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Scientific Conference «The Issue of Color in Arts and Art Knowledge»

On Monday, November 22, 2021, at 12.00, the Russian Institute for the History of Arts will host the Scientific conference «The issue of color in art and art history» (cycle «Zubov’ readings»).

Color in (visual) art is perhaps the most mysterious attribute for a work of art. Despite the seeming simplicity of this phenomenon, if you approach it from the standpoint of rigorous sciences — physics (optics), first of all, — in concrete works a truly endless set of combinations is easily discovered, that is, something that escapes any measurement and reduction into a system. This begs a trivial comparison with music, where the simple facts of acoustics — a limited and easily measurable scale — also create exceptional complexity through endless combination. A lot has been said about color in art, because, again, only those suffering from a severe form of color blindness can completely ignore it, which, in principle, are few, and certainly they are not among artists or art connoisseurs! But, as in relation to other «basic concepts», a simple statement of the perfection of the coloristic composition, admiration for the power and originality of the color sense only then gave way to detailed analysis, when the integrity of the classical picture disintegrated, giving rise to parallel phenomena: contemporary art (modernism) and art history. Again, you can resort to the not too original statement that an excess of theorizing in any area indicates an inability to act directly, a lack of will, simply a reluctance to embody a plan in creativity, and not in talking about it. Obviously, not only Runge, but also Kandinsky cannot be considered great colorists, while their contribution to color theory is significant — what can we say about our colleagues, from whom we do not expect any practical reinforcement of common (so valuable!) words. No matter how you evaluate the current state of affairs, the former integrity will not reappear, therefore, you have to act in existing conditions, carefully analyzing everything that was once cognized in some more natural way. Achievements on this path — on both sides, both art and art history — are very significant, there is something to discuss, even try to make an assessment.

The conference will be held in zoom format.