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White Print

In physics, white is the sum of all the colours. To the human eye, white appears to be the total absence of colour. Amongst artists, white and its many uses in art are continuously evolving and challenging those who would embrace them. Is white, then, a non-colour, or an enhancer of colours? Intangible or material? Absence or excess?

Since Antiquity, white has been appreciated for its symbolic value. In Ancient Greece, where they would paint their statues, it was a sign of incompletion, whereas the Romans believed it showed pomp and imperialist virtue. With the rise of Christianity, white was used in opposition to black in order to emphasise moral dichotomies: the pure, divine white against the darkness. In some cases, however, white was used to show sickness or death, most notably in the pallid representations of the skeletal, crucified Christ.

In the Renaissance white was used to sublimate faces and backgrounds. Da Vinci even based his sfumato technique on the soft transition from light into darkness. Throughout the history of painting, white was considered precious for its ability to reflect light. It attracts the gaze even when used in the tiniest quantities, and illuminates the subject, drawing out stunning contrasts as seen in the works of Rembrandt, or in Vermeer's famous Girl with the Pearl Earring.

With the rise of Impressionism, white was used as the brightest tone amongst shades of grey. While Manet produced canvases which were forerunners to monochromes, including The Reader, which was almost pure white, Monet delivered a stunning gradient of whites whilst recreating the snow at his home in Giverny. The first true white monochrome appeared with the arrival of Malevitch's White Square on a White Background. The artist said 'I have broken the blue boundary of colour limits, and come out into the white'.

 

Modernists were equally passionate about white and valued it incredibly highly. Miro in particular questioned the status of white on canvases. In his painting Woman, Bird and Star white is in parts boldly painted, but is also distinctive for its absence around the star. Picasso, on the other hand, explored white in conjunction with his famous coloured periods. Piero Manzoni became famous thanks to his 'achromatic' paintings, a series of canvases produced exclusively in shades of white. Moving into the 20th century, white became synonymous with minimalist abstraction. For artists like Kandinsky, white was a cosmic colour, associated with a spiritual search for the absolute, guiding the artists as he seek to express his emotions.  

 

Today, white remains an ever popular subject. Roman Opalka made his name creating a series of white numbers of a white background, while Daniel Arsham reinvents white walls in galleries by letting his artwork drip down onto them. White is a colour with multiple symbolic interpretations. The colour of divinity or humility; of purity and immaculate, of emptiness and absence, but always colour. If blue has Klein and red has Rothko, it appears that no artist has yet succeeded in fully mastering white – but maybe you'll find them in our selection!


Collector’s Guide: Collecting Prints

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Claude Weisbuch, L'épave, Print

