Red Alert (2007): Three-channel digital video, color, sound, three 30-inch flat-screen monitors, three Apple Mac minis, mounting system and connecting hardware (All Photos By Gail)
Despite their appearance as static images, these three screen’s all display a video of frame after frame of the color red played on a loop. Red Alert (2007) was inspired by the Russian Constructivist painter Alexander Rodchenko’s Pure Red Color, Pure Yellow Color, Pure Blue Color (1921), a work that consists of monochromes paintings in each of the three primary colors.
Like Rodchenko, Hito Stereyl wanted to push her medium — in this case, video — to its most simplified, reduced form. her focus here on the color Red is a reference to both the highest level of the now-discontinued, color-coded terror threat system that was implemented in the United States in the aftermath of 9/11, as well as red light’s connotations as signaling something seedy and pornographic.
Photographed in the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Henryk Stażewski (1894-1988) was a Polish painter, considered to be a pioneer of the classical avant-garde of the 1920s and 1930s. Stażewski was a foremost representative of the Constructivist movement, as well as the co-creator of the Geometric Abstract art movement, and a member of the Cercle et Carré group of abstract painters based in Paris. In the second half of the 1950s Stażewski supplemented his visual language with a new element – the Relief. This form would supplant pure painterly media in his art for the next twenty years. Initially his reliefs had a very loose structure and were built of colorful, rough-textured elements that referenced organic forms (Relief, c. 1955). His reliefs of the 1960s were characterized by elements covered in ‘half-tone screens’ that energized their surface by creating the illusion of vibration. Color Relief was painted in 1963.