Meg Cranston

Hue, Saturation, Value: The Archer Paintings, a new body of work by Los Angeles based artist Meg Cranston ‘82 (b. 1960). These paintings, which developed out of an invitation Cranston received to do an exhibition at Los Angeles’ Archer School for Girls, continue Cranston’s ongoing investigation into color theory and its cultural ramifications, the legacy of modernism, individual and shared experience and highlight her idiosyncratic approach to art making. The paintings in the exhibition were created to present Archer students with an array of color choices and allow them to vote for their favorites. It was an experiment to see if girls aged 10-18, (who are the most targeted consumers of fashion and cosmetics) would select colors similar to those dictated by the industrial color industry notably, the Pantone Corporation, or, have different choices. They were also asked to supply names for the colors. Three of the paintings are based on primary colors, red, blue and yellow, and a fourth represents the “full spectrum” of color created from those primaries. By adjusting the level of white, black and the addition of complementary colors, Cranston experiments with the nearly infinite variety of tints, tones and shades of any given color. The title of the exhibition refers to the three main properties of color, hue, value and saturation with saturation having a double meaning both as chroma and industrial ubiquity. After the voting was complete, Cranston used the results to create the final painting for the exhibition, Mr. Moseby’s Salmon Not Pink Shirt. The title was written by a student to describe one of the top voted colors  #60 – a red/orange hue that is nearly identical to Pantone’s 2019 color of the year, Living Coral.