A special exhibition has come to the National Gallery of Art in Sopot. Its uniqueness lies in its focus – unrelated to any style or epoch, but taking its root in… color red – energetic, sensuous, painful, and historic. “Nazywam się czerwień” |“My name is red” invites a deeper experience of color red via cultural and artistic lenses as well as subjective interpretations.
Born out of Bogusław Deptuła’s original idea, the exhibition presents the history of red through works of art (and not the other way round!). The richness of color red – with all its shades and tones – knows no end. Galvanizing and alluring, illuminating and tempting, red can also cause fear and herald death, burn and destroy – says the curator. Two floors of the gallery feature a range of artworks – videos, installations, paintings, sculptures, textiles – spanning different periods, techniques, styles, and conventions. Some of the well-known artists include Magdalena Abakanowicz, Wojciech Fangor, Teresa Pągowska, Jan Dobkowski, and Gerrit Rietveld. From feminism to abstraction – regardless of connotations – red helps name all that has no name and no voice. The exhibition invites artistic meetings and confrontations, functioning as a space where different aesthetics and perceptions clash with one another. Oil painting, sculpture, graphic art, textiles, spatial installations, videos – all these techniques come together in an ocean of red tones. The aim of the exhibition is to turn our attention to how powerful and intensive the presence the color red has been in the world of art. Choosing to narrate the color in such a way – from both curator’s and artistic perspectives – is a successful means of paradoxically seeking possibility in limitation.
What is the origin of color? For ages, art history has been dominated by drawings – of concepts and ideas – with color occupying the background as if it were a stain filling in the contour. Meanwhile, color is not only the primary visual quality, but it also serves emotional, social, and cultural functions. “We see color anytime we open our eyes in a well-lighted space. Colors, when they contrast, help us make sense of things, people, landscapes – determining how we see and how we feel” – says designer Hella Jongerius. In art and in human perception, color has become an autonomous entity.
Nazywam się czerwień | My name is red
National Gallery of Art, Sopot
Plac Zdrojowy 2
woj. pomorskie, Polska
28 September 2019 – 12 January 2020