There is a lot to be said for black abstract paintings. If black is technically not a color but the absence of color, black-and-white pictures can be said to be like photography—painting with light and shadows.
When stretched and blended to various tones of gray, black is endlessly expressive and breathtakingly versatile. This collection of some of the best paintings that focus on the color—and the idea—of black will convince you of this.
Black as a theme in art is among the most widely used, as well as the most misunderstood. As easy as it is to incorporate black into your art, it is also difficult to combine properly with what you have in mind.
At least, it can evoke all kinds of emotions, from poignant nostalgia to melodramatic expression, to violent political statements, and strong, sleek confidence. It is all in how you use the color that makes the difference.
Without the depths of black in the palette, it is almost impossible for every other color to stand out.
Black is a base and a frame, and in itself it is full of nuance. Creativity is as much about limits as crossing those limits, and using black alone, you can create these modern abstract pastel paintings like Emma Lambert’s Modern Black Art Painting and Lourry Legarde’s Black Art Wall Painting that say more than you can imagine.
Perhaps this misconception grew out of the truth that black is a slimming color. But like we can see from this montage, it is not a limited color. Again, it goes well with every other color, amplifying them. Black alone, or black and one other color, or black and a host of other colors—it’s hard to go wrong with it. The Black Swirl Tree by Karla Gerard portrays this perfectly. It is an effortless way to hold all the other colors together.
The African culture is one of the richest and most inspiring cultures in the world, and this translates well on canvas. The culture is as colorful as it is filled with strife and hardship. Black is tied to all these psychological ideas and cultural backgrounds, and you can see how much significance it lends to a beautiful portrayal of a moment as in Harry Weisburd’s Couple on a Beach piece.
There is a good reason black graphic prints and monochromatic photographs make great, classic home decor: it goes with just about anything and can be made to say anything. Black and white, and brown, are base colors—they are also the colors that best denote our humanity. No wonder black and white art forms are practically staples in fine art paintings. And from what we have seen, it really is no surprise.