[Art_beyond_sight_educators] Vincent Van Gogh: Colorblind?,‘About Seeing’ exhibition - Madison

fnugg at online.no fnugg at online.no
Wed Aug 29 12:44:28 UTC 2012

Vincent Van Gogh: Colorblind? App Sheds Light On Master Painter's Work

Was van Gogh colorblind? At first blush, the question seems absurd. But 
a new tool developed by Kazunori Asad, a Japanese vision expert, 
breathes fresh life into the seemingly-preposterous theory.

Asad says he first noticed certain characteristics of van Gogh's work 
could indicate colorblindness while giving a speech in Hokkaido, Japan, 
on color deficiencies. An exhibit there cast the artist's masterpieces 
in various lights, attempting to replicate how they'd be perceived by 
people with one or more defective sets of cones, a structure in the eye 
used to view color.


‘About Seeing’ offers visions from artists with limited sight

When the lines on the tennis court began to wave and wobble, Dan O’Neal 
knew something was wrong.

“I kept blinking my eye and blinking my eye,” he said. There was “a 
giant gray area” in the center of his left eye.

When O’Neal went to the doctor, the diagnosis was crushing: macular 
degeneration, which robs a person of the central part of his vision in 
one or both eyes. O’Neal, a Stevens Point artist, makes his living as an 
oil painter of still lifes and portraits.

“To take away something that you cherish the most … is like cutting you 
at the knees,” O’Neal said. “You are knocked down. I did not know what 
was going to happen.”

A chronological series of O’Neal’s paintings, from pre-degeneration 
through surgery to his post-op work, are part of a new exhibition called 
“About Seeing” at the James Watrous Gallery on the third floor of the 
Overture Center. The show opens Friday, Aug. 31

Chuck Close is a contemporary artist with prosopagnosia, or face 
blindness — he can’t recognize faces, even those he’s closest to. A 1981 
portrait on display in “About Seeing” looks like a pixilated gray blur.

The second half of the show focuses on work by O’Neal and two other 
artists — Madison artist Tom Linfield, who works in pencil, oil pastels 
and mosaic, and Heidi Lasher-Oakes, a sculptor who taught at the 
University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. ...


James Watrous Gallery, third floor of Overture Center, 201 State St.

Aug. 31-Oct. 14; exhibition opening Sunday, Sept. 9, 2-5 p.m.



Additional talks in the gallery:

Saturday, Sept. 29, 3-4:30 p.m.: Color: More than Meets the Eye, a 
gallery talk and demonstration with chemist Rodney Schreiner (in 
conjunction with the Wisconsin Science Festival).

Friday, Oct. 5, 7 p.m.: Gallery talk with artist Tom Linfield in 
conjunction with MMoCA’s Gallery Night.

Sunday, October 7, 2–3:30 p.m.: Gallery talk with artist Dan O’Neal and 
ophthalmologist Barbara Blodi on the changes in O’Neal’s color 
perception after he developed macular degeneration, and the “eye-mind” 
relationship revealed through brain-imaging.


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