October 2020 – June 2021
Color Field provided opportunities to question our perceptions while thinking about the impact color has on our lives. It featured large-scale sculptures by six contemporary artists, the free exhibition was displayed throughout the University of Houston’s park-like campus, from Wilhelmina’s Grove (alongside Cullen Boulevard), through the UH Arts District to areas surrounding the Ezekiel W. Cullen Building, Butler Plaza and Lynn Eusan Park off University Drive.
Sarah Braman, Jeffie Brewer, Odili Donald Odita, Sam Falls, Spencer Finch, and TYPOE drew inspiration from Color Field painting, which is a form of abstraction that emerged in the 1950s and 1960s relying heavily on color and flat surfaces devoid of representation. Artists associated with this art movement, such as Helen Frankenthaler, Morris Louis and Sam Gilliam, poured, sprayed or applied paint with rags and sponges to create clouds of color that seemingly float on the surface of the canvas. As early as 1968, Gilliam also created sculptural works by taking his paintings off their stretchers and draping them freely from the wall. The artists presented in this exhibition further extend the Modernist notion of Color Field beyond the flat pictorial field of the canvas, expanding it into the real space that a viewer occupies. An auditory sensory soundscape by Amos Cochran complemented the artworks.
Presented by Public Art of the University of Houston System (Public Art UHS), Color Field was the first curated exhibition of outdoor sculpture staged at the University of Houston and Public Art UHS’s second project in its Temporary Public Art Program.
The exhibition was organized by Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, Arkansas for Public Art UHS. The Houston presentation of Color Field was enhanced through substantial interpretative content and an exclusive digital experience created by Public Art UHS and the University of Houston. The Houston presentation of the exhibition was generously supported The Brown Foundation, Inc.