Fall 2022 Electives, Advanced Practice: Color Poethics – Rit Premnath

Caption: Synecdoche. 1991–present, Byron Kim. Oil and wax on panel. 275 panels, each: 10 x 8″



PGFA 5304, CRN: 4292, CREDIT: 3

Thursday 4:00-6:40pm

Taught by: Rit Premnath

Course Description:

This course will combine workshops, studio projects, and discussions to explore the multiple connotations of color. We will follow Joan Retallack’s call to consider poetics and politics together through the term “poethics.” We will use color not only as an emotional or aesthetic signifier, but also a means of philosophical and political inquiry. The aim of this course will be to better understand and control the use of color by grappling with a wide range of perceptual, formal and theoretical approaches. Short studio projects—including exercises in color interaction—will lead to more sustained independent projects.

We will discuss Wittgenstein’s Remarks on Color alongside Josef Albers’ Interaction of Color to better understand how we see and how we categorize and understand what we see. We will explore specific uses of color to explore issues including race and nationality. Examples include a consideration of black and blue, as deployed by Kara Walker and David Hammons, alongside Frants Fanon’s writing on racialization. Byron Kim’s problematizing racial categories by painting skin tones in his seminal Synecdoche paintings. We will consider Gray as a color of immanence as explored in Hito Steyerl’s video Adorno’s Gray, and theorized by Trinh Minha in Between Dog and Wolf. And we will consider red as a conveyor of spiritual significance in the sculptures of Chiharu Shiota and political power in the work of Sheela Gowda, amongst many others.

Faculty Bio:

Sreshta Rit Premnath has had solo exhibitions at KANSAS, New York; Gallery SKE, Bangalore; The Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis; Tony Wight Gallery, Chicago; Galerie Nordenhake, Berlin; Wave Hill, New York; Art Statements, Art Basel; as well as numerous group exhibitions at venues including YBCA, San Francisco; Galerie Balice Hertling, Paris; 1A Space, Hong Kong; Thomas Erben Gallery and Friedman Benda Gallery, New York. He is the founder and co-editor of the publication Shifter and co-organizes the ongoing Project for an Archive of the Future Anterior. Premnath completed his BFA at The Cleveland Institute of Art, his MFA at Bard College, and has attended the Whitney Independent Study Program, Skowhegan and Smack Mellon. He has received grants from Art Matters and the Civitella Ranieri Foundation, and was awarded the Arthur Levitt Fellowship from Williams College. Based in Brooklyn, Premnath is Assistant Professor at Parsons, New York.