Life in Monochrome - Jane Maxwell, America Martin and Anthony Hunter

Joanne Artman Gallery
Dec 14, 2017 11:58PM

The use of monochrome, or black and white, exists in numerous iterations in the visual arts but especially in the fields of drawing, photography and film. Deliberate use of such a minimalist palette, eliminating color as a compositional element, can be a way to explore a medium while focusing on line or texture rather than hue, vibrancy or intensity.  A black and white composition often uses gradients of gray rather than shades of color to indicate separation of value, with either lighter or darker shades being used for the background in figurative works. For abstract compositions, the same rules could be applied as simplicity of form and shape and a certain cinematic quality are all enunciated through a limitation of color.

Jane Maxwell, America Martin and Anthony Hunter are three artists who explore the possibilities of a limited, monochromatic palette.

Jane Maxwell
Black and White Walking Girls
Joanne Artman Gallery

Jane Maxwell utilizes found paper ephemera such as posters and prints in her dimensional compositions on panel that focus on the female figure in motion. The layered surfaces take advantage of the grit and texture of Maxwell’s medium of collage, while the restricted, black and white palette emphasizes both a harmony as well as the overall pattern in the overlapping words, blocked areas of solid value and lines. In Black and White Walking Girls, Maxwell evokes the look and feel of a black and white film exposed to dust and age in sharp contrast to the glamorous, modern silhouettes of the striding figures - a strikingly beautiful cacophony.

America Martin
Sidewalk Musicians
Joanne Artman Gallery

For America Martin, a simplification of material, and a reduced palette provide the opportunity for a stronger focus on texture and line, one of the defining elements of her practice. As in many of her drawings, where the use of a dry brush emphasizes the texture and grain of the paper, America’s works on linen explore the possibilities of the medium. In Sidewalk Musicians, Martin uses light acrylic paint on a background of dark linen in a magnetic composition that utilizes a monochromatic palette to highlight the texture of the linen, as well as a flattened perspective through a consistency of line, form, and shape.

Anthony Hunter utilizes a monochromatic palette as an extension of his usual practice while playing with the idea of de-saturation with a focus on composition. In Curious Big Black Square Running Away from Black Blob Over There Painting, ambiguity as to which elements are in the background and foreground endow the painting with a precarious balance. The liquid oil glass medium gives a beautiful lustre and dimension to the starkly separate elements, as Hunter pours, pulls and scrapes the paint, giving distinct separation with almost no gradation between the black and white. Hunter’s choice of oil gloss (a finicky medium that takes months to dry), as well as compositional choices, make the piece a beautiful study in control.


Jane Maxwell, America Martin and Anthony Hunter are represented at JoAnne Artman Gallery  || 326 N. Coast Highway, Laguna Beach CA 92651
 || 511 A West 22nd St. New York NY 10011

Please join us for America's  New York exhibition -  The New Figurative  ||  Opening Reception: Thursday, Feb. 8th, 6pm -8pm

949.510.5481 || www.joanneartmangallery.com || [email protected]


Joanne Artman Gallery