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Presented by BFA Fine Arts

Chromaphilia / Chromophobia

February 8 - February 22

Painting of a young girl sitting in a chair surrounded by various color fields of blue. On the table to her left is a vase containing sunflowers.

Image: Veronica Fernandez


Tue, Feb 11, 6:00pm - 8:00pm

School of Visual Arts (SVA) presents “Chromaphilia/Chromophobia,” an exhibition of paintings and sculpture works by BFA Fine Arts students. Curated by BFA Fine Arts Chair Suzanne Anker, Director of Printmaking Operations Gunars Prande (MFA 1993 Fine Arts; BFA 1982 Media Arts), and faculty members Peter Hristoff (BFA 1981 Fine Arts) and David Sandlin, the exhibition will be on view from Saturday, February 8, through Saturday, February 22, at the SVA Chelsea Gallery, 601 West 26th Street, 15th floor, New York City.


The Latin roots of chromaphilia and chromaphobia address dual characteristics of color in art throughout its history. While -philia denotes affection, -phobia is an “aversion to.” For the Bauhaus artist Joseph Albers, “color deceives continually”; his studies are proof that as color interacts with other colors, its appearance is perceptually altered, depending on context. Color is mutable, sensory and culturally built upon its subjective meaning, as well. Color, or its absence, induces psychological responses which can be poetic and phenomenological. 


From explosive reds to calm greens to electric blues, our color palette allows us intoxicating sensorial experiences. From Van Gogh’s “Sunflowers” series, to Reinhardt’s black monochromes, to the Impressionists’ complementary color scales, chroma is a language that has been embedded in art practice since its prehistoric inception. Color effects also depend on their intrinsic material properties. They can be blended and appear flat, matte or glossy depending on their constituent chemistry. From the Impressionists’ use of synthetic pigments to the Color Field artists’ employment of acrylic paint, material and images intersect. 


“Chromaphilia/Chromophobia” brings together a group of artists whose work employs color as a defining characteristic. The artists in the exhibition work predominantly in painting, sculpture and printmaking in a variety of genres—portraiture, landscape and abstraction—which reflect their underlying themes and cultural heritage.

Free and open to the public