Color is like oxygen for me. I must have it around me; I am especially drawn to vivid hues. Most office environments lack color – they are bland, gray and neutral. I think this is because people have strong opinions about color and employers do not want to introduce something (yet, another thing) that could cause conflict or disruption in the workplace. This is a shame, because color (especially wall color) is such an easy element to change in a space — low cost and relatively little disruption, especially if low-voc paints are used.
Last week I was in DC and visited the Reynolds Center at the Smithsonian. They had a fantastic exhibit, Color as Field: American Painting 1950-1975, featuring work by the Color Field artists. The scale of these paintings was impressive — many were 8 feet tall or larger — a fantastic opportunity to see large scale paintings in relation to one another. As I walked through the exhibit, I could imagine similar large expanses of stretched canvas hanging in offices, painted various hues, adding life to a neutral interior.
This weekend I’m off to New York to see the Color Chart exhibit at MOMA. If you need to kill a few minutes at work, check out their online video clips of the exhibit installations — Jim Lambie’s left me giddy (talk about a color-oxygen high), and Niele Toroni’s made me laugh outloud — such a wonderful perspective on life.
Photo credit: The image above is one of Lambie’s installations at the National Gallery.