Presence and Absence: Black and White
February 19, 2015
Color is a powerful tool in the artist’s repertoire, but what happens when artists eliminate color and depend upon the stark contrast of black and white to convey all of their visual expression? Over the last two years, the Museum has presented first Seeing Red followed by the Many Moods of Blue, both drawn from the Museum’s permanent collection. Presence and Absence: Black and White explores the permanent collection through black and white in many different media and formats including paintings, glass, and ceramics. Color, when it appears at all, becomes a nearly fleeting, subtle accent.
This selection of artworks offers an eloquent argument for the evocative presence of black and/or white. Rather than the distraction of color, the eye rests on the shapes and forms for the aesthetic experience of the work. The selected artworks may be either completely black or completely white, or play with the contrast of the two. The overall impact is simultaneously restrained, refined, energetic, and elegant.