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Yellow Painting, 2011, by Joseph Marioni (American, born 1943).
At first appearing monochromatic (one color), Marioni’s canvases produce color sensations that shift with changes in light and viewpoint. On loan from the artist Photograph Francophotos Studio, Courtesy Paul Rodgers / 9W, NY


Notations/Joseph Marioni: Paintings, 2000–2015

November 14, 2015–May 22, 2016

Experience and contemplate the interplay of light and color in Joseph Marioni's paintings.

For artist Joseph Marioni, the primary function of painting is to advance the experience of color through the interaction of light and paint pigments. Building on experiments in American abstraction since the 1950s—particularly those of Ad Reinhardt, Mark Rothko, and Robert Ryman—Marioni's paintings inspire attentive, sustained looking.

At first appearing monochromatic (one color), Marioni's canvases produce color sensations that shift with changes in light and viewpoint. In fact, each work features several distinct layers of acrylic paint of contrasting colors and intensities. Through unhurried contemplation, we can gain a deeper understanding that color is not a fixed entity, but rather subject to fluctuations of light and our perception.

Light is central to Marioni's practice, which aims to present painting, in his own words, as "an object of light, bound by its architecture, in the time of its viewing." Selected by the artist himself, the paintings in this installation represent a focused survey of his work.

Notations is an ongoing series of gallery installations named after a book by John Cage, an American composer, writer, and visual artist widely celebrated for his experimental approach to the arts. The series serves as a flexible tool to explore contemporary art.

Main Building


This installation is supported by an anonymous donor.


Carlos Basualdo, The Keith L. and Katherine Senior Curator of Contemporary Art; and Anna Mecugni, Exhibition Assistant

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