Evan Voelbel

Evan Voelbel
Phaneron: Color Relativity

What is color?

This seemingly simple question is deceptively complex. We often think of color as a fixed property of objects, but in reality, color is always in flux. The way we perceive color is entirely dependent upon its context and surroundings, yet our mind constantly accounts for these differences to provide a more consistent experience. For example, a red ball will appear red under the yellowish spectrum of daylight as well as the bluish hue of moonlight - even though it may truly be closer to black or blue in darkness. This cognitive mechanism is known as color constancy and allows us to recognize an object despite significant changes in appearance.

Phaneron: Color Relativity calls attention to our subjective and phenomenological experience of color by overloading our capacity for color constancy. This produces a range of visual effects that breathe life into the installation, leaving one to ponder the nature of color and reality at large.

Evan Voelbel received his BFA in 3D/Glass from Massachusetts College of Art in 2010. Following his undergraduate education, Evan worked as a teaching assistant at MassArt, as a studio assistant for glass artists local to Massachusetts and also as a gaffer and teacher at a number of glass studios in the Boston area. After receiving his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design in 2017, he began working there as adjunct faculty, teaching classes in glass. His current work is informed by research in a variety of subjects including physics, chemistry, perceptual psychology, optics, and alchemy. Voelbel’s work often combines glass, light and mixed media to construct visual phenomena, sculptural objects, and installations which straddle the line between physical and immaterial, digital and analogue, real and false, in an attempt to provoke a broader conversation about the subjectivity of perception. Voelbel is currently based in Brooklyn.


August/September 2021

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