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COLOR STUDIES: THE MOSTLY WHITES

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Napa cabbage

Those dramatic purples from the first installation of the Color Studies are a tough act to follow. Where the purples are vivid, saturated and bold, the whites are subtle, quiet and understated. But I have a thing for this color.

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White turnips

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White endive

When I was in art school, I spent the last year of my program producing work that was restricted to a white palette. There were two installations: a set of five Christmas trees whose limbs had been sawed off, standing upright on bases inspired by the contours of topographical maps, and each containing one or two small drawers, using the branch nubs as drawer pulls. My final project was an installation guided by an idea of abandoned domestic spaces – I covered all surfaces in a saltwater paper mache, so that the chair, lamp, table and picture frame had a crusted, faintly glittering, salty patina. I’m not sure why, exactly, I’m so intrigued by white – especially multiple shades of white that provide a subtle variation in texture and tone – but there is something really profound about white spaces. Perhaps this is why I love snow so much. It also explains all the blown out images and minimalist overtures of so much of the photographs on the site – especially earlier images. Call it my white period.

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White Pumpkin

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Parsnip

Here’s the work I made:

from Trees, 2006

Trees, detail

Saline Bodies, 2006

Saline Bodies
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  • NicoleD - February 24, 2012 - 6:06 pm

    Stunning! So glad you shared your art. I’m pretty obsessed with white myself.ReplyCancel

  • Brian @ A Thought For Food - February 24, 2012 - 6:54 pm

    That’s kind of awesome! Thanks for sharing your art with us!ReplyCancel

  • Stacy - February 24, 2012 - 10:07 pm

    I am often distracted by brilliantly colorful produce (see that ingredient list for the winter slaw…), but these poor white vegetables are likewise deserving of respect!
    –you highlighted their particular beauty so well!ReplyCancel

  • Joy - February 25, 2012 - 12:22 am

    gorgeous post. this is such a wonderful concept and it’s beautifully executed!ReplyCancel

  • Sasha - February 25, 2012 - 12:38 am

    White does do something magical to space and to form. I love that you included your art in relation to the season’s whitest ingredients. The installation with the domestic interior dressed in saltwater paper mache reminds me of a work I saw years ago by Laura Kikauka. She created an atmospheric installation in which visitors enter a room that looks like it could be in the television show Hoarders; however, everything was white. At first the room was comforting with its white carpeted walls and fluffy chairs, but then on closer inspection one noticed that a lot of the objects were fetishistic and violent. It was an amazing exercise in seeing how the color white influences and redraws space.

    Beautiful post!ReplyCancel

  • Andrea - February 25, 2012 - 11:13 am

    They are like the ghosts of the food world :)ReplyCancel

  • Margarita - February 25, 2012 - 11:33 am

    Lovely art pieces….ReplyCancel

  • la domestique - February 25, 2012 - 12:10 pm

    This post is perfectly timed, as winter will burst into spring shortly. I’m seeing a few photos of snowdrops floating around the internet, and actually savoring this moment of white cauliflower, cabbage, and endive. Your Saline Bodies instillation is beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Hannah - February 25, 2012 - 12:19 pm

    This is a lovely series. Kudos on finding a way to combine the fine art impulse + cooking. I struggle with that!

    I wonder – do you photograph ingredients as you cook with them and then later group the pics in a series? Or do you spend the week looking out for ingredients that are a particular color, and then shoot them as a group…? Either way, keep up the beautiful work!ReplyCancel

  • kickpleat - February 25, 2012 - 6:55 pm

    Wow, that is so amazing. I love your artwork. Gorgeous.ReplyCancel

  • Ashley - February 26, 2012 - 9:08 am

    Beautiful post. I think the endive is my favorite. Or the cabbage. Can’t decide! :) Just pinned this!ReplyCancel

  • Kate - February 26, 2012 - 12:30 pm

    This post is so lovely. I love white as well—it really makes a statement if you let it speak for itself. From the concept to the execution, your artwork is wonderful!ReplyCancel

  • SG - February 26, 2012 - 1:13 pm

    Your color studies are so gorgeous – I am really looking forward to them. I would love to see more of your art – I am very intrigued by the saltwater paper mache.ReplyCancel

  • Kimberley - February 26, 2012 - 1:18 pm

    You people warm the cockles of my heart. Seriously!ReplyCancel

  • renee - February 26, 2012 - 2:49 pm

    I love your color series so much. The endive is breathtaking!ReplyCancel

  • sara - February 26, 2012 - 6:35 pm

    so gorgeous. I am amazed how you continue to improve so quickly in your skill, missy.ReplyCancel

  • Anna @ the shady pine - February 26, 2012 - 8:10 pm

    Love this post…and I adore the serenity these pictures exude. Just beautiful!ReplyCancel

  • sara - February 27, 2012 - 9:11 am

    Gorgeous! Love this, just lovely photos!ReplyCancel

  • Kelsey - February 27, 2012 - 9:32 am

    Stunning, Kim.ReplyCancel

  • Becky @ Project Domestication - February 27, 2012 - 4:01 pm

    I love your color studies! This is beautiful.ReplyCancel

  • Kasey - February 27, 2012 - 9:38 pm

    What a cool followup to purple. Personally, I think white is one of the most fascinating colors. Mostly, because it says so much by saying so little. I am also obsessed with white turnips. Brilliant, Kimberley!ReplyCancel

  • Lynda - February 29, 2012 - 6:25 pm

    I love white.ReplyCancel

  • Eileen - March 1, 2012 - 6:56 am

    I LOVE your new color studies series. Since purple is my favorite color, I thought that collection would remain my favorite, but there’s something so peaceful about white. Looking at your images, I can almost feel my heartbeat slow down.ReplyCancel

  • Ken - July 27, 2012 - 3:41 pm

    There’s the white birch branches with drawers! love them!!!ReplyCancel

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