ABOVE: Arnaud Maggs, from the series Werner's Nomenclature of Colours, 2005. UltraChrome digital photograph on paper mounted on aluminum, 113 x 84 cm.
Arnaud Maggs: Nomenclature
22 November, 2007 to 11 January 2008
Opening Reception: Thursday, 22 November, 5-8 PM
Artist's talk: Friday, 23 November, noon-1 PM
Internationally renowned Canadian artist Arnaud Maggs presents two new bodies of work in Arnaud Maggs: Nomenclature, organized by Linda Jansma, curator at The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa. Known for his serial photographs of everything from other artists to French hotel signs, Maggs can be considered a photo-anthropologist or cultural historian using his camera as a way of re-presenting, ordering and systemizing aspects of the past.
Werner's Nomenclature of Colours (2005) features thirteen large colour photographs of naturalist Abraham Werner's (1750 - 1817) famous book Nomenclature of Colours, first published in London in 1814. Maggs's crisp images amplify the book's colours and descriptive text that explains how pigments occur in nature, under the classifications of Animal, Vegetable and Mineral. Werner's book was originally published to provide a standard, scientific vocabulary for the description of colour. In 1831, the naturalist Charles Darwin carried a copy of Werner's Nomenclature aboard the ship Beagle to describe his collected specimens.
Maggs's latest body of work, Cercles Chromatiques de M.E. Chevreul (2006), continues his investigation into colour. Based on the rare document titled Cercles Chromatiques (1861) by the French chemist M.E. Chevreul, Maggs presents eleven stunning photographs of Chevreul's colour wheels, each showing the full chromatic scale. Cercles Chromatiques is a theoretical analysis of colour, originally intended as a reference guide for manufacturing, such as yarn-dyeing for tapestries. In Maggs's work, the colour wheel's transition from 72 pure colours to black becomes a metaphor for the passage from day to night, from positive to negative, from life to death. An illustrated catalogue produced by The Robert McLaughlin Gallery, The McMaster Museum of Art (Hamilton) and Gallery One One One accompanies the exhibition.
Gallery One One One gratefully acknowledges the support of the Manitoba Arts Council, The Canada Council for the Arts and The Ontario Arts Council, The Robert McLaughlin Gallery (Oshawa), The McMaster Museum of Art (Hamilton), the School of Art staff and volunteers, Visiting Artists Program, and Photography Department. Special thanks to Wanda Koop, David McMillan, Char Okell and Linda Jansma.
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