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Mood and the psychology of colour in contemporary art


● Fully booked

Wednesday 11 March 2020
6.30 — 7.45pm

This event has now ended

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Part of our

Picasso and Paper

events programme
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Pablo Picasso, Woman with Lock of Hair, Barcelona, 1903.

Watercolour on paper. 50 x 37 cm. Museu Picasso, Barcelona Given by the Barcelona City Council, 1963. MPB 4.268 Photo: Museu Picasso, Barcelona. Photo, Gasull Fotografia © Succession Picasso/DACS 2019.

Join our panel including voices from contemporary art, neurobiology and art history, as they explore the relationship between mood and colour and discuss how artists use this to express emotion and elicit a response from the viewer.

Picasso’s blue and rose periods were formed following experiences of both tragedy and happiness, impacting the aesthetic of his paintings for years to come. Our panel, including Semir Zeki, Professor of Neuroaesthetics at UCL, Dr Alexandra Loske, art historian, writer and curator, and contemporary artist and writer David Batchelor, use Picasso’s emotional connection with colour to discuss how mood and colour can shape contemporary art and a viewer’s experience of a work of art.

As we springboard from artists such as Pablo Picasso, Mark Rothko, James Turrell, and Sonia Delaunay, we investigate if there is potential for an artwork to change the mood of a viewer, and ask how much does an artist’s psyche feed into the work they make?

Professor Semir Zeki is Professor of Neuroesthetics at University College London. He is the author of A Vision of the Brain, Inner Vision: an exploration of art and the brain.

David Batchelor is a London-based artist and writer who has been working with colour since the early 1990s. His book Chromophobia, on colour and the fear of colour in the West, was published in 2000 and has been translated into 9 languages.

Dr Alexandra Loske is an art historian, writer and curator with a particular interest in colour history. Since 2015 she has been a curator at the Royal Pavilion, and in 2019 published Colour – A Visual History.

Hettie Judah (chair) is senior art critic on the British daily paper The I, and contributor to Frieze, The Guardian, Vogue, The New York Times, Art Quarterly, and Numèro Art. Her most recent book Art London came out in September 2019: her short biography of Frida Kahlo will be published in June 2020.

Exhibition organised by the Royal Academy of Arts, London and the Cleveland Museum of Art in partnership with the Musée national Picasso-Paris.

● Fully booked

● Cancelled

Wednesday 11 March 2020

6.30 — 7.45pm

The Benjamin West Lecture Theatre, Burlington Gardens, Royal Academy of Arts

£15, £9