Each painting in acrylic, one on canvas and one on paper, is an inexact copy of the other and each work is comprised of seven sections, arranged horizontally in the first and vertically in the second. The colors in both artworks are derived from Sir Isaac Newton’s seven-hue color chart he developed from his studies and observations of sunlight through a prism (Optiks
, 1704). Newton created the world’s first color wheel, thus beginning the field of color theory.
In using an odd number (seven) color scale complementary colors are chosen from the tertiary colors not the secondary colors. Therefore, the complement to yellow is either violet or indigo rather than a mixture of the two as commonly done in an even-numbered color wheel. In both pieces included in this exhibition, various hue to complement versions play out back and forth left to right or right to left, up or down, such as violet to green, red to blue, orange to indigo, yellow to indigo as well as the more familiar red to green and blue to orange. Walden writes, "By selecting a yellow to violet complement for the field (the largest shape) of each painting, each painting or visual step starts out with high value contrasts and proceeds with inexact gradations found intuitively and experimentally in the act of painting."
After much thought and concentrated observation Walden alters hues and values that do not feel or look right in relation to their adjacent hues until he achieves a unified composition. Walden reaches a Gestalt through a combination of rational delineation of lines, angles and measurements and an intuitive, expressionistic, active and reactive painting process. This process is repeated until the overall visual problem reaches a logical conclusion where no one element can be removed without fundamentally altering the whole painting.
In over 40 years of studio practice Jerry Walden’s work has been exhibited across the US and around the world. His work is in numerous public and private collections, including West Point Stevens LLC, Greenville National Bank and the Meridian Museum of Art. He earned his BFA from Auburn University in 1968, and his MFA from the University of Georgia (USA) in 1971. He lives and maintains his studio in Rock Hill, SC.