The Colour Journal: The Blue Issue
Benjamin Grillon (Ed.)
Alep Publishing, 2023
The Colour Journal is a lavish publication that explores colour in art and photography. It has been conceived as a collection of six volumes, each devoted to a single colour: blue, red, yellow, green, white and black. The Blue Issue contains, over more than 400 pages, about twenty contributions by international art historians, writers, anthropologists, philosophers, critics, artists and photographers that start from the colour blue.
The Colour Journal is not simply another publication about the meaning of colour. Colours have not been approached in a literal way but as a starting point, a pretext to tell bigger stories, a means of revealing the story within the story: we all know Henri Matisse’s Blue Nudes, but who can say the same about Biskra, the forgotten Algerian oasis that inspired him? We may also know about the ultramarine pigment that Yves Klein patented, but who has heard of Edouard Adam, a merchant in Montparnasse who discovered its formula?
The Colour Journal intends to fight against the dictatorship of immediacy, to give depth to the pretty images of fashion magazines and Instagram feeds, to delve into familiar moments of art history and discover what lies beneath, to dig into museum libraries and reveal unseen treasures.
To bring this enterprise to life, we travelled from Idaho to Guangxi, from antiquity to the present day, to bring you a dialogue between forgotten archives and contemporary photography: follow a denim hunter in the American West, visit one of China’s last cultural minorities, peek into Helmut Newton’s private collection of Polaroids and dive into David Hockney’s chlorinated swimming pools.
Works by Giotto, Sassoferrato, Yves Klein, Georges Braque, Alberto Giacometti, Constantin Brancusi, Helena Almeida, Anna Atkins, William Henry Fox Talbot, Tim Barber, Elin O’Hara Slavik, David McDermott & Peter McGough, Henry Peter Bosse, Arthur Wesley Dow, Frederick K. Coulson, William H. Cades, Jean-Eugène Durand, Paul Burty Haviland, Kenro Izu, Lourdes de Castro, Henri Matisse, Jean Geiser, Auguste Maure, Felix Moulin, John Beasley, Lehnert & Landrock, Hélène Adant, Jacques Majorelle, David Hockney, Julius Shulman, Mel Roberts, Bob Mizer, George Tate, Ed Ruscha, John Divola, Grant Mudford, Reenie Barrow, Jonh Schott, Henry Wessel, Rene Burri, Raymond Depardon, Bruce Davidon, Robert Adams, Mark Swope, Joe Deal, Lewis Baltz, Frank Gohlke, Lee Friedlander, Bernard Plossu, William Claxton, Charles Brittin, Marvin Silver, Seymour Rosen, Ed Ruscha, Helmut Newton, Cecil Beaton, Dorothea Lange, Russell Lee, John Vachon, David Abrahams, Jeff Boudreau, Charles Fréger, Alexandre Guirkinger, Robbie Lawrence, Rafard & Roussel, Daniel Shea.
Texts by Michel Pastoureau, Benjamin Grillon, David Campany, Tim Ingold, Bertrand Raison, Rosanna Mclaughlin, Liam Hess, Robin Muir, Alexandra Genova, Philonema Epps.