This Is Not A Pipe Podcast explores critical theory, cultural studies and philosophy. It takes its name from the title of the painting by René Magritte.
In the episode, Frances discusses her book The Truth is Always Grey: A History of Modernist Painting (University of Minnesota Press, 2018).
In particular, Frances considers the question of what grey is: ‘It’s such an interesting question. The way that it is spelt even – is it grey or gray – how do we even write grey, and what is it? There’s this big question mark that sits over the colour grey’, she explains, ‘I think a lot of that is because we don’t pay much attention to grey.’
‘There’s this assumption that grey is all about reflecting depression; and the metaphor I always give is the London sky, which is depressing and its gloomy, and we think of grey as describing the approach of death. And when painters and critics talk about grey, they talk about it as not a colour – they’ll say it’s colourless, or a non-colour, or somehow the same as black and white.’ And yet, in the episode, Frances goes on to explain why this is not the case and argues for the richness and vibrancy of the colour.
To find out why, you can listen to the episode on the This Is Not A Pipe Podcast page.