written by Ashley Tyner
Inspired by artists like Rothko, Ellsworth Kelly, Alma Thomas and Barnett Newman, Alteronce Gumby pushes colour theory into a liberatory space — troubling colour’s use as a tool to interpret human value, and instead using it to transport us past social structures into subconscious territories. “We radicalise colour for our own intention,” he says. “We politicise it and use it as a weapon, to degrade one race of human beings from another. So for me to combat that for myself, to liberate myself from these certain notions — especially being a Black man living in America — I have used my work and the vehicle of abstract painting to expand and liberate my own consciousness.”
The Color of Everything is now on view at Nicola Vassell Gallery. Days before the opening, we spoke with the artist about sitting alone in a James Turrell installation in Japan, pondering those images captured by the James Webb telescope, and why he’s starting to consider himself a light artist.