Color Field Paintings (Browser) (2009)

Color Field Paintings (Browser) are online artworks created when website visitors follow a link that generates a series of browser windows, each with a randomly assigned color based upon a palette established for the piece. These “paintings” reference the color field paintings that emerged in the late 1950s, but in a digital format.

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From Carolyn Kane, Rhizome Curatorial Fellow:

"Color Field Painting ('Where,' after Morris Louis) consists of a series of vertical browser windows that appear consecutively across the screen from left to right. Each browser is set to 800 pixels high, 100 pixels wide, making each window a broad stripe of color. Each stripe is filled with a different color. JavaScript is set to randomly determine which color will be loaded, but the set of possible colors is determined by the artist. The piece plays on the codification of online color in the context of art history. Morris Louis’ painting "Where" (1960), also consists of a series of multicolored bands that run vertically on the composition, and all of Demers’ color are digitally sampled from this palette. However, where Louis’s composition consists of hand-painted lines, and fluid and continuous brush strokes that gently converge at the bottom, Demers’s color bars are all formed according to the same rectangular dimensions and orientation. They are also animated in time; after all of the bars have appeared, they disappear after ten seconds, making his appropriation of the original a commentary on the grid-like structure of HTML code, and the ephemeral character of internet art."

From Eric Sanner, Juror for "Zeros + Ones: The Digital Era" (Featured Artist Selection):

"BNM affiliate climate/gallery recently held a show of art involving digital processes. I was the juror for the show, and thought I’d use this space to clarify my approach to selecting the Featured Artists.

"The first thing on my mind was 'amibition.' I’d rather see an artist take a big, bold stab at something spectacular and fall short than make something polished but “safe.” Beyond that, I tended to lean towards work which either struggled against old media formal constraints, or work which seemed to fondly reference the concerns of artists of past eras, in a brand-new-feeling way.

"Ultimately, there was a lot to like in the show. I had a hard time limiting my selection to ten people – there was more work which really spoke to me, many more than ten. However, when making the final decision about who to feature, I focussed on how innovative the artist’s use of technology was, weighing that above other aesthetic criteria. This 'cyber-modernist' point of view served a filter which helped me make sense of the large amount of very diverse and strong, accomplished work in the exhibition. I’d like to congratulate all of the artists who participated. I was impressed over and over."

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