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March 14 – November 2, 2020

What color means more to us than blue? Even among the primaries, the color of the sky and sea commands a privileged place, by far the most popular hue in the spectrum according to surveys on every continent. Blue casts its spell, pushing beyond symbolism to a deeper emotional level, drawing us into its pure and distant mysteries. Every artist goes through a “blue period,” from the Mediterranean blues of Matisse and Yves Klein to the haunting auras of Redon. Blue has been holy to Egyptian, Hindu, Chinese and Western traditions. Its physical sources (cobalt, ultramarine, cerulean, indigo, lapis lazuli, cyan) are a catalogue of valued materials that rival gold itself. As this exhibition exuberantly proves, the power of blue transcends art history. Poets, filmmakers, musicians and designers have tapped its resonant appeal. The most original music in America (home of bluejeans, “democracy in fashion”) is the blues. We are turning the entire museum over to the multi-media exploration of blue in many incarnations. It spans history and geography, from the precious lapis lazuli of antiquity to paintings, photographs, sculpture, ceramics, cyanotypes, and fashion. As Miró said, “This is the color of my dreams.”

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