Lithographic ink on paper, each of the 10 colour sets 10 ½” x 30”
Exhibition at Katzman/Kamen Gallery, Toronto
Please also see The Inkiest Black
The vocabulary encountered in Infinite Jest can engender any number of specific word lists, relating to tennis terminology or drug slang, for example. One such spinoff list, emerging out of my reading and derived from the subtly distinguished colours mentioned by Wallace, became the basis for this body of work. I borrowed from the print practice of making ‘draw-downs’: mixing and then testing colours by thinly applying ink onto paper with an ink knife. This procedure, in which one imagines in the mind’s eye how an image will appear once printed in a given colour, seems analogous to how a reader might visualize colours encountered in a text. Although easily mistaken for a preparatory stage, undertaken in advance of printing, the draw-downs are the work itself.
Some of my colour proposals could and have been questioned. Many are single instances of colours with multiple yet equally apposite interpretations. Some of the written descriptions of colours seem to confound visual interpretation while others are evocatively poetic.
Certain colour sets, such as green and brown, allowed for a vast array of difference while nevertheless adhering to their respective categories. Other groupings posed certain challenges, such as the tenuous threshold of the reds, threatening to become at any moment either orange or brown. And yet the most nuanced distinctions were necessary in colours that might be expected to be more straightforward, those of black and white.