Paper Houses - yellow
Paper Houses - red
Paper Houses - adobe
Truchas Series
Lobster Gut Series
Subways Crossing Series
Lower Basin Series
Color Column Series
Color Column Explanation
Chama Valley Series
Buoy Strings Series
Sierra Nevada RR Series
Gallery House Series
Class One Railroads Model Photographs
Class One RR Series
Mergers & Acquisitions Series
Airport Series Model Photographs
Airport Series
Airport Series Enlargements
Grenada Series
Color Traffic Series
Streams-Bogs Series
Rainbow Polyphony Series
Upland Series
Fashion Series




The paintings in this series are generated from a vertical sculpture. The color column is a segmented sculpture made of six stacked hexagonal volumes, separated by bearings, and free to rotate on a central shaft. The face of each hexagonal volume is painted one primary color of the rainbow sequence—red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet. The volumes can be turned to create a variety of color compositions.

Six color columns were placed in a row to form the basis for the paintings. Each hexagonal volume facet can display two or three colors depending on its rotated position. A centered flat face shows a portion of the two adjacent colors. A corner view shows two adjacent colors obliquely. Each volume can display twelve distinct color scenes. In the paintings, sunlight is falling from high on the left. Some facets of the hexagonal volume are therefore in direct light, in racking light, or in shadow. Each column of six stacked hexagonal volumes offers two million, nine hundred eighty five thousand, nine hundred eighty four possible views. A row of six columns of hexagonal volumes, offers thirty-six to the twelfth distinct images. A number will beyond the ability of my pocket calculator.

I began to study some possible ways to arrange the color positions. A book by Mario Livio, 'The Golden Ratio', Broadway Books, 2002, introduced me to the famous Fibonacci sequence. Leonardo Fibonacci, circa 1170's - 1240's, of Pisa, wrote a book in 1202 that introduced the Hindu-Arabic numerals we use today to replace Roman numerals. In chapter XII, he posed an interesting problem about the reproduction quantity of breeding rabbits. The resulting numbers revealed a special sequence. Each term, starting with the third, is equal to the sum of the two preceding terms. The sequence starts out as follows: 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55, 89, 144, ... This was dubbed the "Fibonacci Sequence" in the nineteenth century. The ratio of two successive numbers, further and further down the Fibonacci sequence, oscillates closer and closer to the Golden Ratio, which is 1.618033. This very special number is favored by mathematicians and by artists.

To begin translating the numbers into color positions, I used the plan of the hexagon volume with its six colors and its sequence of alternating flat facets and corner positions. Arbitrarily taking flat red as the starting place, I numbered counterclockwise noting the colors of each successive position. The painting, 'Fibonacci I' records this sequence moving additively. The painting 'Fibonacci II', records the sequence always counting from the starting place, red. I plan to add other paintings generated by the use of the Color Column.

Malcolm Montague Davis

450 Harrison Avenue, Suite 313, Boston, MA 02118Tel 617-266-0460 E-mail mmd@malcolmmontaguedavis.comStudio visit by appointment.