Robert Swain:Primary Research


There is a new exhibition at Minus Space about Robert Swain‘s intensive work on color sensation.

Swain explains:

I became interested in color in the early 1960s.  There wasn’t a great deal of written information about it, but I work intuitively.  I started to look at color and to make charts and experimental work trying to understand the phenomenology of color.  I don’t look at the work as being objective.  I simply look at it as a way of trying to get into the subject matter of color and to understand it through experience.  And all of this was done visually.  It wasn’t done mathematically.  It wasn’t done in some kind of progression.  It was simply done by painting color charts, looking at them, and deciding in that moment of looking if they were correct or not.”

About his increasing interest in color over the years, he continues, “One thing that fascinates me about color is that each individual color has its own connotation, which can be perceived as emotional or can affect you in some particular way.  One of the things I strive for is to try to bring out the uniqueness of color itself as an expressive force.  Color is involved with radiant energy.  It’s not passive, and in that sense, when you look at color, it’s actually transferring energy into your physical self.  One of the things you try to do is isolate some kind of vehicle, some kind of configuration that allows color to speak of itself and for itself.