Blue #001
57,5 x 155 cm, 2017, oil paint on acid free board on Dibond, in private collection

Blue #001 is a work of art that explores the transparency of oil paints and the pigment Ultramarine Blue in particular.

Exhibition view The Mattering of Colour, photography by Sophie de Vos

This work is part of the Light as Translucency series:

When the ground is covered with snow and the skies are white, all light that comes through is held tight: it reflects from the ground and is then reflected again from the sky. What happens next is a sense of lightness. This is also what happens when the gradient arises from multiple sides.

Approaching oil paints as material instead of a means to create an image, led to a focus on the qualities of paints and the behavior of colors and light. Translucent blues lead the way to a sense of endless space and light. Translucency expresses depth in the sense of an expanse: it gives space. Light is never without direction and reflection. As gradients arise from different sides of the canvas they morph together in beams of an undeterminable light grey. Seeing the light seep in from several sides leads to an experience of lightness.

Colour gradients can invoke the impression of translucency, yet at the same time it is a very real characteristic of oil paint as it can appear like glass or lacquer. Often fixed on aluminum plates these color transitions seem to float. By playing with translucency certain qualities of colours are exposed which otherwise remain hidden.