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If one says "Red" (the name of a color)
and there are 50 people listening,
it can be expected that there will be 50 reds in their minds.
And one can be sure that all these reds will be very different.

     —Josef Albers, Interaction of Color, 1963

This Teaching Gallery exhibition explores the use of the color red in a variety of media, including painting, prints, books, and design objects from the eighteenth century to today. In particular, the exhibition focuses on how red in these works mediates our relation to space, time, and both real and imagined places. Combining artworks with quotes from various artists that reflect on the color red, the exhibition examines the links among politics, ideology, and community, and deeply subjective experiences such as memory, fantasy, and the workings of the subconscious. From prints by pop artists Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein, to paintings by Fernand Léger and Gene Davis, to the bright red cover of Mao Zedong's book Quotations from Chairman Mao Tse-Tung and Ettore Sottsass's Valentine Portable Typewriter, the exhibition brings artworks of various historical and geographic backgrounds and aesthetic traditions into dialogue with each other through their shared use of red.

Red is curated by Stephen Leet, professor of architecture in the Sam Fox School, in conjunction with the course "Architecture and Film."

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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