cornelia white swann:

fugitive color

February 28-April 25, 2015 & March 12-April 30, 2016


French & Michigan Gallery presents Cornelia White Swann: Fugitive Color, a two-part exhibition featuring the artist’s recent exploration in hand-made natural pigments.

Swann’s first presentation, exhibited in spring 2015, highlights an intimate series of works on paper which reflects her experimentation with and search for the origins of color. Eliminating synthetic paint, the artist extracts pigments from herbs, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and other plants for compositions that evoke the pure and organic nature of their making. 

Deriving its title from a term used for impermanent pigments, the exhibition signifies the vulnerable, changing state of natural color. The second presentation, set one year apart from the first, further emphasizes the artwork’s physical relation to time as Swann extends this base knowledge of living material into new forms.

Cornelia White Swann: Fugitive Color II was presented March 12 through April 30, 2016. Cornelia White Swann: Fugitive Color I was presented February 28 through April 25, 2015. 

Exhibition is accompanied by the largest publication to be designed, produced, and released by French & Michigan. Spanning the two exhibitions, the 128-page catalogue includes Swann’s own artist statements reflecting on how she navigated her new process and material and two curatorial analyses discussing the development of each series within Swann’s greater artistic career. In addition, food writer Liz Pearson investigates her studio practice at each moment from the perspective of Swann’s kitchen. Centered in the publication is an essay by Kathryn Zimmerhanzel placing her work within the larger realm of contemporary art and writing. Throughout the catalogue are images of Fugitive Color I, documented before and after the first presentation, followed by images of Fugitive Color II