Breathing Colour

Hella Jongerius and the perception of colour and form.
Part 2 of 2 of new exhibitions at the Boijmans.

Hella Jongerius – Breathing Colour

“Colour is a visual experience, not a scientific one. The fact that there is no objectivity in colour is a blessing.”
Hella Jongerius.

Her idea of the perception of colour being dictated by the time of day and in turn the amount of daylight is the ‘storyline’ of the exhibition; beginning in the morning section where shadows are transparent and colours are generally soft; shown through transparent and translucent pieces of subdued, coloured resin forms and hanging cotton like textures. The starting point for Jongerius is her discovery of the notion of metamerism. Metamerism is when two different colours appear to match. One relatable example is when you might buy a piece of clothing or furniture from a store or showroom and experienced a shock when viewing it again at home; something that companies see as problematic and make ‘safe’ colours which attempt to eliminate this and remain the same colour under every light. Jongerius, as a designer, saw this as wrong and through her work and research is making a plea to embrace metamerism and encourage people to create intense colour which is able to breathe with varying light.

Museum Boijmans van Beuningen – Hella Jongerius – Breathing Colour

“My ultimate aim is to pit the power of colour against the power of form.”
Hella Jongerius.

After midday and into the evening when the sun has set, the warm air creates an orange, red and purple light. This atmosphere makes colours seem bleached out or saturated, they flow into each other. As the sun begins to disappear behind the horizon, colour becomes less bound to objects and emerges as an atmospheric phenomenon filling the sky with fiery hues. Finally at the end of that day and into the night the sunlight is gone and our eyes adjust, shifting from one way of looking to another: cone cells to rod cells. Because of this shift we become more sensitive to the contrasts between light and dark and our light spectrum shifts towards blues. Forms fuse together as shadows in a range of blacks fill the voids in and between shapes. Jongerius knows that industrial colours are made by adding more and more black; however she also knows that real painters create depth and dark from mixing complimentary colours.

Museum Boijmans van Beuningen – Hella Jongerius – Breathing Colour

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