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Monochrome means “single colour" and traditionally follows a greyish palette. During the 20th century, monochrome became an art movement in its own right, widely accepted on the same level as portrait or landscape art.

Like “Readymades", it not only revolutionised the aesthetic practice of the art world, but also our vision of the world in general. Kazimir Malevich's “Black Square" is considered the first contemporary monochrome painting.

However, what is so effective about reducing a painting to a single colour?

Monochrome works have 2 objectives: reaching total abstraction and/or reducing painting or sculpture to their core visual properties. This is in order to focus on the physical elements of the work such as texture, form or colour.

Malevich claimed monochrome was a door leading to infinity, where infinite interpretations could arise from a single colour. Barnett Newman and Mark Rothko viewed painting as a large colourful field which allowed access to personal experiences. As a result, Rothko's work became darker over time, aiming to touch the soul of his viewer as opposed their perception. He also prefers if his works are viewed in dark rooms as it gives them more depth.

Yves Klein's monochrome series of blue was so famous, he copyrighted the colour under the name “International Klein Blue." Although his artistic career only lasted 10 years, Klein is considered a major figure of the avant garde. When viewing the Klein Blue, it is “the mind that sees with the eyes."

It was one of the main styles of art from the 1950s and 60s. While reflecting back on their work, artists like Robert Ryman or Pierre Soulages said they used monochrome without even really wanting to. At each artistic advance, monochrome was able to adapt and stay an essential tool for artists working towards redefining art.

Working with or without colour infatuated artists throughout the 20th century, eventually evolving into more abstract practices. Monochrome art remains very popular amongst contemporary artists today, and Artsper invites you to discover its most recent supporters.

Emerging artists who are exploring the creative possibilities of monochrome include, Japanese artist Miki Manibuchi, who was greatly inspired by Malevich. Additionally, Klein's influence can be seen in Laure Julien's “Blue Dream Series."

Accomplished Korean artist, Jinny Yu, draws and creates unique sculptures. The recurring theme between his works? The dark grey that borders on blackness.

Alternatively, the use of single colour can equally be seen in Kirkis Rrose's works, whose pink colour palette creates a world of baby, fuchsia and orange pinks. An artist of many talents, he draws and photographs portraits and builds flower sculptures, which are ironically entitled “here lies good taste."

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Yves Klein, Petite Vénus bleue, Sculpture

