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Art From Us MUSEUM GUIDE : Tate Modern : Painting With White

Today we arrive Tate Modern – Painting with White. For our weekly Museum Guide excursion, led by Divvya Nirula. Exploring the Monochrome in art.

This gallery offers a collection of monochromatic paintings. Presented here are our top three must-see objects on view here. Next time you visit the museum, do not miss these!

1. R69-26, 1946 by Barnett Newman
2. Spiral Movement, 1951, by Mary Martin
3. Holes, 1954, by Shozo Shimamoto

Image credit for artworks : Tate Modern

Some fun facts about the Museum :

  • As explained by the Tate Modern : “Using only white might seem, at first, to take this approach to extremes. Without image, and apparently pure, the white monochrome appears to resist meaning and interpretation. For some people, it has come to symbolise everything that is believed to be elitist and difficult about modern and contemporary art.”
  • A monochrome painting is one that employs the use of only one colour – in this case, white.
  • The colour white has great symbolism. It can signify, purity, emptiness, spirituality, godliness, infinity or all these simultaneously.
  • Typically, monochrome works also tend to be abstract. They focus on brushwork, texture and movement rather than structure or figuration. This style of painting evolved in various parts of Europe, Russia and America in the 20th century.

A Final Thought : the Monochrome

Monochrome paintings are often left open for interpretation by their audience. The artist simply creates, and the viewer is often responsible for finding or then creating meaning of these works. While these works of art may look like they are ‘easy to make’ and ‘about nothing’, they are actually packed with meaning. One need only explore a little deeper.


Visit Art From Us Archive for Museum Guide collated by Divvya Nirula. Here you shall find more suggestions on where you should visit next. And what you should see there. 

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