Colour Quartets

Mel Bochner's Four Colour Quartets print series, consists of First Quartet, Second Quartet, Third Quartet, and Fourth Quartet. Created in 1990, the series presents a rich exploration of colour theory and abstract composition. Each lithograph in the series is distinguished by its unique configuration of vivid colours arranged in geometric forms. Straying from his typically vibrant hues, this series adopts contemplative muted tones, suggesting depth and introspection.

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Meaning & Analysis

In the Four Colour Quartets series, Mel Bochner investigates the relationships between different colour hues through a methodical arrangement of shapes. Each quartet serves as a standalone study of colour interactions, with the compositions typically featuring a series of concentric squares or rectangles that shift in colour from the centre outward or vice versa.

The geometric precision in the arrangement of the shapes adds a structural dimension to the works, emphasising the considered nature of colour theory application. The visual tension between adjacent colours and the impact of colour on spatial perception are key elements explored in these works. The viewer’s eye is drawn to navigate through the layers of colours, experiencing shifts in visual weight and temperature, thus engaging in a silent dialogue with the artwork.

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