The Exposed Color in Contemporary Art and Culture.
Edited by Barbara Nemitz. Essays by Hideto Fuse, Karl Schawelka and Thomas von Taschitzki. Numerous contributing artists.
Hatje Cantz, Ostfildern, 2006. 283 pp., 200 color illustrations, 6¬æx9¬?”.
Publisher’s Description From the rosy tint of wind-reddened cheeks to the first flush of arousal, from cherry blossoms to Pepto-Bismol, pink is a sweet, intimate, fragile and sickening shade. Few colors trigger more contradictory associations and emotionsÄîtender, childish, plastic, pornographicÄîor are so symbolic of both high and low culture. Pink is sometimes awkward, even embarrassing, but on the other hand it is enjoyed and associated with the idea of beauty. Artists of all hues, from Jean-Honor?© Fragonard to Pablo Picasso, Caspar David Friedrich, Louise Bourgeois, Sylvie Fleury or Pipilotti Rist, have studied it in their works. The examples collected here include those and more, featuring Caspar David Friedrich, the early Joseph Beuys, Willem De Kooning, Andy Warhol and Yves Klein, not to mention contemporaries like Christo, Nan Goldin, Vanessa Beecroft, Wolfgang Tillmans and Takashi Murakami. In addition, Pink gathers work by a group of young talents from the Bauhaus University in Vienna and the Tokyo National University of Fine Arts and Music, where working students cooperated over an interactive web site to investigate the colorÄôs most current perceptions and uses. Their final selection suggests, among other things, that viewer reactions are determined by cultural factors. For example, the positive perception of pink in Japan seems strikingly masculine to the Western viewer; every year the country pauses to contemplate the pink blossoms of the cherry trees, which, after just a few days, drift like snow to the ground, symbols of the death of the samurai, who falls in the bloom of youth.
I bought this book solely on the relationship between its title ((Subjects of Desire: Hegelian Reflections in Twentieth-century France. At least it turned out to be quite interesting!)) and the cover and I know I will buy the above for similar reasons. Pink is the ultimate reversible colour. At least, this is what I found out when deadling with my web and print designer. When gathering material for the new look of the lauragonzalez site and stationery, I told him I wanted something very fleshy. I was more specific with the business cards: I said I wanted people (or their wives) not be able to know the provenance of the cards; they could wither come from a researcher or a call girl. if they managed to follow the links of the cards, the website’s content would clear part of the mystery. Noble Savage did a remarkable job, the basis of which was simple detachment, pink and the interaction of two contradictory fonts: Edwardian script and Helvetica Neue Ultra Light.