Top 10 – Black Paintings




In 2016 Anish Kapoor acquired exclusive rights to the unique Vanta black pigment, reported to be the blackest shade of black in existence.  Artists have notoriously been fascinated with blacks for generations. So this week Artlyst celebrates the Top 10 black paintings. Black, as the opposite of white, is the result of the absence or complete absorption of light. It is simply a colour without colour or hue. Black was first used by artists in Neolithic cave paintings and one of the main colours used by Greek artists.  Over the centuries it has had many associations from mourning, death, witchcraft, evil and magic, through the colour of choice for 14th century Royalty to high fashion in the 20th century.  It conjures up feelings of secrecy, the unknown and mystery and as a way of hiding from the world.  The first all-black paintings were a release from the burden of subject matter, form and colour.

Image: Frank Stella Untitled 1967


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