Olaf Nicolai 30 Colors (30 Farben) 2005

  • Not on view

Nicolai selected the colors for this project from the thousands of hues standardized by Pantone, an international company that specializes in color and whose products are widely used in the fields of art and design. He is fascinated by the effects standardization has had on artistic practice and by functional applications of color in everyday life. Nicolai encourages the owners of this print project to devise their own patterns for installation.

Gallery label from Geo/Metric: Prints and Drawings from the Collection, June 11–August 18, 2008.
Additional text

This portfolio, composed in its entirety of three sets of thirty colored sheets of wallpaper, has a participatory and performative aspect: its owner has total freedom over how it is installed and displayed. Nicolai selected the thirty colors from the thousands of hues that have been standardized by Pantone, an international company that specializes in color. Pantone's book of color samples serves as a universal language for the graphic-art and design worlds. Calling into question this mass-produced and mechanized approach, 30 Colors allows for autonomy and choice.

Nicolai's interest in the role of design and visual and material cultures in contemporary society is at the heart of his work in sculpture, installation, environmental design, and artist’s books. He attempts to alter and transform social space through his projects and interventions and has created environments such as a park for skateboarding and a forest replanted to resemble a nineteenth-century landscape painting. As he does in 30 Colors, Nicolai frequently makes audience participation and interaction part of his efforts.

Publication excerpt from The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA Highlights since 1980, New York: The Museum of Modern Art , p. 200.
Portfolio of ninety offset prints with audio CD
each (approx.): 39 1/2 x 11 7/8" (100.4 x 30.1 cm)
Carolina Nitsch Editions, New York
Druckhaus Steinmeier, Nördlingen, Germany
The Associates Fund
Object number
© 2024 Olaf Nicolai / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / VG Bild-Kunst, Germany
Drawings and Prints

Installation views

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