The Full Spectrum: How We See, Feel, and Experience Color

Figge Art Museum
225 W. Second Street, Davenport, IA

Color is a powerful force in painting. Often the first thing to catch our eye, it can make objects stand out or recede into the background. Charles Henry, director of the Laboratory of the Physiology of Sensations at the Sorbonne in the late nineteenth century, theorized that color can affect our emotions: red excites; blue-green calms. The painter Wassily Kandinsky believed it could spark “a vibration from our soul” that could initiate a synesthetic experience.

This exhibition explores how artists use similar color palettes toward different ends in hard-edge and gestural abstraction. How do the different artistic styles affect the play of color? What do you see when you look at red? How does it make you feel? Do you see the same red as I do?

This exhibition was curated by Kimberly Datchuk, PhD, with research assistance from Christy Stephan, and organized by Legacies for Iowa: A University of Iowa Museum of Art Collections-Sharing Project, supported by the Matthew Bucksbaum Family.



Lenore Laine American, 1920–

Three and One Red

, 20th century
Oil on canvas, 61 3/8 x 46 3/8 in.
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Arthur Ross, 1969.318