Monochrome: Painting in Black and White (2017)

ISBN: 781857096132
Artist(s): Various
Author(s): Lelia Packer and Jennifer Sliwka
Format: paperback
Edition: First Edition
Year published: 2017
Publisher: The National Gallery
Total Pages: 240
Illustrations: Lavishly illustrated


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Painting “without colour” has long held a fascination for artists. In this striking and original book, the authors explore how and why artists from the 15th century to the present have chosen to paint in black, white, and shades of gray. Sometimes artists used trompe l’oeil monochromatic effects to represent other media, such as sculpture, prints, or photography; others have consciously limited their palette as a means of re-focusing the viewer’s attention, while contemporary artists such as Gerhard Richter and Bridget Riley have often found inspiration in pushing black and white to its limits, and in new directions. The authors trace the history of this art form, from the symbolism of sacred images in medieval church ritual – epitomized in Netherlandish painting from the 15th century onwards by Hans Memling and Jan van Eyck – to the modern era and the work of artists such as Josef Albers and Ellsworth Kelly.


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