Breathing Colours at the Design Museum was a real disappointment. Which is a shame because perception of colour is a fascinating subject. The problem is this exhibition is too much art installation without any deeper framework from science and technology to support it.
One little box with three zones you could move objects between to see how different pigments and light colours interact showed what this could have been. It was almost as if the curator had set out to avoid covering the technical aspects of the subject perhaps afraid that the science might put people off.
I could understand that at the National Gallery’s Making Colour exhibition in 2014 but I expect the design museum to tackle the technical aspects of a subject. If it had maybe the room painted in a new black that includes a broader set of pigments than most blacks in use today.
I understand the exhibition is billed as an installation and I wouldn’t want it to be overwhelmed by the science and technology of colour but it can be done with a little thought. Bronze at the Royal Academy gave over an area to the technology of casting and water colours at Tate had an area for the technical aspects of that medium of painting both were far more interesting exhibitions for it.