Color(ed) Theory Suite

Spaces like MoMA are sometimes overwhelming to visit when compared to smaller gallery visits. It’s difficult to keep up with room after room of combined media of art and the various artists themselves, especially when you happen to miss the intro texts that help to make connections to the curated work.

I did find Amanda Williams’ Color(ed) Theory Suite to be one of my favorites to view. Williams is a Chicago-based visual artist and trained architect. Her work explores color, race, and space in the city while blurring the conventional line between art and architecture. I also have an interest in architectural photography so I found this series not only to be pleasing to look at but also I enjoyed researching more on her architectural background and how she incorporated her skills into this project.

The houses photographed in Color(ed) Theory Suite were chosen to be painted by Williams, and her team of friends and family, due to their impending demolition and were painted specific monochromatic colors Williams created to represent consumer products that are generally marketed toward the Black community both on a national level as well as in the city of Chicago. Some of the photographs’ titles harped back some memories of my own such as “Pink Oil Moisturizer,” “Newport 100,” and “Flamin Red Hots.”

The color theory aspect to this project does add another level of weight to how the photographs are perceived. Are these the colors that represent my community and if so what does that say about how we are treated socially and politically. Further reading the project’s extended text on Williams’ website, she questions, “What color is urban? What color is gentrification? What color is privilege?” I wonder how a project like this would translate in other cities I am more familiar with such as Newark and Jersey City; areas that have be greatly hit by gentrification.

I greatly appreciate getting to know more about Amanda Williams, a new artist for me, and seeing her work displayed at MoMA. Her passion really comes to the forefront of her work knowing how much she contributed consciously and artistically to produce these images. I also know this is an ongoing project so I am excited to see where she moves forward this her work.

Amanda Williams’ Website:

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