The Color of Desire

If desire was a color, what would it be? Red? Black? For artist Jeff Muhs, the color of desire is a palette culled from the bloom of spring.

Muhs’s new series explores flower’s forms and colors. His oil paintings are abstractions of flora and botanical forms found in the gardens sprawling around his home and studio.

A solo exhibition of these works is on view from June 17 to June 30 at RVS Fine Art in Southampton. An artist reception for The Color of Desire takes place on June 18 from 6 to 8 p.m.

The opening coincides with the opening of Dorothea Rockburne: In My Mind’s Eye at the Parrish Art Museum. The museum is across the street from RVS Fine Art. The opening is also held from 6 to 8 p.m.

Muhs’s new series depart from the vivid and chromatic abstracted landscapes he is known. In The Color of Desire, the artist opted for the softer glow of spring’s first blush. Muhs was inspired to channel nature in a new way after becoming engrossed in the construction and creation of separate gardens that link across property he owns with his wife and art dealer, Beth McNeill of the McNeill Art Group.

The arrival of the fair weather, the planting season and the blooming of trees, plants and flowers into a visual symphony proved too compelling to discard, Muhs said.

“I find it hard to leave the gardens,” Muhs said. “So I brought them inside my studio.”

The paintings include works that feature the suggested shape of flora and fauna. Other paintings are abstracted further and put colors on stage. Fields of colors vibrate and the art evoke the sensation of witnessing spring’s first blooms on a perfect sunny day.

The Color of Desire—a solo show by Jeff Muhs—will be on view from June 17 to June 30 at RVS Fine Art, 20 Jobs Lane, Southampton. The gallery is open from Thursday through Monday from noon to 5 p.m. and by appointment. For information, call 631-283-8546.

Jeff Muhs’s art can be viewed at His work includes paintings and sculpture.

Muhs’s sculpture, “Decommissioned Chair,” recently won Best Sculpture at Guild Hall’s 73rd Artist Members Exhibition in East Hampton. The show remains on view through June 11. Muhs’s furniture designs are exhibited in Manhattan and Milan, Italy.

pat rogers

Pat Rogers is a freelance writer specializing in arts and culture on Long Island. When not going to art openings or interviewing actors or musicians, she’s looking for the next interesting story.