Consanguinity is a series of 24” x 24” panels with a carefully limited format exploring the nature and mutability of colour perception. Art is composed using colour, line, and form. In exploring these, Rachel Yoder decided to remove as many elements as possible, so those left would be in close relationship; she wanted to strip down and restrict the variation. To do this Yoder chose one size, one shape, with the paint applied in exactly the same way for all of the paintings; a severe restriction in a repeating format.
Consanguinity looks back to Josef Albers’ “Homage to the Square”, and colour theory is the ground on which it rests. Albers described the square as a platter on which to place colour. Ms. Yoder chose the square as the basic form. For each panel she drew a line in the centre of the canvas, and another line two inches away. Two colours were chosen to paint side by side with a two-inch wide overlapping band. The first colour was painted over to the second line and the second colour to the first line, so each colour has a large portion of the canvas to itself and they overlap two inches. Each colour is applied in twenty thinned layers.
These unequal blocks of colours create static tension and form a forceful structure for observing colour relationships. The series, Consanguinity, explores the dynamics that emerge when two colours are placed side by side.
Colour has been one of Yoder’s preoccupations in painting. How the brain perceives colour at one time or another is mutable. Over time she took away image and representation and relied on colour to form the structure, using grids, blocks and bands as means of placing colour.
The square canvas is a building block for the installation of the show. By massing the individual pieces in patterns, the pattern in each painting is reinforced. In the gallery the paintings are hung to work with the colours and the band to emphasize dynamics that depend on their placement. Rachel Yoder spent 25 years working as a carpenter building custom homes, creating space and structure from pieces of material, 2 x lumber, plywood and nails. The structures created echo her experience as a builder creating form out of individual geometric pieces of wood and are influenced by the shape and size of the gallery.