A Controversial Affair Online Viewing Room gathers works by eight contemporary urban artists who deal with various expanded forms of painting, and are influenced daily by the harmony and confrontation of line and colour.read more
The majority of these artists started their practice in the streets of the world, writing their names on walls. The line is essential in graffiti art, a rapid signature inscribed on the landscape. With its development, colour started being added, becoming crucial, notably on train graffiti, evolving into the creation of murals, where line and colour started blending.
The exhibition, which is on view at Underdogs until 30 December, revisits one of the most remarkable quarrels in Western art history in relation to contemporary times: the supremacy of colour versus line in painting. The so-called Querelle du coloris [Dispute on colour] which took place in the 1670s, led the French Royal Academy of Painting and Sculpture, in Paris, to embark on a fierce theoretical dispute.
Painters were split into the Rubénistes (who believed that colour was superior as it was more true to nature, reflected emotions and could be enjoyed by everyone) and the Poussinistes (who defended that the use of lines to depict form was the essential skill of painting, and colour was purely decorative).
In 1678, colour won. Emotion, and not rationality, was the order of the day. To the Western world, it meant that painting started to be more accessible to people outside the Academy, an important first step towards the openness of the art world. Today, the accessibility of the contemporary art world is another controversial affair. A discussion that is an integral part of urban art.
Nearly four centuries after the Querelle du coloris, your opinion is all-important: do you choose line, colour… or both?