Claude Weisbuch

L'épave, 1955
18.9 x 25.2 inch
Print

$419

Zao Wou-Ki, Champs abandonnés, Print

Zao Wou-Ki

Champs abandonnés, 1954
19.8 x 26 x 0.1 inch
Print

$7,179

Martin Kallay, Inside in the Garage I., Print

Martin Kallay

Inside in the Garage I., 2019
11.8 x 17.7 inch
Print

$1,149 $1,436

Tyler Shields, The couple out the window, Print

Tyler Shields

The couple out the window, 2021
30 x 40 x 2 inch
Print

15,000 - $ 25,000

Lou Doillon, Lou, Print

Lou Doillon

Lou, 2021
29.9 x 22 inch
Print

$383

Ben Vautier, No more art, Print

Ben Vautier

No more art, 1990
19.7 x 27.4 x 0.1 inch
Print

$2,991

Cleon Peterson, Power, Print

Cleon Peterson

Power, 2018
24 x 18.1 x 0 inch
Print

$718

Piotre, Miniature 2, Print

Piotre

Miniature 2, 2020
5.9 x 5.9 x 0.4 inch
Print

$479

Eduardo Chillida, Esku XXVIII, Print

Eduardo Chillida

Esku XXVIII, 1992
11.4 x 8.5 inch
Print

$6,928

Jean-Louis Toutain, Sous le réverbère, Print

Jean-Louis Toutain

Sous le réverbère, 2019
22 x 15 inch
Print

$658

Liliana Porter, Them, him, Print

Liliana Porter

Them, him, 2018
22.8 x 18.3 inch
Print

$2,154

Javier Calleja, Festival De Malaga (It Was Ok), Print

Javier Calleja

Festival De Malaga (It Was Ok), 2020
5.7 x 8.3 inch
Print

$778

Jerzy Panek, Kneeling goat III, Print

Jerzy Panek

Kneeling goat III, 1969
13 x 21.3 inch
Print

$2,034

Donald Sultan, Pomegranates II, Print

Donald Sultan

Pomegranates II, 1990
47 x 35 inch
Print

$5,500

Olaf Breuning, Random thoughts about life 1, Print

Olaf Breuning

Random thoughts about life 1, 2018
11 x 16.9 inch
Print

$957

Pierre-Gérard Langlois, Aube vénitienne, Print

Pierre-Gérard Langlois

Aube vénitienne, 1986
24 x 31.5 inch
Print

$574

Our recommendations Hans Bellmer, Untitled, Print

Hans Bellmer

Untitled, 1972
26 x 20 inch
Print

$1,650

Nelson Leirner, Hot dog, Print

Nelson Leirner

Hot dog, 2013
11.8 x 27.6 inch
Print

$2,393

Frédéric de Torcy, Dino, Print

Frédéric de Torcy

Dino, 2020
19.7 x 19.7 inch
Print

$670

Our recommendations Koak, Drift, Print

Koak

Drift, 2019
19.5 x 15.9 inch
Print

$1,197

Gloria Muñoz, Codex I, Print

Gloria Muñoz

Codex I, 2019
27.6 x 39.4 inch
Print

$1,795

Vuk Vidor, French Art History (A), Print

Vuk Vidor

French Art History (A), 2016
39.4 x 27.6 inch
Print

$479

César Paternosto, Untitled 1, Print

César Paternosto

Untitled 1, 2020
23.6 x 23.6 inch
Print

$1,436

Marie Orensanz, Comunicar energía, Print

Marie Orensanz

Comunicar energía, 2017
11.8 x 15.7 inch
Print

$1,197

Teddy Gardez, Voyage à Travers l'Impossible, Print

Teddy Gardez

Voyage à Travers l'Impossible, 2017
43.3 x 31.5 x 2 inch
Print

$1,065

Steinberg Saül, Masque, Print

Steinberg Saül

Masque, 1966
10.3 x 12.3 inch
Print

$1,017

ErriC, Another Dimension, Print

ErriC

Another Dimension, 2020
19.7 x 27.6 x 0.1 inch
Print

$227

Helen Frankenthaler, Un poco más, Print

Helen Frankenthaler

Un poco más, 1987
27.2 x 37 inch
Print

$7,179

Diane Victor, One Horn, Print

Diane Victor

One Horn, 2016
27.2 x 19.7 inch
Print

$1,197

Jean-Pierre Stholl, Hommage à Gustave Doré (coffret), Print

Jean-Pierre Stholl

Hommage à Gustave Doré (coffret), 2013
13.4 x 9.8 inch
Print

$3,350

Our recommendations Luis Camnitzer, Portfolio Two parallel lines, Print

Luis Camnitzer

Portfolio Two parallel lines, 2014
11 x 16.9 inch
Print

$10,769

Jordi Alcaraz, Parlar sol (II), Print

Jordi Alcaraz

Parlar sol (II), 2021
49.6 x 35.4 inch
Print

$7,179

Priscilla Beccari, Femme porte-voix, Print

Priscilla Beccari

Femme porte-voix, 2018
13.4 x 10.2 inch
