All Articles
All Articles

Miami Art Week 2013: Color Chaos


Miami Art Week 2013: Color Chaos

Our highlight of work that utilizes the power of color to overturn structure

by David Graver
on 12 December 2013

There are over 16 million noted colors and artists have long sought to capture several—if not most—of them. Even Pantone's GEO system is composed of 2,058 new solid colors. Options are limitless, combinations even more so. Across last week's art adventures in Miami, we crossed expressive uses of the spectrum that defied structure, and even redefined it.

Chinese artist Liu Wei's "Liberation No. 1" (2013) plays with the idea of structure, unifying geometric patterning but without rhyme or reason. This oil on canvas triptych—seen at the Rubell Family Collection—alludes to a cityscape in form, but the vibrancy of its color usage lends itself to something more. Perhaps there's a pink horizon, maybe there are buildings of black and blue and green—it doesn't matter as much as the moving, combatant colors.


If the name were not thought-provoking enough, Cameron Gray's “I Have A Feeling I Shall Go Mad. I Cannot Go On Longer In These Terrible Times. I Shan’t Recover This Time. I Hear Voices And Cannot Concentrate On My Work. I Have Fought Against It But Cannot Fight Any Longer…Naww, Fuck It, I’m Good” (2011/2013), an installation at Art Miami (presented by Mike Weiss Gallery) also happened to use color in an explosive manner. The installation featured 27 stacked monitors looping a digital animation—collage work of bright light and movement. The installation did not end there, as the site was scattered with rubbish, sculpture and even an immobile man—often sleeping—sat in a recliner, directed toward the screens. It was vast in scope, with every entropic detail bursting with color.


Angular shapes atop a tartan backdrop form Zhao Yao's "A Painting of Thought III-69" (2013). Also seen at the Rubell Family Collection, this painting features acrylic on found fabric. While it can be argued that it's deeply structured, that's more of an illusion—thanks to its shape-orientation, with the color functioning as more of a conflict-driving puzzle, lacking symmetry but leading to a search for a through-line to its usage.

miami-chaos-1.jpg miami-chaos-2.jpg

"Bouquet" (2013), a wall-mounted sculpture by Emil Lukas, is composed of thread pulled across painted wood and nails. The meticulously random rainbow blends color and begets a shape, or lack thereof, based on density. Colors blend, colors pop. At times, the lack of color at the thinning center draws the eye in, as the viewer seeks a strand to follow. Seen at Pulse Miami and presented by the Hosfelt Gallery, Lukas' work offers a clean example of color dictating form and ultimately the message.

MiamiChaos-4b.jpg MiamiChaos-4a.jpg

"Nilsson Schmilsson" (2013) debuted at this year's Pulse Miami, shown by Freight + Volume. The work, by artist Erik den Breejen, replicates a portrait of musician Harry Nilsson, visible from a distance, while up close, a multi-colored rendering of his song lyrics form the inner-workings. What appears to be a smattering, is actually all in service of the greater image.


The most chaotic of the artworks witnessed, a throwback piece at Art Miami, was Naomie Kremer's "This Much" (1993). Slashes, swipes and layers of pastel, acrylic and charcoal on paper overwhelm—it's a blitz of dabs and dots. And all of that mayhem yields a unified onslaught of a rainbow gone wrong. Shown thanks to Modernism Inc., viewers can feel the inspiration behind this piece and recognize that it must have inspired others.


While exploring Miami's magnificent Pérez Art Museum, we crossed the path of "Wake and Wonder" (2013), by Adrian Esparza. Once again, structure took a backseat to color, as forms were granted new dimension through stripes of developing hues. Also composed of nails, thread and serape, this wall-strung installation—in the AMERICANA: Formalizing Craft gallery room—was visually stimulating and expansive.

Additional reporting by Josh Rubin, Karen Day and Jonah Samson

"Liberation No. 1," "A Painting of Thought III-69" and "Bouquet" photos by Josh Rubin, “I Have A Feeling I Shall Go Mad. I Cannot Go On Longer In These Terrible Times. I Shan’t Recover This Time. I Hear Voices And Cannot Concentrate On My Work. I Have Fought Against It But Cannot Fight Any Longer…Naww, Fuck It, I’m Good” and "This Much" photos by David Graver, "Nilsson Schmilsson" and "Wake and Wonder" photos by Karen Day

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue
Loading More...