Fall senior show: Kelsey Babcock

RBY: Kelsey Babcock, Senior thesis exhibition, fall 2020, Goodwyn Gallery, AUM.

While graduating BFA student thesis exhibitions for the Fall 2020 semester were not open to the public due to COVID-19, Goodwyn Gallery is pleased to showcase the hard-work of these individuals on our website. We are very proud of them and what they have accomplished!


Claude Boutet, 7-color and 12-color color circles, c. 1708. From Traité de la peinture en mignature (The Hague, 1708), Wikimedia Image Commons.

This December, Kelsey Babcock graduates with a BFA in Painting & Drawing. Babcock’s thesis exhibition, titled RBY and completed under the supervision of Professor Andrew Hairstans, features nine 36″ x 48″ acrylic on canvas paintings. These abstract works explore the push/pull of color relationships and achieve compositional harmony through the use of a limited palette of Titanium White, Cadmium Yellow, Cadmium Red, Ultramarine Blue, and Phthalocyanine Blue. Through color mixing, Babcock creates prismatic colors, muted colors, and chromatic gray colors that are arranged into dynamic abstract compositions comprised of arrangements of geometric shapes.

Babcock was also inspired by Interaction of Color by Josef Albers. The influential painting instructor, who is known for his series of paintings: Homage to the Square, was a member of the famed German Bauhaus before emigrating to the United States in 1933. Albers taught at Black Mountain College and then at Yale University until his death in 1976. Originally published in 1963 as a limited silkscreen edition with 150 color plates, Interaction of Color was intended as a teaching aid and demonstrated Albers’ unique and complex color theories.

As Babcock explains in their artist statement: “In RBY, I wanted to dive deep into the world of color theory. . . . Using only the primary colors, I mixed every color by hand to create the painting’s color story. I have always been fascinated by the power of color. . . . To create RBY, I made a list of my family members and used The Secret Lives of Color by Kassia St. Clair to find the color that matched them perfectly. Their color became the starting point of each painting.”

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