Established in 1994, The Course offers exciting lectures in Art History, Literature and
Music.Hockney “I prefer living in colours”
The very term ‘colour’ is used differently in the C21st. This course traces the fascinating history of pigments: where they came from, how they were created, and how they have changed the course of art history. It’s a story that will take us from a single mine in Afghanistan to the serendipitous discovery of a fraudulent alchemist in Berlin to a contemporary patent for the blackest black imaginable. We’ll consider both the materiality of colours – for instance, the impact of ‘fugitive’ pigments and dyes that disappear in time – and their shifting symbolism in different cultural contexts. Re-discover paintings you thought you knew by seeing them digitally returned to their ‘real’ colours and forge new connections between artists.
“gold – smells of nothing”
Associated with prosperity, royalty, alchemy, Midas…. gold has an established place in painting and sculpture. Traditionally, gold leaf was made by hammering money into wafer thin leaves, so gilded panels that glowed in candlelit churches would have awed congregations. The Incas believed gold was the sweat of Inti, the sun god. But why did Joseph Beuys paint his face with gold? And what attracted Klimt and the Art Nouveau movement to it? Discover this and how contemporary sculptors like Louise Nevelson who gilded reject furniture into mass totems and Jeff Koons revived the use of gold.