Esther Mathis | Nightshades

In her first solo exhibition Nightshades at Livie Fine Art, Esther Mathis (*1985 Winterthur, lives and works in Zurich, Switzerland) explores the mesopic realm of our perception. 
Which colors does the night have? Is this more of a physical-morphological question or a poetic one? Visual acuity is greatest in photopic vision, less so in scotopic vision; details with low contrast can no longer be perceived because the eye interpolates brightness. This optical-physical process is at the same time a poetic one; the colors of the RAL palette that Mathis diffuses on her honeycombs bear names such as “night redness”, “moon ash green”, “full moon gray”, “midnight blue”, “nightshade violet” or “pearl night blue”. The mesopic range consists of intermediate tones, transitions and interpolation. We create the colors ourselves as we simulate visual acuity. This is an actual artistic act that Mathis introduces us to. At the same time, she subverts physical phenomena, questions them, and creates a new, alternative history of light as part of the opaque, the shadow, and the tonality of night.

For the full exhibition text by Damian Christinger and installation views visit