Ali Banisadr’s Lapis, 2021. Image: courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

Feeling the Covid blues? The Victoria Miro gallery has an exhibition for you.

Titled after the eponymous 2017 work by Paula Rego, The Sky was Blue the Sea was Blue and the Boy was Blue is a group show of blue works by 19 Victoria Miro artists.

The online exhibition explores the colour’s many meanings and uses, featuring artists who work with blue not merely as a colour, but as something essential to a work’s intent.

The Sky was Blue the Sea was Blue and the Boy was Blue by Paula Rego, 2017. Image: courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

The colour has had many associations and it has been used in different ways down the ages.

From the earliest uses of lapis lazuli in Ancient Egypt, through the Renaissance when the semi-precious stone was used to create ultramarine, a colour so venerated it was reserved to represent the Virgin and denote her heavenly robes, to Picasso’s Blue Period and Yves Klein’s patented IKB, blue has occupied a special place in visual culture.

Grayson Perry’s Map of Nowhere (blue), 2008. Image: courtesy the artist and Victoria Miro

Each of the artists featured in the exhibition employs the hue in distinctive ways; some conceptually, some emotionally, and some – as with Rego, whose work is inspired by a fateful tale by Hélia Correia in which a little boy believes his father is the sea – to tell a story.

Artists featured include Milton Avery, Jules de Balincourt, Ali Banisadr, NS Harsha, Secundino Hernández, Ilse D’Hollander, Chantal Joffe, Isaac Julien, Idris Khan, John Kørner, Chris Ofili, Celia Paul, Grayson Perry, Howardena Pindell, Tal R, Paula Rego, Do Ho Suh, Sarah Sze and Flora Yukhnovich.

The Sky was Blue the Sea was Blue and the Boy was Blue runs until 30 April.

You can view it online here