Kingston Gallery Associate member Jane Lincoln creates reductive paintings whose subjects, methods, and effects center on color. In an increasingly image-driven world, color’s significance is undeniable. Pantone releases an annual color that sets the tone for design trends internationally. One need only type “the dress” into a Google search to find, at the top of the results, one of the most explosive viral phenomena of 2015, a bitter disagreement about whether a striped dress was black and blue or white and gold (go team #whiteandgold).
Lincoln has said that color is a chameleon, and she explores that observation in terms of both pure color relationships and as observed in nature. She is fascinated by the slippery quality of an individual color as its context changes, and her work involves the optics and the emotions involved with experiencing specific hues.
Since the earliest days of art-making, when a basic palette of five colors (red, yellow, brown, black, and white) reflected the organic materials that artists could locate in their environments, the implementation of color has combined discovery, experimentation, and emotional expression.
Lincoln exhibited her work in the solo exhibition, All About Color, in the Center Gallery in October 2015. This post includes installation shots of that show to accompany our recent conversation. While the images give a great idea of what the exhibition was like, experiencing the paintings in person heightens their effect. This is due to Lincoln’s obsessively consistent color application, and their powder-smooth finish. Each color in her paintings is so soft and precise that it seems tangible, rather than representational. There will be another opportunity to view her work this August at Kingston Gallery in TEN Kingston Associates/Our Voices. Follow us on social media for related updates.
SG: Jane, it is clear that color is crucial to your work. You have shown different series at Kingston Gallery in the past two years, giving us an idea about your range of curiosity and methodology. What are some of the things that set each series apart from each other?
JL: Yes, color is my concentration. I work on several types of work in order to remain fresh and stimulated. Each series is my own invention in order to visually work with the interaction of color.
I invest the most time in the series Color Zones. They reach the largest dimension of my work, referencing sculpture as they project out from the wall and cast a colored glow onto the surrounding surface. Each painting will shift as the viewer moves in front of it. I invite the viewer to come close to inspect the razor-sharp edges and to experience what from a distance exists, but up close may disappear.
In my series Personal Puzzles, I discuss color preferences with people, and find it interesting to work with their color choices. It is my style of painting a portrait. I believe that the grid belongs firmly in our century of art. I combine this fact with the game of Sudoku puzzles to express a person’s color selection. The exchange of chance versus choice makes creating these works a surprise.
The Color Conversations series are white-line woodblock prints based on Josef Albers’ text Interaction of Color, in which the same color can appear to look different. I place an identical color as one square in both the right and left grid of each print. Because of their placement, the matching pair will appear as different colors. Each print begins as a conversation between two colors. How they connect and how they dispute become the subject of the work. The grid itself is a polarizing force, so placing two grids adjacently is an ideal way to prompt a conversation.
SG: Do you work on these series simultaneously, or focus on one at a time?
JL: There are times when I concentrate on one series, particularly the paintings, as they require the most time. But mostly I shift around. The materials and colors fluctuate between the series. For example, the scraps of painted paper from my Color Zone paintings are cut into 2 inch squares so I can tape them onto my Personal Puzzle grids to test the composition. Various color selections from any of the series may be explored further in another series.
SG: What do you plan to show at the Kingston Associate’s exhibition this August?
JL: I will be exhibiting my Color Conversations, which you can read about on my website under Prints. I feel these will be appropriate with the tile of our show “Our Voices.” I plan to include around six of them and will let those installing determine the layout and combinations. This becomes like a small installation – again affected by color interaction. I also plan to exhibit a Color Zone painting titled “Outgoing Orange.”