Seeking Red: Exhibition Explores the Color’s Symbolic Power

Anger, passion, love, power: all words associated with the color red. Across time and culture, red has played an influential role in art. The Ruth Chandler Williamson Wilson and Turk interns present ­­ Searching for the Perfect Red: Selections from the Scripps College Collections, an exhibition showcasing work from around the globe that radiate the color red.  The exhibition, on view from April 1st through April 11th, 2013, illuminates the use of the color red in textiles, ceramics, and prints.

The opening reception, which will feature live music and light refreshments, will be held on April 2, 2013, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Gallery 112, in the Lang Art Building at Scripps College, located at 250 E. 12th St., between Columbia and Dartmouth avenues.

The exhibition will feature an array of 19th century Japanese colored ink woodblock prints by Yoshu Chikanobu and Tsukioka Yoshitoshi, 19th and 20th century Chinese and Panamanian textiles as well as contemporary ceramic sculptures by Victor Spinski, Anne Scott Plummer, and Katherine Besley. The 2012–2013 academic-year Wilson and Turk interns curated the exhibition by drawing from the extensive international art holdings in the Scripps College permanent collection.

The exhibition explores the importance and power of the color red and its changing meanings in art. The brilliant pigment has been in high demand for thousands of years. Carmine, safflower, cinnabar, and synthetic reds have all made their mark in different cultures throughout time. From the blood of the kermes and cochineal insects used to dye cloth in the 16th century to the cinnabar powder used in Chinese art and Indian ceremonies, to present-day food coloring, red is a constant in our lives and continues to be laden with potent symbolism.

For more information on the exhibition, please contact the Williamson Gallery at (909) 607-3397.

Image: Victor Spinski, Glazing a Teapot Red, 2003, ceramic earthenware, 13 ¾ x 17 ¼  x 15 ½ in., Scripps College, Claremont, CA