Boijmans Diary 2016
How loud is blue?
The 68th Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen diary is swathed in blue. As different as the artworks in the 2016 diary are, the one thing they all have in common is the colour blue.
In many cases it is the only colour, as in Expansion no. 37, the sculpture that César made in 1970 from the door of a Renault 4. In other artworks blue enters into a dialogue with one of the other primary colours: with yellow in Hendrik Werkman’s print from his series Hasidic Legends II and with red in David Hockney’s painting Two Deckchairs, Calvi. Even when blue is no more than an accent, as in the winged glass a? la façon de Venise, it is no less radiant.
Blue is the colour of water, of the sea, of the horizon and the sky and it frequently takes on that guise in this diary. But in addition to its celestial dimension blue also has a darker side associated with solitude and melancholy. It has this connotation in Francis Bacon’s predominantly blue painting Man in Blue I.
We frequently encounter blue in the decorative arts; Delft Blue is even named after it. Naturally this diary dedicates ample space to this aspect too. Sometimes blue is the colour of the material itself, as in the glass Persian rosewater sprinkler, and sometimes it is the colour of decorative motifs on ceramics or clothing.
Today we take it for granted that blue is available in a dazzling array of different shades but that was not always the case. The blues used by artists in earlier centuries came from distant lands and were often extremely costly. This year’s diary also explores the pigments, paints and blue-tinted papers used by painters and artisans.
The title of this diary is: How loud is blue? Throughout the course of 2016 fifty-four artworks from the collection of Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen will provide varied answers to that question.
Size: 22,5 x 19 cm, 68th edition.
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