Yellow, Sharp Color

Foto principal Carolina Verd Amarillo Kandinsky

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Yellow, color of the Sun, light’s ally, golden glare.

The most sensible and unstable color: put a little blue and it turns green, a little red and now it’s orange, a little black and it gets dirty. If you put it together with white, it irradiates more light.

Yellow, active color of impulses, spontaneous color.

It’s also the most contradictory color: at the same time, the color of the new and the old.

Yellow turns the paper, yellow turns the skin. It’s the most optimistic color, but also the color of anger, yellow bile. For some, it’s a bad luck color; for others, it’s the color of Creation.

Yellow of sharp sound and acid taste.

Triangle yellow, angular color.

Foto 2 Carolina Verd Amarillo Kandinsky

Is There a Shape for Every Color?

There are three primary colors: red, blue, and yellow. And three basic or elementary geometric shapes: square, circle and triangle. How would you associate them?

In the years of abstract painting’s birth and development, artists of this movement studied the relationship between colors and perceptible shapes. These associations haven’t been proposed before this time because painters only focused in the appearance of objects and things with their natural colors.

In the Bauhaus school (1919-1933), where Kandinsky, Paul Klee, and Oskar Schlemmer, among other artists, taught, all the professors agreed that the triangle corresponded to the color yellow. But they kept asking themselves if red and blue were circle or square.

Kandinsky thought that red was a right angle, Schlemmer said that red was round. Trying to find a final answer to the question, Kandinsky polled one-thousand students and members of the Bauhaus. The survey consisted of painting a circle, a square, and a triangle, each with one of the primary colors, and explaining why they chose to do it in that way. The results were: the circle was blue; the square, red; and the triangle, yellow. All the scholars agreed with the yellow triangle, but not about the others.


People tend to go by their own experience and learned symbolism when they reflect on the correspondence between colors and shapes. These associations are not a simple matter of taste, but of universal experiences ingrained in the language and the way we think and understand the world. When the poll was made in the Bauhaus, those consulted based their answers on traditional symbolism, namely Middle Age chromatic symbolism. From my point of view, the results of that poll would be different if done today; nowadays, our parameters have changed, the advertising industry has made us understand different associations, among other things.

Foto 3 Carolina Verd Amarillo Kandinsky

About Colors and Its Shapes to Me

The yellow triangle is the sharpest shape, shiny yellow. Angular and noisy.

The red circle, a round color, dynamic with a burning center.

The blue square, shape and color of balance. The line that limits the square, the line of the horizon, blue color of infinity.

In this week’s workshop we’ll make a poll: we’ll assign a color to a geometric shape and explain why in the most poetic way we can, writing and developing our own study of the color and how it relates to the shape.

For you, which geometric shape corresponds to each primary color?

Foto 4 Carolina Verd Amarillo Kandinsky

Photography: Oscar Rivilla
Conceptual design: Carolina Verd
Fashion courtesy of Pez: ring and earrings by Beatriz Palacios

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