On Colour looks at colour theories, from Newton to Josef Albers, and the impact these have played on 19-century, 20-century and contemporary artists.
The first documented concept of colour theory is believed to have been written by Italian Renaissance artist Leon Battista Alberti around 1435, but it wasn’t until the 18th century, when Isaac Newton published Opticks (1704), that a more distinct and structured notion of colour theory emerged.
On Colour explores the role of the colour wheel; from scientific investigation to its role as artists’ tool and inspiration, the challenge of accurately capturing the natural world, the impact of artists’ intuition and experimentation, and theory as art in its own right.
Focusing on loans from major UK lenders, the exhibition pairs historic books and colour diagrams by artists and theorists, along with works by some of the world’s greatest artists including JMW Turner, Camille Pissarro, Wassily Kandinsky, Andy Warhol, Josef Albers, Ellsworth Kelly, Joseph Kosuth, Damien Hirst, Spencer Finch and Olafur Eliasson. Along with new work by David Batchelor and Liz West.