The chaos theory of color
Stephen Dean's work, whether installation, sculpture or video investigates color as a crucial element in understanding objects and especially experiences. Color reigns as an essential force that links perception to understanding. Through compositions of color, Dean ascribes new meaning to ordinary common objects.
- -Emily Sessions, Art=Text=Art: Works Contemporary Artists from the Sally and Wynn Kramarsky Collection
McClain Gallery is pleased to announce, in conjunction with FotoFest 2014, a solo exhibition with artist Stephen Dean.
Within The chaos theory of color, Stephen Dean presents two video works from his series The Color of Fever (2009-2013): Olé and Shibuya crossing, both filmed with thermal imaging cameras. These cameras, typically used in specialized law enforcement, firefighter and military applications, film images in high contrast to show minute temperature changes. Here Dean uses them to focus on human activity and movement as translated through a hyper-palette to explore pure color and its use in understanding objects and experiences. Shibuya crossing captures the chaotic energy of dense pedestrian traffic near of Tokyo's busiest railway stations, where Olé filters bullfighting images through the lens of thermal cameras, rendering the violent footage into abstract visions in bright hues.
The videos further Dean's investigations of material culture by assigning new meaning to ordinary objects and scenarios through his color compositions, which highlight sensory association. In his films as well as through mixed media, Dean reconfigures the aesthetic qualities of everyday forms to highlight unexpected structures and patterns of color. Also on view are a recent group of works titled Juggler (2013), seven works on paper that incorporate dichroic glass set within crinkled rectangular sheets of kraft paper or black aluminum foil. Due to the inherent properties of the material, the dichroic glass discs shift color according to ambient light conditions and the viewer's perspective. Combined with the humble materials of the paper grounds, these shapes appear both minimal and hypnotic.
Stephen Dean (b.1968, France) lives and works in New York, and has exhibited extensively in the US and Europe including the Los Angeles County Museum (2014), the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C. (2012); the Musee du Quai Branly, Paris (2011), the Tinguely Museum, Basel (2010), the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (2007); Henry Art Gallery, Seattle (2007); the Miami Art Museum (2006); and many additional venues.
Dean's work has also been exhibited in several Biennials: Moscow (2009), Site SantaFe (2006), Venice (2005), Istanbul (2003) and Whitney (2002). His work is in many collections including: the Guggenheim Museum, New York; the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York; the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Yale University Art Gallery, New Have, Connecticut; Israel Museum, Tel Aviv; among others.