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What Is Monochromatic in Art | Famous Works of Art Painted with Only One Colour

05.05.2021
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monochromatic art

What Is Monochromatic in Art?

Is a color picture incapable of evoking deep thoughts and feelings in a person? Capable! And it causes. But monochromatic monochrome painting distracts the eye from the superficial, bright, screaming. It makes it possible to see not the object itself, but its essence. Color, on the other hand, provokes emotions, selfishly focusing attention on itself, often breaks the form that the artist wanted to highlight, distorts the meaning, makes techniques more invisible.

Define monochromatic in Art

Monochrome is the direct meaning of the monochrome painting. This technique is based on one color and many of its shades. Black, white, grey are faithful companions of monochrome. When mixed, they allow for tonal variety. But the achromatic “trio” can perform independently, without additional color. In this case, it will be a beautiful tone letter – “grisaille” (from the French word gris – «gray”).

Is a color picture incapable of evoking deep thoughts and feelings in a person? Capable! And it causes. But monochromatic monochrome painting distracts the eye from the superficial, bright, screaming. It makes it possible to see not the object itself, but its essence. Color, on the other hand, provokes emotions, selfishly focusing attention on itself, often breaks the form that the artist wanted to highlight, distorts the meaning, makes techniques more invisible.

Monochromatic Art Definition

monochromatic artwork

For world art, monochrome painting has long been a part of understanding the world, a kind of dialogue between the artist and the natural principle, the infinite universe. Serenity, serenity carries ink and water writing of ancient Chinese and Japanese art schools. And in almost all cases, symbolism, innuendo. Monochrome painting of suiboku (or sumi-e), dating from the 10th to 13th centuries in China, entered Japanese culture by the 14th century. With all its laconicism, the gracefulness of flexible lines, and soft, tonal spots of blurred mascara on a white background, one-color, but unusually expressive art carried a deep philosophical subtext.

Development of the Monochromatic in Art

Since the beginning of the 20th century, there has been a revolution in all world art. From deep disappointment and contempt of the experience of past generations of masters, the flight into non-objectiveness to new visual aesthetics. And again the artist turns to monochrome in painting, detached from the real world and focused on inner experiences and deep convictions. The suprematist philosophy of Kazimir Malevich gives birth to an iconic black square on white, and then more: his white geometric figures melt against the light background of the canvas, affirming the movement of purity, “pointless white nature” as “the highest stage of the contemplative state.”

In the “blue” and “pink” periods of Pablo Picasso’s creativity, we feel like skin the transition from the aching despair of cold grey-blue shades to the soft warmth of coral-beige tones. And between these two periods, “The Girl on the Ball” appears symbolically, balancing between happiness and pain, life and nothingness, light and darkness.

Monochrome Painting Technique

The key to this is that, for example, blue and green are different colors, but dark blue and cyan are not different; these are only shades of one color. You can add white to the base color, making it lighter when making monochromatic art. In theory, this can be continued until almost pure white is achieved. At the same time, the color can be darkened by adding black. In this way, artists can paint a whole image of lines, elements, and shapes in different shades, which are technically painting in one color.

Why Monochromatic Artwork Is Used

Artists downsize their color palette for many reasons, but it’s mostly a way to focus the viewer’s attention on a particular subject, concept, or technique. Without all the complexities of working in color, it becomes possible to experiment with shape, texture, symbolic meaning.

Famous Monochrome Artists

monochrome painting

Robert Rauschenberg, “White Series of Paintings»

Five paintings from this series are a set of 1, 2, 3, 4, or 7 identical white canvases hung together. When they were first presented to the public, they looked like a cheap gimmick, and now Rauschenberg’s white paintings can be found in galleries around the world. Rauschenberg was a friend of composer John Cage, who wrote a piece of music called 4’33. During the performance, the pianist or other instrumentalist must sit silently for 4 minutes and 33 seconds. As a result, the audience only hears the sounds of the environment. Maybe this is the perfect accompaniment to these pictures.

Kazimir Malevich, “Black Square»

Perhaps the most famous monochrome painting in the world, which the jokers aptly nicknamed “Blacks in the black room steal coal.” Here he studied the basic possibilities of color and composition.

Piero Manzoni, “Achrom”

One of the one color paintings in the series went under the hammer at Christie’s auction for $ 5.2 million.

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