The Symphonies of Colors℠
It’s time to rethink paint. Paint is alive!℠
Mike & Madeleine Bülow’s work focuses on the study of paint/color itself and the relationship between color and shape. Unlike Josef Albers, who examined the interrelationship between color and shape, he chose a flat, even surface. Mike & Madeleine Bülow go about their work in a completely different way. They do without the flat surface and elevate painting into the third dimension. One might say that her works are sculptures. But this only applies to the process of creation. The pictures by Mike & Madeleine Bülow are photographs, and therefore 2-D representations of 3-D objects, and thus combine with the tradition of depicting space on a flat surface.
They also relate their work to music and other topics that are interpreted intuitively.
Colorphonie℠ (Combined Painting & Photography) We’re leaving the canvas to seek new ways. Paint/color does not just have to be in the 2nd dimension, it can also be in the 3nd dimension. We want to explore what’s still possible.
Text by: Dr. Gerhard Charles Rump
Art historian and theorist.
The artists Mike & Madeleine Bülow have chosen „The Symphonies of Colors ℠„ as their main title of their ongoing series of works. The colour body of her works is suspended in a liquid, and then photographed, and then selected, printed and presented. What the viewers see is, indeed, a symphony of colours, incorporating musical principles (other arists have done that, too, and composers have attempted to conjure up images in our minds), but the colours are not spread out on a flat and even surface, and they are seen as 3D, creating their own space, their own universe if you so wish.
The colour hues are different from what you experience in everyday life. Notwithstanding their unique character, they still do remind you of the things you know, you have seen before, and you are sure to see in the future. The reason for this is that Mike & Madeleine Bülow rely on certain principles of our perception, and of our biology, too. Every single colour, in whatever tone it may be clad, corresponds with the form, meaning that the same colour in a different form will have a different effect.
This is so because form is unchanging, it is a character of the material thing. Its colour, on the contrary, is not. Colour is an optical effect. An optical effect working directly on and with with our psyche and our experiences. This can easily be demonstrated by placing what in our everyday use would be called a red ball in a box and green late is shed on it, The colour, which in broad daylight appears to us as red, will change. But the form of the ball will, of course, not.
Mike & Madeleine Bülow with Dr. G.C. Rump art historian and theorist.
Some of the contrasts Mike & Madeleine Bülow will inevitably use are highly alerting. They do refer to biology, because some animals use those contrast like red and black or yellow and black or vivid bright colours, in order to fend off their predators. A frog in the Brazilian rain forest, brightly coloured, with vivid contrasts of colour in his skin, signalises to its predators: „I am poisonous, keep off.“ In the same way other animals use those contrasts to signalize „I do not taste good“ or „I am dangerous.“ We instinctively re-experience those effects, because we still have a heritage of those perceptive elements inside ourselves.
But there is, of course, more to it. Their main objective is to probe into the relationship between colour and form. Plus, of course, the effects these relations have on our perception, and therefore our emotions. When Josef Albers investigated the interrelationship of colour and form, he chose a defined area, on a flat surface, and chosen an abstract albeit geometrical form. Mike & Madeleine Bülow go about their business in a completely different way, Renouncing the flat surface and therefore elevating painting into the third dimension, one might say that their works are sculptures. But that is only true in the process of creation. The images of Mike & Madeleine Bülow are photographs, and therefore 2-D representations of 3-D objects, thus connecting to the tradition of representing space on a flat surface, which has been so admirably described in John White‘s book „The birth and rebirth of pictorial space“.
The gist of it all is that Mike & Madeleine Bülow create a universe of colours incorporating musical principles, biological principles, aiming at our psyche through the architecture of our perception. The range of our aesthetics is, in their works, constantly being widened and goes on to explore new dimensions.
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