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Color is theme of next Science & Art Cabaret

Science & Art Cabaret event poster featuring the AJ Fries' artwork, "Temporary Mountains 2," and event details.

By CHARLOTTE HSU

Published September 20, 2017

“We could talk about color for endless days.”
John Massier, visual arts curator
Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center

A color blind painter and a physicist with expertise on the “color force” that binds together particles called quarks will be among the presenters at Buffalo’s next Science & Art Cabaret.

The theme of the Oct. 4 event — you guessed it — is color.

Like past cabarets, this one will feature a series of entertaining, intellectually provocative talks by artists and scientists on a common topic.

The evening of conversation — free and open to the public — will begin at 7 p.m. at The 9th Ward at Babeville, 341 Delaware Ave., Buffalo.

There will be a cash bar.

“Color” is the first cabaret of the 2017-18 season. Invited speakers will approach the theme from numerous directions — the quantum reality of color, the invention of a new and pure color, the educational missteps of teaching color, and the reality of painting in riotous and dynamic color while being color blind.

The lineup:

  • Bruce Adams, SUNY Buffalo State lecturer and a conceptually based figurative painter who references various painting styles, will speak on “How You Were Taught Color Wrong.”
  • Gary Nickard, UB clinical associate professor of art and a conceptual artist committed to exploring the interstices between visual art and literature while engaging such diverse topics as science, philosophy, psychoanalysis and various historical knowledge systems, will speak on Yves Klein, a French artist known for his work in post-World War II Europe.
  • Salvatore Rappoccio, UB associate professor of physics and an expert on particle detectors and subatomic and elementary particles, such as protons, neutrons, electrons, quarks, neutrinos, muons and exotic particles, will speak on “Quarks, Color, and Flavor.”
  • A.J. Fries, a Buffalo-born painter who is color blind and has been called one of Western New York’s most serious, developed and dedicated artists, will be interviewed “On Painting and Color” by John Massier, visual arts curator at Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center.

The event is presented by Hallwalls Contemporary Arts Center, the Buffalo Museum of Science, the Technē Institute for Arts and Emerging Technologies at UB, and the UB College of Arts and Sciences.

The Science & Art Cabaret was established in fall 2009 as an ongoing conversation about endless topics across all disciplines. The series’ underlying premise is that intellectual pursuits that appear distinct actually cross paths far more often than presumed and share spheres of interest and meaning.

“We could talk about color for endless days,” Massier says, “even if we consider it only within the scheme of work by one painter — say, Barnett Newman or Monet or Sol LeWitt. How color works with and against other colors, as well as the emotions it both represents and evokes.”

Will Kinney, UB professor of physics and cabaret co-organizer, adds: “Likewise, color — the wavelength of electromagnetic waves — is a central tool in science: The color of an object gives us a wealth of information about its properties. Color indicates temperature, composition, velocity, distance. Color analysis (or spectroscopy) is a tool that spans a broad range of scientific disciplines, from archaeology to astronomy.

“But color shows up in other ways as well,” Kinney says, “in particular as a metaphor for fundamental processes that we would otherwise find it difficult to imagine. The ‘color force’ binding quarks is such an example, leading to the field of physics called ‘quantum chromodynamics.’”