From the beginning of art history, artists have been drawn to the simple palette of black and white. Even Henri Matisse, a painter famous for his experimentation with color, believed in the power of neutrals. “I’ve been forty years discovering that the queen of all colors is black,” he famously said. For Matisse, along with many others, black and white works boast a certain timelessness, showcasing the impact of light and shadow. Below, explore whimsical etchings by Wayne Thiebaud, abstract lithographs …

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