We’ll be at Ampersand Gallery in Portland tonight for line. letter. colo(u)r. — an exhibition culled from their fantasia of flat files laden with vintage printed materials. The show is comprised of Munsell Color Charts dating from 1915 and 1929, hand-colored sectional maps of New York City from a 1925 edition of the Land Book of the Borough of Manhattan and fabric sample sheets that represent a tabular survey of coal-tar colors ad fabric dyes produced by Meister Lucius & Bruning in 1896. In each case, the original publications were found dis-bound and damaged, with several pages tattered, torn, damp-stained or missing altogether. In this, they are artifacts of broken, brittle and incomplete histories. Accordingly, the show is less about knowing the specific historical nuances of colorimetry, the chemical science of coal-tar dyes or the exact intersections of streets and avenues in New York City. Instead, the pieces in line. letter. colo(u)r., framed and deliberately arranged, invite us to dwell on the tactile and textural similarities of otherwise unrelated printed matter from almost a century ago. Comprised of gridded lines, text blocks, color chips, fabric samples and watercolor paste-overs, they remind us that the design and organization of information systems, despite their current pixelated state, are at root tactile and reward the simple act of intentional looking.
The show is up through November 25, 2012, but you can party with us tonight about it with drinks from local brewery Ninkasi.