Spring 2012 Pantone Trends – Trends Immitate Art

Pantone Tangerine Tango beside Chu Teh-Chun’s oil on canvas, Chant de joie. Image from Marlborough Gallery

The debate about the origins of the influence between art and life, art and trends, or other instances of spurious conclusions can be waged all day. Indeed, the debate is fueled by nothing short of ego; artist or trend setter (or what have you) wanting to claim the origins of a great idea. But at the end of the day, there are ideas or formulas that so far exceed expectations that they leave an indelible imprint. These epiphanies make theĀ  universe itself appear to conspire to replicate, imitate or re-imagine certain shapes, life forms, and indeed color combinations, like the similarity between spiral galaxies and the internal form of a nautilus seashell.

The Large Spiral Rose-Like Galaxy Hubble image from Divine Sparks blog beside the a slice quarter-sawn slice of a nautilis seashell – image from barelyimaginedbeings.blogspot

Tomorrow, I am off to see what’s new in the decor market at NYIGF but today UPS dropped off my shiny new Benjamin Moore 2013 Color Pulse palettes, and I can’t wait to explore stylish parallels between the colors that will dress our walls, and new decor trends that differentiate our abodes. But first…..

I wondered what the Pantone 2012 Spring color trends might have in common with current painters, and vice versa. One way place to check the pulse of influential exchanges between art and the color trends is to check the collective works of the stable of painters at major galleries, which like Pantone exerts influence world wide. One such gallery on a very short list is Marlborough. With such prominent names in art as Lucian Freud, Red Grooms, Alex Katz and Dale Chihuli (to name just a few). Headquartered in Manhattan with locations in design hot-spots like London, Monaco, Barcelona and Madrid, a plethora of artists’ color palettes are available to compare and contrast.

Inspired by bidding adieu this week to my lovely niece Melissa, an aspiring singer/musician headed for adventures in merry ole England, I decided to take a peek at the colors of London’s best and brightest artists.

A look at the Spring 2012 Pantone Color palettes reveals some striking correlations between Spring colors and the painters’ palettes – though whether chicken or egg, who can say…

The Comics Palette and Prawle Point W-E by Nina Murdoch (bottom). Image from marlboroughfineartcom Top – Reclining Beauty with Fan by Chen Yifei. Images from Marlborough Gallery’s holdings.

Transformed into a painter’s palette, Pantone’s Comics is morphs from a light-hearted fanciful Baroque vibe, to sultry and brooding space or traditional portraiture, reminiscent of Childe Hassam or John Singer Sargent. In this grouping, blue is dominant – the entire feel would change if the dominant player were the Rose.

Pantone Indigo Effects beside Catherine Goodman’s Phillimore, Morning painting. Image from Marlborough Gallery’s holdings.

If Indigo Effects were laid out on an oil painters palettes (which always includes white) Indigo Effcets would be: Phthalo Blue, Cerulean Blue, Ultramarine Blue, Madder Lake Rose (and again with white added to create the pink shade), raw umber (the taupe color) and a pearl grey shade that Rembrandt used to manufacture.

Resilience beside its muse, Portrait in Smoke and Steam by Paul Hodgson, Image from Marlborough Gallery’s holdings.

In this haunting image rendered in Pigment print on paper, it the color in the smokey veil is similar to the Pantone shade in the Resistance color palette, coincidentally called “Fog” (Pantone 13-0607).

Jane, a water color painting by Celia Paul (from Marlborough Gallery website) with Pantone’s Nouveau Neon Color Palette.

Saturation is key in to the impact of any color. In the transparent application of a watercolor palette, and athe addition of black (or an indigo violet which painters can substitute for black) the shades of NouveauĀ  Neon become ethereal washes, changing the feeling of these very cool colors.

Nonchallance and an oil paiting by Clive Head (from Marlborough Gallery website)

Remember, when the 9 Pantone Spring Palettes were introduced, I made a case for personalizing in part by filling in the blanks as needed to complete your space – with its unique light and the furnishings you already own. All the colors of Nonchalance are abundant in Clive Head’s work, but the addition of Mars Red takes this palette to an entirely new color plateau – just as Steven Campbell’s transforms a palette very similar to Pantone’s Subtleties with the simple additions of orange and yellow ochre.

Pantone Subtlties palette beside Steven Campbell’s painting Peasantscape with Interfering Nude (from Marlborough Gallery website)

If you grabbed your palette knife and a bit of titanium white, you could mix up Pantone Reflections with a bit of impasto nip and color tuck for some interest and contrast.

Pantone Reflections Palette beside oil on board paiting by Catherine Goodman – from Marlborough Gallery website .

Ok, a uniquely American artist from Marlborough’s stable of talent – and the addition of a whisper of blue – remember, color that works imitates, but also evolves. Add a bit of you to the Spring trends and live in the art you create!

Dale Chihuly Glass with Pantone’s Back To Fuschia Color Group