Monochrome: Painting in Black and White
by Lelia Packer and Jennifer Sliwka
National Gallery London
As the title suggests, a book based on the absence of colour and a focus on black, white and shades of grey captured through an array of media.
Starting in the fifteenth century, the book travels to the present day, spotlighting the artists that grind their alchemy through a lens that is dominated by the duality of yin and yang.
It is interesting how monochrome art was perceived through the ages, be it as religious asceticism, i.e. helping to focus on what matters instead of being distracted by flashy colours, the indulgence in grey scales, i.e. grisaille to invoke the impression of three dimensionality, and especially the creative process that serves as the foundation for the creation of colour paintings yet is more often than not rooted in black and white sketches.
Different art periods are shed light on in terms of monochrome stand out artworks from the photorealistic to the abstract and it is astonishing to see the artistic prowess some creators display while limiting themselves to a monochrome palette and thereby exhibiting details through a heightened sense of dramatic impact that would otherwise have gone unnoticed.
The accomplishment of the ambitious Monochrome: Painting in Black and White lies in the reader gaining a perspective and appreciation for colorless art – art that does not have to be dreary – and one that is central to modernist experimentation and manipulation of perception, light and space.
Having read the book, the absence of colour in art immediately creates curiosity as to the motivation behind artists deliberately abandoning the hues they have at disposal.
Water of Life - Flor de Caña Rum Nicaragua is a blank spot on my world map. “Blank” as in it has yet to be visited, I am intrigued ... read more
Thus Let Us Drink Beer – Stockade Brewing Co Stockade Brewing Co surprised me a bit as it seemed to have emerged out of nowhere. Further research revealed that ... read more
Yeezy and Kanye West Yeezy Season 3 – 4 Zine Thames & Hudson The Yeezy phenomenon is one that ties in with the zeitgeist of artificially created hype and ... read more
Water of Life - Hernö One of the perks of roaming this earthround is that you get to try local spirits from the source. After a stint in Finland, ... read more
Thus Let Es Drink Beer - Modus Operandi My prayers for a great local, bold yet easily accessible IPA that ticks all the right boxes were answered with the ... read more
Looking for the SPB logo? You can download it in a range of styles and colours here:
Click anywhere outside this dialog to close it, or press escape.