Print

$538

Berdaguer & Péjus, Test d’acuité visuelle martien, Print

Berdaguer & Péjus

Test d’acuité visuelle martien, 2013
29.5 x 19.7 inch
Print

$538

Daniel Arsham, Remowa & Daniel Arsham, Print

Daniel Arsham

Remowa & Daniel Arsham, 2019
8.7 x 11.4 x 3.5 inch
Print

$5,983

Ignasi Aballí, **, Print

Ignasi Aballí

**, 2018
1 x 0.2 x 1 inch
Print

$4,188

Patrick Jannin-OMS, Plein-Chant III, Print

Patrick Jannin-OMS

Plein-Chant III, 2013
8.3 x 7.7 inch
Print

$203

François Morellet, Intersecting Lines, Print

François Morellet

Intersecting Lines, 1975
14.4 x 14.4 x 0.1 inch
Print

$778

Sylvette Gassan, Serpent de terre, Print

Sylvette Gassan

Serpent de terre, 2018
9.6 x 22.4 x 0 inch
Print

$156

Madsaki, White flags 2P, Print

Madsaki

White flags 2P, 2018
19.7 x 30.3 inch
Print

$1,316

Shu Takahashi, White Mythology, Print

Shu Takahashi

White Mythology, 1973
39.4 x 27.2 x 0.1 inch
Print

$897

Joseph Beuys, Zirkulationszeit: Kopf H.B. , Print

Joseph Beuys

Zirkulationszeit: Kopf H.B. , 1982
17.7 x 13 inch
Print

$2,273

Our recommendations Julio Larraz, En Cuba, Print

Julio Larraz

En Cuba, 2007
27.6 x 35.4 x 0.4 inch
Print

$2,154

Pierre Tal-Coat, Planche de l'Almanach 4, Print

Pierre Tal-Coat

Planche de l'Almanach 4, 1971
24.8 x 16.9 inch
Print

$897

Lesya Rozova, Woman lines, Print

Lesya Rozova

Woman lines, 2020
23.6 x 15.7 x 0 inch
Print

$517

April Gornik, Sea edge, Print

April Gornik

Sea edge, 2011
19.7 x 28.7 x 0.4 inch
Print

$1,795

Imi Knoebel, Rot Gelb Weiss Blau, Print

Imi Knoebel

Rot Gelb Weiss Blau, 1995
31.5 x 23.6 x 0.4 inch
Print

$1,496

Antonio Asis, Sans titre 2, Print

Antonio Asis

Sans titre 2, 2013
19.7 x 19.5 x 0 inch
Print

$1,436

Arthur Secunda, Sans titre, Print

Arthur Secunda

Sans titre, 1990
29.9 x 22 x 0 inch
Print

$479

Guillaume Allemand, Les Forêts, Print

Guillaume Allemand

Les Forêts, 2019
21.3 x 29.1 x 0.4 inch
Print

$838

Dondi White, Iron Man Lives, Print

Dondi White

Iron Man Lives, 2016
20 x 16 inch
Print

$1,436

Antonin Anzil, Volubilis, Print

Antonin Anzil

Volubilis, 2016
31.5 x 23.6 x 0.4 inch
Print

$1,316

James Bohary, Egypte, Print

James Bohary

Egypte, 1990
29.9 x 22 x 0.4 inch
Print

$538

Josep Riera i Arago, 30 abril 2002, Print

Josep Riera i Arago

30 abril 2002, 2002
15 x 21.3 inch
Print

$598

Antonio Sanfilippo, Abstract in Blue, Print

Antonio Sanfilippo

Abstract in Blue, 1971
26.6 x 19.7 x 0.1 inch
Print

$467

Gerardo Dottori, Futurist Composition, Print

Gerardo Dottori

Futurist Composition, 1969
27.6 x 19.7 x 0 inch
Print

$897

Richard Prince, The Greeting Card Jokes #1: The Fireman, Print

Richard Prince

The Greeting Card Jokes #1: The Fireman, 2011
6.25 x 8.5 inch
Print

$3,135

Massimo Campigli, Woman, Print

Massimo Campigli

Woman, 1964
25.4 x 18.3 x 0.1 inch
Print

$718

Aurélie Nemours, Sans titre, Print

Aurélie Nemours

Sans titre, 1959
12.6 x 9.8 x 0 inch
Print

$598

Paz Borquez, Le défaut, un éloge III, Print

Paz Borquez

Le défaut, un éloge III, 2018
13 x 9.8 x 0 inch
Print

$479

Robert Barry, Composition pour les JO, Print

Robert Barry

Composition pour les JO, 1992
24.8 x 35.4 x 0.4 inch
Print

$957

E.K. Waller, Kitchen Ponder, Print

E.K. Waller

Kitchen Ponder, 2020
25 x 38 x 2 inch
Print

$1,200

Ester Partegàs, Shopping Heads 1, Print

Ester Partegàs

Shopping Heads 1, 2001
18.9 x 25.6 x 0 inch
Print

$838

Ivo Pannaggi, The Builders, Print

Ivo Pannaggi

The Builders, 1975
19.7 x 27.8 x 0.1 inch
Print

$909

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