Guernica in Color Theory

Emily Wallace, Kathy Peters, Lauri Levi Lori, Bobby Stoy,
Rafael Blanco, Cassidy Fairbanks, Levi Mullen & Pat Holland

Acrylic on panel, 7.5’ x 16’, April 2015

Guernica in Color Theory is a color representation of Picasso’s black & white painting, Guernica. This mural was created by 8 different artists, each with a different interpretation, during the Color Theory course, ART 126.


Visual Mixing is the technique of applying colors
next to each other on the surface, in order for the
brain to mix those colors together perceptually.
Even though this technique was practiced by the
Impressionists at the end of the 20th century,
contemporary American artist Chuck Close has
mastered this
technique after becoming physically



Picasso’s Guernica is considered the most important painting of the Spanish culture, and it could be, after the Mona Lisa, one of the most viewed in the world. Gernika is the name of the Basque town in the North of Spain that was bombed and destroyed by the Nationalist side during the Spanish Civil War (1937-39). This bombing is considered one of the first raids on a defenseless civilian population by a modern air force, where approximately 1700 civilians died in a few hours. The painting of Guernica represents Picasso’s strong statement against the then current Spanish Civil War and the Nationalist side.

Guernica’s Provenance

Besides being the largest painting by Picasso, and what has become an anti-war statement around the world, the significance of Guernica also resides in its provenance (history and ownership of an artwork). Guernica was painted in just 24 days for the Spanish Pavilion at the Paris World Exhibition in 1937, where it was a considered a complete artistic failure. Besides its terrible reviews, Guernica traveled the world, and in 1939 Picasso loaned the painting to the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) in New York. During the 41 years in the United States, Guernica became an essential influence to Abstract Expressionist Jackson Pollock; it was the subject of numerous anti-war protests against the Vietnam War; and it was defaced by spray paint. After Nationalist dictator Franco was deceased, the painting was finally given back to the Spanish Government. Today Guernica hangs as part of the permanent collection at the Reina Sofia National Museum in Madrid, as living proof not only of the Spanish history, but as a demonstration of the worst atrocities of humankind.

Guernica, Picasso, Oil on canvas, 1937

Let’s not forget that we are not only capable of the worst, but of the greatest as well.


Rafael Blanco

Guernica in Color Theory

Feather River Bulletin,

Wednesday May 6th, 2015