From ancient Greek a- (without) and khrōma (color), ACHROME evokes the absence of color, a recurring topic in the avant-garde investigations of many Modern and Contemporary artists, from Édouard Manet to Piero Manzoni, Robert Ryman, Robert Rauschenberg or Roman Opalka. This summer exhibition at Irène Laub Gallery is a group show presenting artworks dealing with the diverse implications of that absence.
For most of us, colors are a code that allows us to structure our perception of the world, a fundamental sensory experience. Therefore, removing colors can be a way to create a disembodied, distanced exploration of reality. In the work of José Pedro Croft, Pascal Haudressy, Roeland Tweelinckx and Panos Papadopoulos, minimal spaces, built in shades of grey and with just a few lines, can establish a meditative atmosphere and focus on the perception of volumes and harmony. Then, as it is the case with Pieter Laurens Mol and Athina Ioannou, a sense of weightlessness and organic growth can emerge from mathematics and inflexible structures. Disappearing colors also evoke the loss of memory and information, as evidenced by the remains of real-life events and historical archives subtly brought to light by Eirene Efstathiou and Lucile Bertrand. In direct relation to that concern, Pedro A.H. Paixão and Gauthier Hubert use a colorless palette to reflect on – or play with – ideas of identity and ethnicity. Finally, ACHROME links to themes of absence, erasure and disappearance in a more direct sense. Works by Rui Calçada Bastos, Gudny Rosa Ingimarsdottir, Bernard Villers and Tatiana Wolska deal the barely perceptible : blocking the view, hinting at something hidden, or drawing upon negative space or leftover parts to shape their composition.