Having our Colours Done – for the Fall Canadian Art Season

By: Linda Rodeck

Painter

join us this season for a dose of chromotherapy

I may be the only person old enough in the Canadian and Inuit Art departments to remember the craze of “having your colours done”. Trained colour consultants would be engaged to find colours for their clients to wear that best complemented their complexion, eyes, and hair colour, thereby enhancing one’s attractiveness and boosting one’s confidence. People were categorized as Seasons. Cool colour palettes were “Winters”, warm muted colours were “Falls”. You get the idea.

We know colour can have a powerful effect on us. Whether dramatic, sophisticated, soothing or subtle, colour impacts our mood and carries varied – even contradictory- cultural meaning. Our reaction to colour serves both a biological purpose, and an aesthetic ambition.

Each season, one of our favourite projects leading up to the auction preview, which begins tomorrow (dates and times below), is determining the set up of our preview gallery in order to best enhance the works of art being offered that season. This involves decisions about layout, placement of lots, lighting and choice of wall colour. While I suspect I can be somewhat dictatorial about some of these decisions, the fact is they are largely predetermined by the sale itself. Once we reach our consignment deadline and begin laying out our catalogue, it becomes very apparent that we have a “blue” sale or a “coral” sale or a “violet” sale. Inevitably, one colour or two seems to dominate, and the rest falls into place accordingly.

This year, several key paintings inspired our choice of wall colour and we have developed spaces that contain families of paintings and sculpture which play off one another. They have been set in environments that have been prepared to enhance your ability to read them and enjoy them.

While Russell Foster, a neuroscientist at Oxford, maintains “The whole point of colour vision is not to inspire poets, but to allow contrast detection,” (Tom Chivers, February 2015, The Telegraph), I can’t help but take a slightly less scientific position. And while I can’t argue with an Oxford intellect, I hope the layout and design of our saleroom both pleases and inspires you. Please join us this season for a dose of chromotherapy.

(Oh, and in case you were wondering, I’m a “Summer”).

Linda G. Rodeck,
Senior Specialist

 


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