Blue is the Most Relaxing Colour, Scientists Say

In further news: Leonardo was ambidextrous; Coco Fusco denied entry to Cuba

Anna Atkins, Photographs of British Algae, 1843-53. Courtesy: New York Public Library

Anna Atkins, Photographs of British Algae, 1843-53. Courtesy: New York Public Library

New research claims that dark blue is the world’s most relaxing colour. Research carried out by the University of Sussex and paper company G.F Smith, draws on a survey of 26,596 people, from more than 100 countries. Respondents were asked to name their favourite colours, and the word which they most associated with them. Dark blue shades were most often associated with a feeling of calm. Professor Anna Franklin from the University of Sussex’s school of psychology suggested in a blog post that ‘colour preference’ could be driven by ‘how colour is encoded by sensory mechanisms in the eye and brain’. Don’t miss Charlie Fox writing for frieze on how writers have responded to the colour blue: ‘In blue books, writers map out their solitude and disappear into it. They do peculiar things to their prose, to give it precisely the sorrowful lushness of a bruise.’

A new study of Leonardo da Vinci’s earliest-known drawing has revealed that the Renaissance master was ambidextrous. ‘It is a real revolution in the field of Leonardo studies,’ Uffizi Gallery director Eike Schmidt said. The drawing, dated to 1473 (when the artist was aged 21) depicts the Arno river valley, with text running across the front and back, from right to left, and vice versa. ‘Leonardo was born left-handed, but was taught to write with his right hand from a very young age,’ art historian Cecilia Frosinini said. ‘By looking at his writings, including from this drawing, one can see his right-handed calligraphy is educated and well done.’

Cuban-American artist Coco Fusco has been denied entry to Cuba ahead of the the Havana Biennial. Fusco said that she had traveled over on Wednesday for the exhibition’s 13th edition, but on landing at José Martí Airport, she was detained and ultimately turned away. ‘I heard one of the immigration officials refer to me as an ‘inadmissible’’, she told ARTnews. Fusco suggested that the denial was premised on, among other things, her ‘steadfast support for the artists-led movement in Cuba against Decree 349’, recent legislation which extends government control over the display of art in the country.

In further announcements: In 2020, the island of Vallisaari off the coast of Helsinki, Finland, will host the inaugural Helsinki Biennial – directed by Helsinki Art Museum director Maija Tanninen-Mattila and curated by Pirkko Siitari and Taru Tappola; the Venice Biennale has named its international jury for awards during this year’s edition – Stephanie Rosenthal, Defne Ayas, Cristiana Collu, Sunjung Kim and Hamza Walker; and Lehmann Maupin gallery represents the artist Mandy El-Sayegh.

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Janiva Ellis, Catchphrase Coping Mechanism, 2019, oil on linen, 2.2 x 1.8 m. Courtesy: the artist and 47 Canal, New York; photograph: Joerg Lohse

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