BLUE is the uniting theme for all of the artists we explore.

This page is designed to inspire and inform you.

It contains images of a diverse mix of artworks from different cultures and times.

The artists here have all explore different materials and techniques, aesthetic qualities, styles and ideas.



Blue has no dimensions, it is beyond dimensions, whereas the other colours are not… …All colours arouse specific associative ideas, psychologically material or tangible, while blue suggests at most the sea and sky, and they, after all, are in actual, visible nature what is most abstract – Yves Klein

For Klein monochrome painting was also an “open window to freedom,” and blue held the power to reveal the indefinable, the unknown.

Yves Klein

Yves Klein, IKB 191, 1962.

Do you think about blue? We are awash in it: the skies above us, the seas beneath us, which has everything to do with light of course, but it’s paradoxically rare in nature. Cultivating blue roses and tulips is a horticultural grail which promises fame and reward.

image_860 Dan Flavin, Untitled (to Helga and Carlo, with respect and affection), 1974

Blue marks merit and distinction: cordon bleu, blue chip, blue blood.

Blue diamonds are very valuable and lapis lazuli was once prized above diamonds.

The old masters used ultramarine to paint the robes of revered subjects like the Madonna and Christ and the more saturated the colour, the greater its symbolical and actual value since ultramarine was made from ground lapis lazuli (semi-precious stone).

tumblr_lxx51ke6ym1qz8vmxo1_500Mark Rothko, Green Over Blue, Oil on canvas, 1956

Picasso, Chagall, Anish Kapoor, Jeff Koons, Joseph Beuys, Damien Hirst, Brett Whitley, Bridget Riley and Yves Klein have all used blue with striking effect.

For Kapoor  “…blue reinforces a sense of freedom… The immense inspires us all. Eyes wide open if you like.”


Anish Kapoor, Void (#13) 1991-92, Fibreglass and pigment, 161 (diam.) x 120cm

two-bluesBridget Riley,Two Blues, 2003 – Oil on linen 54.5×53

DHS9864_771_0Damien Hirst, Shark’s Jaw, Skull and Iguana on a table, 2008

Mystics hold that seeing a tiny blue light in meditation is to experience the goal of human life. The throat chakra, symbolising communication, is blue, and the third eye chakra referred to as the gate which leads to higher consciousness, is indigo.

The medicine Buddha is translucent blue and certain Hindu gods have blue skins as do the guys from Avatar.

hans-haacke-blue-sail-1964-1965-installation1Hans Haacke, Blue Sail, Chiffon, oscillating fan, fishing weights, thread, 1964-65

A little known fact about blue is that it works as an appetite suppressant. Unlike reds and yellows which can stimulate hunger, blue (a rarely occurring color in food) works in the opposite fashion, curbing the desire to eat.

When the color blue is used as the main skin tone in figurative paintings (like Picasso did during his famous blue period) it does impart an unnaturally cold and lifeless effect to human features, which can be unnerving (like the lovely lady below)

La Celestina by Pablo Picasso (Blue Period)

Pablo Picasso, La Celestina/The Woman with One Eye, Oil on canvas, 1904

carlaklein71Carla Klein, Untitled, Oil on canvas, 2003

largeJeff Koons, Balloon Dog (Blue), 1994-2000

In short, the Smurfs are great company… and if you’re feeling blue, there is nothing like a shot of Yves Klein (even on your computer screen) to pick you up!

5 Shades of blue:

UntitledPure blue, also known as high blue, is not mixed with any other colours.

UntitledNavy blue also known as low blue, is the darkest shade of pure blue.

UntitledUltramarine, the most expensive blue during the Renaissance, is a slightly violet-blue.

UntitledThe synthetic pigment cobalt was invented in 1802, and was popular with Vincent Van Gogh and other impressionist painters.

UntitledCyan is made by mixing equal amounts of blue and green light, or removing red from white light.


For some more blue looking have a look at this blog:


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