JANUARY 5, 2018 - JANUARY 31, 2018
Monochromatic art has been an important component of avant-garde visual art throughout the the history of art and specifically in the 20th century and into the 21st century. For centuries artists used different shades of brown or black ink to create monochrome pictures on paper and canvas. The ink would simply be more or less diluted to achieve the required shades. Shades of grey oil paint were used to create monochrome paintings, a technique known as grisaille, from the French word ‘gris’ meaning grey. In such work the play of light and dark enabled the artist to define form and create a picture. Painters around the turn of the 20th century explored a single color, the examination of values changing across a surface, and the expressivity of texture and nuance, expressing a wide variety of emotions, intentions and meanings in a wide variety of ways and means. From geometric precision to expressionism, the monochrome has proved to be a durable idiom in Contemporary art.
Monochrome art is meant to create a “zero point” for art, a relief from the artistic burdens of color and color theory. The result of simplifying the variety of color is a deeper appreciation of the interaction of tone, shade, contrast, and the subject matter. The other basic elements of art that may be less immediately noticeable than color, such as form, line, shape, space, texture, and value, to become apparent, allowing for deeper appreciation of an individual work and also training the eye to appreciate these things in art viewed afterwards.