|Cris Gianakos (left) and Sharon Brant (right)|
2018 begins with yet another exhibit devoted to painting in black and white, Beyond Black and White at Westbeth Gallery in NY. This is a large group exhibit of black and white abstraction by 38 artists. It includes work that demonstrates a variety of preoccupations -- paintings that are seductively austere, others that are intricately patterned, and still other paintings that focus on materiality. Curated by Li Trincere and Henry Brown, the exhibit offers a glimpse of the richness that is possible within the parameters of working in black and white.
As I've written previously on this blog (Almost Black and White, Painting in Black and White), rather than being restrictive, working with black and white can open up a world rich with possibilities for visual artists. Although the phrase 'black and white' sounds direct and clear, there is nothing simple about the decision to work in black and white.
Black isn't merely black, and white isn't just white -- either hue can be cool or warm, flat or expansive. The painted surface may be matte, reflective, chalky, silky smooth or coarsely pitted. For some of these artists, working with black and white will also mean exploring the vast arena of grays. Without the inevitable and often unwanted associations that accompany a more expansive palette, a painter is free to concentrate more fully on preoccupations with form and geometry, pattern and surface.
This post includes a selection of the 38 paintings on exhibit. The show is up through January 27th at Westbeth Gallery, 55 Bethune Street, New York.
|David Rhodes (left) and Li Trincere (right)|
|David Seccombe (left), Joan Witek (center), and Jean Wolff (right)|
|Rene Pierre Allain (left) and Henry Brown (right)|
|Laura Duerwald (left) and Gelah Penn (right)|