Yves Klein

Petite Vénus bleue, 2001
2.4 x 0.9 x 0 inch


Jeff Koons, Balloon Venus - Dom Perignon, Sculpture

Jeff Koons

Balloon Venus - Dom Perignon, 2013
24.2 x 14 x 12.8 inch


Our recommendations Luke Newton, Crayons Not Colts (light blue), Sculpture

Luke Newton

Crayons Not Colts (light blue), 2016
10 x 14 inch


Yann Merran, Burano, Photography

Yann Merran

Burano, 2012
9.8 x 9.8 x 0.4 inch


Walter Strack, Sans titre, Painting

Walter Strack

Sans titre, 2012
47.2 x 31.5 x 1.8 inch


Bahman Sehatlou, Boat on the sea, Painting

Bahman Sehatlou

Boat on the sea, 2011
29.5 x 27.6 x 2 inch


Our recommendations Cade, Jeune femme au poisson, Sculpture


Jeune femme au poisson, 2018
12.6 x 11.8 x 13.8 inch


Bastien Cuenot, Le penseur, Sculpture

Bastien Cuenot

Le penseur, 2013
59.1 x 31.5 x 27.6 inch


Oriol Texidor, Immersió 001, Painting

Oriol Texidor

Immersió 001, 2018
16.5 x 11.4 inch


Gabriele de Santis, Manifesto 2017, Print

Gabriele de Santis

Manifesto 2017, 2017
39.4 x 27.6 inch


Alexane Leprieult, Téléphone rose, Photography

Alexane Leprieult

Téléphone rose, 2015
26.4 x 47.2 x 0.8 inch


Nico Munuera, Inside landscape VIII, Painting

Nico Munuera

Inside landscape VIII, 2012
15.7 x 11.8 x 1.2 inch


Our recommendations Adam Gibbs Tjapaltjarri, Sans titre, Painting

Adam Gibbs Tjapaltjarri

Sans titre, 2010
15 x 18.1 x 1.2 inch


Ronaldo De Juan, Cuadrado naranja, Print

Ronaldo De Juan

Cuadrado naranja, 1983
27.4 x 21.1 inch


Jean-Pierre Chatelet, Marilyn Monroe d'après Andy Warhol, Painting

Jean-Pierre Chatelet

Marilyn Monroe d'après Andy Warhol, 2016
48 x 48 x 2 inch


Gianfranco Migliozzi, Golf, Painting

Gianfranco Migliozzi

Golf, 2015
39.4 x 39.4 x 3.9 inch


Alain Kujawa, NYC Noir, Painting

Alain Kujawa

NYC Noir, 2014
47.2 x 39.4 x 1.6 inch


Kirkis Rrose, Mars II, Drawing

Kirkis Rrose

Mars II, 2017
27.6 x 39.4 x 0.4 inch


Kirkis Rrose, Dissolution 1, Photography

Kirkis Rrose

Dissolution 1, 2016
23.6 x 15.7 x 0.4 inch


Our recommendations Stephanie Rivet, Brise marine, Painting

Stephanie Rivet

Brise marine, 2016
40.2 x 40.2 x 1.6 inch


Valerie Marty, Piaf Turquoise, Sculpture

Valerie Marty

Piaf Turquoise, 2018
6.5 x 3.9 x 3.9 inch


Daniela Pasqualini, Émergence V, Painting

Daniela Pasqualini

Émergence V, 2019
36 x 36 x 1 inch


Walter Strack, 09-H-BL-109-210, Painting

Walter Strack

09-H-BL-109-210, 2009
43.3 x 82.7 x 1.4 inch


Gilles Sacksick, Marguerite Duras, Painting

Gilles Sacksick

Marguerite Duras, 2018
22.6 x 18.1 x 1.2 inch


Nicole Tijoux, Full Moon, Painting

Nicole Tijoux

Full Moon, 2020
39.4 x 51.2 x 1.2 inch


Stéphane Dupuis, Boy on the Chair, Drawing

Stéphane Dupuis

Boy on the Chair, 2020
31.5 x 23.6 x 1.2 inch


Pascal Pilate, Circle purple, Painting

Pascal Pilate

Circle purple, 2016
50 x 50 x 2.4 inch


Debra Ramsay, Color of Place. Lotus, Painting

Debra Ramsay

Color of Place. Lotus, 2018
28.5 x 19.5 x 0.75 inch


Stéphane Dupuis, Urban pose color 3, Drawing

Stéphane Dupuis

Urban pose color 3, 2020
7.9 x 7.9 x 0.4 inch


Claire Charousset, Because I love you, Painting

Claire Charousset

Because I love you, 2018
45.7 x 35 x 1.2 inch


Laurent Chabot, New York 2, Painting

Laurent Chabot

New York 2, 2012
59.1 x 70.9 x 2 inch


Nicole Tijoux, Ocean 4, Painting

Nicole Tijoux

Ocean 4, 2020
8.3 x 5.9 x 1.2 inch


Denis Marcon, Wonderland, Painting

Denis Marcon

Wonderland, 2018
37.4 x 37.4 x 1.2 inch


Sovann Nou, Untitled 27, Painting

Sovann Nou

Untitled 27, 2015
39.4 x 39.4 x 2 inch


Denis Marcon, Précieuse, Painting

Denis Marcon

Précieuse, 2018
37.4 x 37.4 x 1.2 inch


Jinny Yu, Non-painting painting (Musa), Drawing

Jinny Yu

Non-painting painting (Musa), 2012
17.7 x 17.7 x 0.4 inch


Jérôme Legrand, Sans titre, Painting

Jérôme Legrand

Sans titre, 2016
19.7 x 15.7 x 0.8 inch


Morgan Wu, Ray No. 22, Painting

Morgan Wu

Ray No. 22, 2019
31.5 x 31.5 x 2 inch


Holly Walsh, Skellig Storms III, Drawing

Holly Walsh

Skellig Storms III, 2019
23.6 x 15.7 x 0.4 inch


Alain Kujawa, Gris noir, Painting

Alain Kujawa

Gris noir, 2014
31.5 x 19.7 x 1.6 inch


Miki Wanibuchi, Kaohsiung 2016 Day-1, Painting

Miki Wanibuchi

Kaohsiung 2016 Day-1, 2016
51.2 x 51.2 x 2.4 inch

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Miki Wanibuchi, Kaohsiung 2016 Day-2 Scene-3, Painting

Miki Wanibuchi

Kaohsiung 2016 Day-2 Scene-3, 2016
11.8 x 11.8 x 1.8 inch

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Our recommendations Liora, Marina 10, Painting


Marina 10, 2019
27.6 x 19.7 x 1.6 inch

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Walter Strack, Sans titre, Painting

Walter Strack

Sans titre, 1999
45.3 x 17.7 x 1.9 inch

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Susan Bleakley, The Colour Of The Burqas, Painting

Susan Bleakley

The Colour Of The Burqas, 2015
22.8 x 22.8 x 1.2 inch

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Our recommendations Laure Julien, Série Rêve bleu - Electro, Painting

Laure Julien

Série Rêve bleu - Electro, 2015
44.9 x 57.5 x 0.8 inch

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Jia Yuan Hua, Un-known world, Painting

Jia Yuan Hua

Un-known world, 2016
19.7 x 23.6 x 0.8 inch

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