From Sunshine to Smileys, Yellow Has a Special Place in Art History. See How One German Gallery Is Exploring the Color in a New Show

The show is on view at the Hannover-based Galerie Koch through April 13.

Installation view of Anish Kapoor's "Yellow Rising" series. Courtesy of Galerie Koch.

This history of art and visual culture owes a huge debt to the color yellow, from the ancient ochre pantings in the Lascaux caves of France to the universally yellow-faced emojis of today. The significance and impact of yellow, in all its shades, is at the heart of the current show at Galerie Koch in Hannover, Germany, titled “Gelb (Yellow): From color accents to monochromy,” on view through April 13.

Anish Kapoor, Yellow Rising (5) (2018). Courtesy of Galerie Koch.

“Yellow” marks the third installment in a series of color-based exhibitions, following earlier iterations that explored blue and red. The gallery has brought together more than 40 works by 30 artists, culled from an international roster of 20th- and 21st-century practitioners running the gambit from Pablo Picasso to Ugo Rondinone.

As the title indicates, some of the works are overtly yellow. Anish Kapoor manages to coax various gradients from the color in his “Yellow Rising” series, in which an almost imperceptibly yellow-tinged white at the center of the canvas bleeds into shades of buttery lemon and gold, with a halo of deep orange at the edges.

Other works subtly consider they ways the color functions in society, such as Alex Katz‘s vertical painting Black Dress (Ulla), which shows a lithe blond-haired woman in a sleek black dress set against a saturated background the color of an egg yolk. Meanwhile, Susanne Kraisser’s bronze sculpture of a woman lying on a lemon-colored pillow is called simply Yellow makes happy.

See more works from the show below:

Susanne Kraisser, <i>Yellow makes happy </i> (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Koch.

Susanne Kraisser, Yellow makes happy (2019). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Koch.

Heinz Mack, A Sunny Day (2014). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Koch.

Andrea Neuman, Seascape (yellow) (2018). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Koch.

Andrea Neuman, Seascape (yellow) (2018). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Koch.

Georg Baselitz, <i>Untitled (Sandteichdamm; Remix)</i> (2006). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Koch.

Georg Baselitz, Untitled (Sandteichdamm; Remix) (2006). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Koch.

Imi Knoebel, Over and Over Z 29 (2007). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Kohn.

Pablo Picasso, <i>Le peintre et son modele </i> (1965). Courtesy Galerie Koch.

Pablo Picasso, Le peintre et son modele (1965). Courtesy of Galerie Koch.

Alex Katz, <i>Black Dress (Ulla)</i> (2015). Courtesy of Galerie Koch.

Alex Katz, Black Dress (Ulla) (2015). Courtesy of Galerie Koch.

Ugo Rondinone, Small Yellow Mountain (2016). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Koch.

Horst Antes, <i>Yellow, white house, fence</i> (2013). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Koch.

Horst Antes, Yellow, white house, fence (2013). Courtesy of the artist and Galerie Koch.


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