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color swatch

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

What did I make.

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   I made my own colour swatch system. We were asked to make a colour system. And our first assignment was to go over medieval colour systems that made no sense. I’m not a mathematician. I even once wrote an article about how little of a mathematician I am. That’s how little of a mathematician I am. Or am not.

The word system really bugged me. I thought it had to have a religious structure that made sense and was clever at the same time. Then I thought, no, It’s okay, it can be bullshit; because this is Rietveld and you can get away with anything. But then my mind went back to it having to be a system. System. Mechanism. Complex. Arrangement. Order. ORDER. Structure. Network. Institution. Rigorous. Mathematical. Detailed. Exact. Accurate. Meticulous. Diligent. These were some of the words that kept hitting my brain. Some Icelandic ones as well.

Then I thought again, no, this is Rietveld. Everything will be okay.

It can be stupid. It can be anything.

Once I calmed myself down, after a week or so I thought of a painting I’d wanted to make for a long time, but never did it. I wanted to collect every single swatch from a paint colour swatch board in a store like GAMMA or Praxis and exhibit it, well the whole structure that the swatches come in. That I will do later.

color swatch wall installation

But never mind, I took all the colours swatches from the wall at GAMMA, or at least I think I did. It was very confusing and I almost went blind while doing it.


I played a game with my friend where she handed me a colour swatch and I had to choose if I liked it, hated it or thought it was “okay”. The ones I loved went to the top, the ones I thought were okay went in the middle and the ones I hated went to the bottom. Then I layed them down next to each other, forming a rectangle.

It was fun, it was fast, but I wasn’t sure what to do with it. It made an interesting picture.



This idea came from the original idea I had where I was going to screen print colours that I liked and colours that Ididn’t like, from top to bottom. Which I never did. I just made a small drawing.












Then I went blank again.

Then I got the idea of making my own swatch stick. With different kinds of colour combinations that I liked, hated or whatever. Thanks Matthias for showing me this book by Sanzo Wada (1883-1967) It is basically hundreds of different kinds of colour combinations. Somebody please buy it for me it’s around 40 euros. Thanks.


So, that’s what I did. I painted on building plastic because it’s smooth like a baby’s bottom and therefore when I had finished my swatches I could pile them up and from there they would form all kinds of different paintings/combinations. My forms are mildly inspired by Hans/Jean Arp’s paintings and sculptures, but sometimes I just did what ever, and sometimes the bigger the colour’s are the more I loved or hated them. Depending on my mood.













Meanwhile having this assignment in my head I thought A LOT about colour combinations, more than I’m used to. It was nice.

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