Ellsworth Kelly; Frank Stella
Cory Arcangel with Hanne Mugaas
It was impossible to stroll through MoMA’s Tuesday night opening of “Color Chart,” a group show of bright minimalist and contemporary works, without having hues on the brain. So I couldn’t help but ask some of the legendary artists, many of whom were there for the event, whether they pledged allegiance to any particular shade.
“I have no color prejudice,” Ellsworth Kelly told me as he admired a Gerhard Richter. “They are all top.” Robert Ryman also refused to name a single color, and Frank Stella, pausing in front of one of his paintings, sighed and said, “Oh, honestly, I don’t have a favorite color.” Then he pointed to the sequined clutch of a coiffed socialite. “Right now I love that orange in her bag.”
Young Brooklyn-based artist Cory Arcangel, who lowered the average age of the show’s artists by a few decades, had a definitive answer: Red. As he explained, “As far as I can remember red has always looked good to me—on cars, on Detroit Redwing uniforms.” Clad in a insane-looking sweater by Zurich designer Christa Michel (see photo), Arcangel was stationed far from his piece, “Colors 2005,” a digital manipulation of the Eighties gang warfare flick “Colors.” When I asked him to tell me about the work, he laughed and directed me to the helpful description card. “It explains everything.”
Photos by Scott Rudd courtesy of MoMA