Between You and Me

by Jane Lincoln

June – July 2021

A “Space Between” is the perfect metaphor for the moment. The COVID-19 pandemic has upended our habitual lives, and we are slowly moving into a post-pandemic world. Our foundation has been shaken by world and national events. We wait to see if heightened efforts to combat racism will yield a more just society and we hold our breath to see if our democracy will survive. Trust in one another is in short supply as society grows increasingly polarized. Yet, I can’t help but hope that this moment, shrouded in fear and confusion, will be transformative.  

At one of my art exhibits earlier this year, I had a chance encounter with Reverend Nina Barlow Schmid, Minister of the First Congregational Church of South Windsor CT. This led to an exchange about the concept of a “space between” and to the concern that covenants such as the one between Abraham and God in the Christian faith had lost their relevance. Reverend Schmid concluded one of her essays with this statement “Between you and me,” as God infers in the Bible, Genesis 17; “it’s the only way to go.” 

I borrowed that reference for one of my Color Zones in this show. Between You and Me invites you to consider the “space between us” – a centuries-old concept that calls us to surrender and embrace uncertainty. The theme “Space Between” prompted me to work panels that are connected but not touching. I want the viewer to consider the contrast of surface and space, paint and light, opaque and transparent.

Between You and Me, acrylic on paper/board, 12 ½ x 8 inches, 2021

My challenge in choosing colors for Between You and Me was to select ones that conveyed the hopes and fears that have dominated my emotions over the past year. But the painting is also an invitation to consider the current uncertainties of the many personal, global, political, and religious “spaces between.” Black and white portray polarization with the balanced neutral gray above them. The silver iridescent stripe across the gray and the rose glow show my optimism for the future. 

My Color Zones series also speaks to the show’s theme as they inherently intend to seek out color relationships that will influence emotions and create distinctive optical effects.  Colors interact with neighboring colors, edges create optical illusions, and interference pigments cause colors to shift as viewers walk by. 

Gregarious Green, acrylic on paper/board, 36 x 23 inches, 2021

Gregarious Green is a diptych featuring horizontal bands of green – one turquoise rises at the top while the three darker greens weight below. A thin stripe of orange crosses the top while the bottom panel has a slightly wider stripe of pink. These two stripes appear identical in color and reference the glow of orange between the panels and surrounding the painting. 

Versatile Violet, acrylic on paper/board, 18 x 43 inches, 2021

Versatile Violet is a triptych of various violets ranging from bluish to reddish which are enlivened by yellow-green between the panels and surrounding the painting. The surface repeats this yellow-green in the left panel, while both the middle and right panels contain different, more subtle greens.

David Salle in How to See describes my goal for these Color Zones: “A color is seldom experienced independently; we always see one color against another, and those two against another, and those two against a third, and so on. There are dozens of other factors that influence our perception of color, such as value and saturation but what counts most is the intervals between colors, precisely chosen.”

My Color Zones are best seen in person as they expect to interact with viewers.  They may trigger a memory or may be a new experience, but all allow the viewer a moment to pause and observe the power of color. I trust we have learned from our collective pain over the past year and our isolation has shown us the quiet “space between.” If you have the opportunity to visit Kingston Gallery I encourage you to pause, step very close and experience each “space between”.

detail of Between You and Me, acrylic on paper/board, 12 ½ x 8 inches, 2021
detail of Gregarious Green, acrylic on paper/board, 36 x 23 inches, 2021
detail of Versatile Violet, acrylic on paper/board, 18 x 43 inches, 2021

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