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This installation begins with the question, How does color operate? From the purely rational (systematic) to the intuitive and emotional (poetic), color occupies elusive territory. It is a perceptual phenomenon as much as a subjective experience. It fluctuates and is never static. In dialogue with form, it is also inherently spatial; it can alternately collapse depth or suggest three-dimensionality, extend or contract a volumetric space.

Drawn from the permanent collection of the Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum, the group of artworks on display highlights a multidisciplinary cohort of artists, graphic designers, and architects who variously engage the substance and appearance as well as the spatial and phenomenological effects of color. The installation is intentionally playful in its juxtaposition of a diverse selection of works from the 1960s to today that speak to the power of color to transform space and ignite the imagination.

Elusive Form is organized by Amela Parčić, lecturer in the College of Architecture in the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, in conjunction with her course “Color in Space / Space in Color” in spring 2023.

Selected works

The Teaching Gallery is a space in the Kemper Art Museum dedicated to presenting works from the Museum's collection with direct connections to Washington University courses. Teaching Gallery installations are intended to serve as parallel classrooms and can be used to supplement courses through object-based inquiry, research, and learning. Learn more