Monochromy. About the aesthetics of published art

Exhibition at the Centre for Artists' Publications

07.09.2024 - 03.08.2025
Ettore Spalletti, Salle de fêtes – Sala delle feste, 1998, © VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2023, Foto: Bettina Brach

In monochromatism (Greek monochromatos = single-colored), artistic works consist of single colors. In the field of artists’ publications, conceptions involving monochrome surfaces have arisen repeatedly ever since the 1950s, with the goal of achieving as high a degree as possible of concentration and simplification. Here artists conduct a thematic investigation not only of aspects of color, aesthetics or emptiness, but also of philosophical and religious nothingness.

The examples on display celebrate the diversity of monochromy in the medium of the artist’s book: In 1960, herman de vries was one of the first to create a book consisting solely of white pages (wit). The two-volume edition Salle de Fêtes—Sala delle feste (1998) by Ettore Spalletti, on the other hand, has only red or blue pages. Jiří Valoch thematizes “nothingness” in his artist’s publication Book about Nothing (1970). And his artist’s book Day and Night (1971) consists of a white and a black page.

The exhibition shows the diversity of the monochrome in contemporary art and addresses the understanding of the monochrome and the thinking associated with it. The monochrome is presented in the form of graphics, artists’ books and journals, several objects and paintings as well as in the context of sound art.

Rozbeh Asmani, Irma Blank, Doro Boehme, Hugo Bonamin, Iñaki Bonillas, Stanley Brouwn, James Lee Byars, Hans-Peter Feldmann, Lucio Fontana, Heinz Gappmayr, Daniel Göttin, Fernanda Gomez, Nan Groot Antink, Paul Heimbach, Anne Heyvaert, Jean Keller, Yves Klein, Imi Knoebel, George Maciunas, Louise Nevelson, Olaf Nicolai, Ad Reinhard, Allen Ruppersberg, Ettore Spalletti, Jiří Valoch, herman de vries, Ian Wilson, et al.


Opening: September 6, 2024, 7 pm

Admission free

Exhibition on level 3,5

Curated by Anne Thurmann-Jajes

With the kind support of