Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Colour has never been free

When colour management takes over, it is not as if it replaces some imagined freedom of colour. Colour has never been free. The difference lies in the manner of its administration – from a semantic to a mathematical formation. The movement includes a false dawn of freedom at the moment of coal-based aniline dyes: the Impressionists as poster boys. That freedom collapses in the 'little chemists', Grémillon's taunt at the pointillistes, and even more so (genuine) risk of meaninglessness in the fauves and the expressionsts. Art historians have merely recognised, in their adulation of the colourists, the anarchy of colour, in Mattisse or in die Brücke, in whichm at their nadir, the whole language of colour risks collapse. This disaster is articulated by malevich under the sign of the transcendental; another proof that the sublime and despair are next door neighbours.