Monochrome: Painting in Black and White

30 October 2017–18 February 2018

Exhibition Overview

Odalisque in Grisaille

“Painting in black and white is a thread that runs through the history and practice of art,” explain curators Lelia Packer and Jennifer Sliwka. The show brings together artists from the Middle Ages to the present day, with works that “challenge viewers to reconsider their perception of the world around them”. In the 12th-century, Cistercian monks used black and white after Abbot Bernard of Clairvaux pronounced colour “unnecessarily exciting to the senses”, while contemporary artists such as Gerhard Richter “draw on monochrome’s metaphorical associations and affective qualities”, say the curators.

(Photo: Jean-Auguste-Dominique Ingres and workshop, Odalisque in Grisaille, c.1824–1834, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Collection, Wolfe Fund, 1938, 38.65, © The Metropolitan Museum of Art / Art Resource / Scala, Florence)

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