This autumn, the National Gallery presents a journey through a world of shadow and light: Monochrome: Painting in Black and White. With more than fifty painted objects created over 700 years, it is a radical new look at what happens when artists cast aside the colour spectrum and focus on the visual power of black, white, and everything in between.
Paintings and drawings by Old Masters such as Jan van Eyck, Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, and Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres appear alongside works by some of the most exciting contemporary artists working today including Gerhard Richter, Chuck Close, Bridget Riley, and an immersive light installation by Olafur Eliasson.
Monochrome reveals fresh insights into the use of colour as a choice rather than a necessity. Through five themes Sacred subjects, Studying light and shade, An artistic aesthetic, Challenging other media and Abstraction, Monochrome addresses a different aspect of painting in black, white and grey, also known as grisaille.
The earliest surviving works of Western art made in grisaille were created in the Middle Ages for devotional purposes, to eliminate distractions, and focus the mind. From the 15th century onward artists made drawings in black and white to work through challenges posed by their subjects and compositions.
Increasingly, paintings in grisaille were made as independent works of art, complete unto themselves. For centuries artists have challenged themselves to mimic the appearance of stone sculpture in painting, to compete with new developments in printmaking, photography and film. Abstract and installation artists have always been drawn to black and white. When artists have ready access to every possible hue, the absence of colour can be all the more shocking or thought-provoking.
展覽時間：30 October 2017 – 18 February 2018