An exhibition of recent photography organized by Frances Colpitt, “Color Pictures” examines color as a subject matter in works by John Baldessari, Sarah Charlesworth, William Eggleston, Russell Lee, Thomas Ruff, Stephen Shore, Allison V. Smith, and Ann Stautberg. The exhibition charts the merger of art and photography from the 1970s to the present. During this period, both the photo world and the art world were transformed by the conflict between photography’s high technical and aesthetic standards and the intentionally amateur and nonchalant approach to the camera by conceptually-oriented artists who used the camera to document their often ephemeral materials and elusive ideas. Their rocky fusion led not only to the acceptance of the photographic medium as a legitimate tool for art making, but also to unparalleled growth in the number of artists using the camera in the 1980s and 1990s.
Both the exhibit and the catalogue offer a variety of insights into the meaningful role of color in visual art and in the visible world. The catalogue includes essays and color plates from the exhibition, as well as an introductory essay by Colpitt that outlines the issues at stake in the use of color in recent photography. Commentaries on Individual artists were written by graduate students in TCU’s School of Art who participated in a graduate art history seminar, Photography In/As/ Not As Art, spring 2012.