The end of summer means that it’s time again for Metalsmith Magazines exhibition in print. This years exhibition, Saturated: Color and Metal, focuses on the visual experience that color brings to jewelry. In addition to displaying the work of 34 artists, Jamie Bennett wrote an article, In the Midst of Color: Reflections on color’s inescapable presence, that accompanies the exhibition.

The thesis of Jamie Bennett’s article is that color is incrementally and strategically determined, from conception to reception. Color comes preloaded: if you are working with concrete or pollen, the chromatic value is there, but just as significant is the material’s associative meaning. Color is colored by the conditions of its embodiment, yet when transformed by inventive and knowing artists it can gain powerful new significance within the context of contemporary metalwork.

Bennett also distinguishes between the use of color as an aesthetic tool and as a conceptual indicator. After reading his article, I decided to map out the characteristics of the two different methodologies. It’s interesting how many connectors there are between concept and aesthetics, the two categories pushing against one another, with the only divider between them being intent.

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