- 29 Dec 2023
Heather Gwen Martin,
The color red has held deep symbolic resonance throughout time and across cultures since red pigment made of ochre was employed in cave paintings. Red has symbolized life, health and victory (ancient Egypt); war and triumph (ancient Rome); majesty and authority (Byzantine Empire). In the West it is associated with martyrdom, sacrifice and military pageantry; in the 18th century resistance and revolution; in the 20th century, Communism. It is also a color of contradiction, associated with love but also of war; a signal of alarm and danger; blood and sin; it is a color that stirs emotion. What is it about this color that signifies bright and present danger that can both attract and repel but always demands to be noticed? In RED, fifteen artists embrace the color to varying ends and through various medium: from the pinkish reds of Gajin Fujita’s stencil drawing, through the shimmering reds of Katharine Sierverding’s photograph and to the dark ochre hue of Alison Saar’s print.