Lynne Harlow‘s elegant and evocative show at Minus Space is a meditation on the inextricable relationship between color and light. In the ten works on display, Harlow explores pale pink. This is not the generic pastel pink of children’s toys and baby onesies, but rather the specific color that painter Lyonel Feininger created for architect Walter Gropius to mimic the effect of reflected light at dusk.
[Image at top: Lynne Harlow, installation view at Minus Space.]
In 1938, Gropius designed and built a home at 68 Baker Bridge Road in Lincoln, Massachusetts, for his family. A Modernist masterpiece, the house featured stark white walls throughout, but Gropius was unhappy with the glare that bounced off the second floor deck. In 1949, he decided to paint one of the walls a very pale pink, which eliminated the glare and created the enduring illusion that light was falling across the wall. This innovation worked so well that the color is now available in premixed house paint. The pieces in the show span a range of materials, including Plexiglas, LED-lit acrylic, paper, fabric, paint, and projected light.
For the past 15 years, Harlow, who lives in Providence, Rhode Island,
has exhibited her work nationally and internationally. Her work was
included in the 2013 Biennial at the deCordova Sculpture Park and
Museum, in Lincoln, Massachusetts, not far from 68 Baker Bridge Road. Harlow told me at the Minus Space opening that she was fascinated by the pink wall when she first
visited Gropius’s house. Walking into the gallery, viewers are bathed in
the same delicate warm pink. In this outstanding exhibition, Harlow
brilliantly harnesses the mysterious relationship between color and light to tap quietly into our overloaded emotional circuitry.
“Lynne Harlow: Ask the Sky, Baker Bridge Road,” Minus Space, DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY. Through April 9, 2016. Artist’s Talk, Saturday, March 19 at 3pm.
Readymade color at MoMA
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