newland, 2011, 7 min.
45 7 Broadway, Tomonari Nishikawa, 2013, 5 min.
Girls on Film, Julie Buck and Karin Segal, 2006, 8 min.
Glistening Thrills, Jodie Mack, 2013, 8 min.
Hillocks, Maria Constanza Ferreira, 2021, 3 min.
3 Degree K #2, Lilian Schwartz, 1982, 4 min.
Study in Color and Form, Jonathan Gillie, 2015, 4 min.
Terra Incognita, Kerry Laitala, 2009, 9 min.
Because the Sky is Blue, Wenhua Shi, 2020, 4 min.
In Waking Hours, Sarah Vanagt and Katrien Vanagt, 2015, 18 min.
Light Year, Paul Clipson, 2013, 10 min.
Two Space, Larry Cuba, 1979, 8 min.
when the East of the day meets the West of the night, Yuge Zhou, 2020, 14 min.
Color Code’s hands-on workshops provide opportunities for participants to further explore the role color plays in their lives, and learn more about their personal color palettes.
Saturday, October 8, 2pm
Experimental drag performance trio Toxic Waste Face leads an interactive characterization workshop exploring how color informs identity. With a series of character prompts and a one-of-a-kind crafting materials, participants make their own original masks to unlock new perspectives on self-expression, stereotypes, and pop culture. Toxic Waste Face is known for their collective examination of issues of contemporary gender identity and social performance through explorations of the fantastic, the grotesque, and the colorful.
Your Intuitive Colorscape
Saturday, November 12, 2pm
Textile artist and author Lise Silva Gomes hosts an introspective color experience. Through projected color fields, guided meditation, and open-ended creative exercises, participants unlock chromatic memories that point them towards a personal color language they can bring into their daily lives. Working in a community-grounded art practice, Gomes fosters an environment of mutual support that prioritizes ethics in craft and reveals the power of visualization as a creative tool.
Space at these events is very limited. Tickets go on sale approximately one month before each workshop. Visit mcevoyarts.org/events for more information.
McEvoy Foundation for the Arts presents exhibitions and events that engage, expand, and challenge themes present in the McEvoy Family Collection. Established in 2017, McEvoy Arts creates an open, intimate, and welcoming place for private contemplation and public discussion about art and culture. Rooted in the creative legacies of the San Francisco Bay Area, McEvoy Arts embodies a far-reaching vision of the McEvoy Family Collection’s potential to facilitate and engage conversations on the practice of contemporary art. McEvoy Arts invites artists, curators, and thinkers with varied perspectives to respond to the Collection. Each year, these collaborations produce exhibitions in the McEvoy Arts gallery, film screenings and exhibitions, as well as music, literary, and performing arts events each year.
McEvoy Foundation for the Arts is located at 1150 25th Street, Building B, San Francisco, CA 94107 and is open to the public Wednesday–Saturday, 11:00am–6:00pm. Exhibitions are free and open to the public. For more information, visit mcevoyarts.org.