The exhibit Blue, held by the Nassau County Museum, documents and organizes the color blue in paintings throughout history along with their context. One piece I found very interesting was that of Han Qin, labeled “Ethereal Evolution 1” 82inch by 47inch. In this print, two dancers create a dynamic composition using chemicals and paper to create a cyanotype print. The print is meant to represent the artist’s experience as an immigrant feeling lost and unsure with clear indications of some human form but ultimately lost in the center of the print.
In another painting by Maxfield Parrish a variant form of cobalt was used so beautifully it became known as Parrish Blue. The painting labeled Ecstasy is an oil on panel created in the year 1929, which contains a young woman covered in warm sunlight. This light orange contrasts well with the deep blue in the sky and delicate blues in the clouds. The piece was likely meant to express calm feelings to the artist and viewer.
In Henri Matisse’s painting Blue Nude II created in 1952, a deep and vibrant blue is used to “paint” the subject. As Matisse’s health was not in great condition the artists would ask assistants to aid him in his work. The assistants would pre-paint pieces of paper with blue gouache which he then cut to create compositions.