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In the Realm of the Monochromatic

September 23 – October 20, 1979

In the Realm of the Monochromatic
Installation View,
The Renaissance Society, 1979
David Budd | Tony Delap | Porfirio DiDonna | Ruth Anne Fredenthal | Marcia Hafif | Gordon Hart | Valerie Jaudon | Alan Kleiman | Marilyn Lenkowsky | Robert Mangold | George Peck | Edda Renouf | Milton Resnick | Paul Rotterdam | Robert Ryman | Frederic Thursz | Jerry Zeniuk
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.



The Renaissance Society
is a contemporary art
museum free and
open to the public
Fri  Jun 14, 2024