In the Realm of the Monochromatic is an exploratory group exhibition of younger artists that centers on the artistic possibilities of monochrome paintng. Monochrome painting is an outgrowth of a reductivist stance (the heir of Malevich’s White on White) that eschews a variety of formal means and abandons ordinary stylistic options in favor of the complex potential of one-color painting.
Monochrome painting presents the viewer with one predominant color mood, aura, or statement. At one end of the spectrum, the surface of individual paintings may be “true” monochromes dependent on a single steady tone across the entire canvas, or on subtle tonal variation. At the other extreme, painting surfaces may be composed of two or more hues that are “optically ” monochromatic through the act of the viewing.
One-color painting is not a style, but rather a genre. It is a genre of nuance that manifests the potential of different painterly sensibilities in one aura of color. Each artist is distinguished by thoroughly personalized surfaces in his painting inflected by subtle, idiosyncratic nuances of texture.
This exhibition was organized for the Society by Michael Walls, Director, Anderson Gallery, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, Virginia.