We are pleased to present the solo exhibition ‘Cross Colours’ by the painter Alteronce Gumby. Alteronce Gumby is an abstract contemporary artist, working across different disciplines, expanding the pictorial language of his works and media.
Alteronce Gumby's paintings subvert traditional understandings of light and colour through the nuanced application of glass and oil paint on panel. The power of complimentary colours in the presented works refers to Joseph Albert’s Interaction of Colour, the colour theory of complimentary simultaneous contrast, where colours are pushing away from one to another. There is an optical illusion created in the unification of pigments, bleeding over from one over the other, and allowing the light and glass to refract those colours from one piece to the next. The glass panels consist of a push and pull action, when thinking about magnetic forces, gravity, pushing away, at the same time, bringing something together. Therefore an ‘otherness’ of language was created with a specific use of colours, Alteronce Gumby describes strong influences by Expressionists Ernst Ludwig Kirchner and Wilhelm de Kooning, therefore using the interplay of contrast.
“Whether it is one force or another, by creation and destruction, stars explode, and the galaxy gives birth to new stars; there is a force of gravity which forms the planets. There is the same on earth; you have to crack eggs to make an omelette, I am approaching my studio practice with the same.”
– Alteronce Gumby
The apparent and striking materiality of Alteronce Gumby’s works give reference to their process of creation and allows the viewer to see and re-feel the literal crafting behind each work. Referring to Stanley Whitney, Jack Whitten, Mark Rothko and Robert Rauschenberg as the painters’ influences, Alteronce Gumby’s artistic technique constitutes a jigsaw pattern of precise and hidden references, inserting raw materials such as fragments of minerals and pigments, glass, rocks and gem stones, while abandoning traditional forms and painting techniques. This unique crafting technique stems from the artist‘s concern of constantly redefining colour and materialities’ meaning and connotation. Challenging the reception of the viewer, Gumby’s work pushes the boundaries of colour and form through their intricate web of layers of darkness and light, spectral reflections and interference. Through Alteronce Gumby’s fluorescent and chromatic spectrum of iridescent colour, the artist engages the viewer and expands the notions through which we perceive form and colour, the subjectivity on identity, the materiality on earth, and in cosmic space.
Whether something ‘has colour’ or not is as hard to define verbally as are such questions as, ‘What is music?’ or ‘What is musical?” quoted the painter and theorist Josef Albers. His book Interaction of Colour, from 1963, provided the most comprehensive analysis of the function and perception of colour to date and profoundly influenced art education and artistic practice. Albers suggested that colour is best studied via experience, underpinned by experimentation and observation.
“We never really perceive what colour is physically.”
– Josef Albers
Alteronce Gumby (b. 1985 in Harrisburg, PA, US) graduated from Yale University's MFA program. Alteronce Gumby’s work has been featured in solo exhibitions at Parrash Heijnen, Los Angeles, US, False Flag, and Charles Moffett gallery, New York, US, and at Fondation des États-Unis, Paris, FR. Alteronce Gumby participated in a group show at Hauser&Wirth Southampton, NY, US, and in Bode Projects’ Berlin artist-in-residence program, in 2021. The artist lives and works in NYC, New York, US.
15 September – 23 October 2021