The Monochrome Museum: Black and White in Art and Design
While it is defined as an absence of colour, a black and white palette can make a strong statement. It can communicate function or symbolic meaning; create contrast and stir emotion.
The use of black and white in art allows the artist to experiment with form and texture. It is unapologetic, allowing no margin for error.
Monochrome is sometimes chosen for aesthetic or emotional reasons. It can be bold or sensitive. It can create illusion and play between light and shadow. In product design, black or white might be used to emphasise or aid functionality.
Historically, items such as sewing machines and typewriters were often painted black to stress practicality. Baths and sinks were commonly white so dirt would show up on surfaces that required regular cleaning.
The artworks and objects selected in this exhibition are a snapshot of how black and white has influenced art and design throughout history.