To celebrate the opening of Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color (May 11, 2018-January 13, 2019), Object of the Day this month will feature colorful objects from the exhibition.

“Landscape No. 1” is one of the RGB (red, green, blue) wallpapers designed and printed by Carnovsky. RGB is a project about the surface, or skin of things, where the surface mutates and interacts with different chromatic stimuli. RGB images seen under natural light are unexpected and disorienting worlds where the colors mix and lines and shapes entwine, becoming dream-like and not completely clear. The design consists of three different scenes, each printed in a different color, one on top of another. By viewing the design through a red, green, or blue filter the different layers of which the image is composed are revealed. When viewed under a red light or filter the scene is an elaborate architectural interior with a central lone figure; with a green filter, it is a landscape with a horse-drawn cart working its way through an old-growth forest; while a blue light reveals a dense group of figures and satyrs. This wallpaper works on a principle similar to 3D or anaglyph prints where the design is viewed through glasses with a red and blue lens, where the red lens obscures the printed red color. This is the first example of a scenic wallpaper printed in this format.

Carnovsky is a Milan-based design studio formed in 2007. The RGB wallpapers were introduced in 2010 and are a specialty of Carnovsky. This landscape paper was selected from an extensive collection of Carnovsky RGB wallpapers that include scenics, murals, and individual panels. While this is a scenic wallpaper in the traditional sense, being composed of multiple panels that need to be arranged in a certain order, and multiple sets can be combined as the design on the last panel continues on the first, the designers were definitely thinking outside the box. Think about it, you can change your wallpaper design merely by changing the color of the light.

This object is on view in Saturated: The Allure and Science of Color.

Greg Herringshaw is the assistant curator for Wallcoverings.

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