KJ Baysa

Wild Blue Yonder

Terminal 7/8 Connector 

Blue is a color, an emotion, a genre of music, a process. It's the shade of forever, the hue of the ineffable infinite. It evokes the dream space of an afterlife, infinitude, timelessness, perpetuity, and otherworldliness. Pervasive and ubiquitous, blue has broad associations with depth, stability, harmony, faithfulness, and confidence. In darker tones it suggests knowledge, power, and integrity; in light tones, healing and tranquility.

The exhibition's title conjures the immense blue canopy that inspired humans to dream of winged flight and to venture into outer space. Below the thin imperiled gaseous envelope that makes life on Earth possible, the oceans comprise our planet's characteristic blue expanses that cover nearly three quarters of its surface. As the color of the sky and the sea, blue symbolizes depth and endless space.

 

The artworks featured in this exhibition share creative approaches to the concept of blue in literal, allegorical, and interactive forms. Together, they present experiences uniquely reflective of the color that surrounds us on a daily basis. Motifs of water and sky dramatically emerge in Moses Hacmon’s hanging fabric kimonos and flags, bearing printed “faces” composed of water. Yumiko Glover's symbolic painting of a towering dark cloud with swirling cherry blossoms portrays Japanese references to devastation and mortality. Kio Griffith’s striking print of book spines bearing titles alluding to the exhibition’s thematic color serves as contrast to Ali Silverstein’s blues-inspired, dynamically assembled canvas abstraction that resonates with Bryan Ida’s ordered architectural painting. Jay Mark Johnson’s cinematic and panoramic time-layered image of rhythmic waves redefines a familiar landscape. The glowing tiny blue light emanating from a figure set against the backdrop of a raging inferno in Jeff Frost’s photograph finds larger form in Johannes Giradoni’s sculptural work: a pixelated, vibrant round blue sculpture with its interactive quality to translate color into sound. Andy Moses’s swirling, viscous-surfaced painting is paired with Jay Mark Johnson’s ethereal time-exposure print of clouds fleeting over Mauna Kea in Hawai’i, visually segueing to Ivan Wong’s richly nuanced atmospheric diptych. Kelly Berg’s diminutive painting holds the concentrated power of a breaking wave, and sets the stage for Bennett Lieberman’s tranquil photo-based coastline panoramas that key his inventive color chip poetry.

United by the color’s expansive qualities, these artworks show how blue saturates our lives with beauty, wonder, and significance.
KJ Baysa, Curator

 

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