John Pawson's World of Colour: Orange
In his book Spectrum the architect and photographer proves there’s more to the pigment than bad tans and sunsets
Is orange the most ubiquitous a pigment in amateur photography? It’s certainly the colour of many sunsets and overly tanned faces. Yet when John the pigment crops up in John Pawson’s photography, it appears in surprising places.
Though better known for his minimal architecture, Pawson takes photographs both as type of architectural note taking, and as a form of creative expression. There may be a lot more colour in his new book Spectrum, than you’d expect to see in his buildings, yet the book is still quintessentially Pawson.
It’s a multi-coloured photo essay, featuring 320 of John’s shots arranged in colour order. Some are taken as professional aide memoires; others are very simple works of minimalist photography; all of them offer some insight into the man better known for his deceptively simple buildings.
In this selection of oranges shots, Pawson’s lens skips from the fishponds of Florida to waters of St Barts in the Caribbean, via the ruddy earth of Kenya and the glazed, terracotta tiles of Bagan’s Buddhist temples.
There is an exquisitely captured sunset over Sorento in the new book too, though it’s sandwiched between more surprising shots of a Kensington brick wall, a burning stubble field, and the great photo of the British neo-classicist painting Flaming June on display at Leighton House Museum in London.
Pawson may not be a professional photographer, though his agile treatment of colour gives us insight into the inner workings of his sharp, creative mind.
You can take a look at some of John’s blue shots here; and his yellow photos here; his green shots here; and, if you like what you see, you can order a copy of Spectrum here. Check back for another colour from the book soon.