SOMERVILLE, NJ - Red Ochre is one of the oldest known pigments in the history of artistic expression, used by some of the first hominids known to have created art. As such, the pigment, which is still widely used today, might be considered one of the first layers in what has become, over thousands of years, a rich and multidimensional history of art.
Three artists pay homage to red ochre in an exhibition at Gallery on Division, 15 Division St., through Jan. 4, 2018.
This warm, earthen tone is not only present across many of the works in the exhibition, but is also called to mind in the beautifully raw and layered appearance of the artists’ work, which seems to echo the same primordial compulsion to create experienced by our earliest ancestors.
Throughout the artistic process, artists add layers of material and ideas one at a time. Eventually a work of art emerges, and the process, applied repeatedly over time, results in a body of work. As you enjoy this exhibition, imagine the layers created through the artistic process as layers of earth and sediment known by geologists and archaeologists to mark the passing of time.
Imagine the connection these works, and all works of art, have to that very first layer of red ochre.