Affordable Black and White Prints From the ArtWise Collection

November 25, 2019

While color is an important aspect of any work of art, its absence also tells volumes. Focusing on the visual power of black, white and everything in between, artists often attempt to replace sensual pleasure with intellectual design, placing an emphasis on the composition of the work itself.

The artists on our list all explore the visual power of the monochrome palette. If you are looking to add some black and white in your collection, we bring you nine works of art that you can own right now at affordable prices, offered by our partners at ArtWise!

Featured image: David Hockney - Rumpelstiltskin (detail), 1962. All images courtesy of ArtWise.

Lorna Simpson - Backdrops Circa 1940s

A Brooklyn-born African-American artist and photographer, Lorna Simpson re-examines photography as a conceptual medium. Through her multidisciplinary and complex work, she raises questions about the nature of representation, identity, gender, race and history.

In this diptych, the artist comments on the historical fact that African American women were rarely glamorized in Hollywood productions of the 1940s, as their role in films was most often limited to that of household servants. The left panel depicts a melancholic African American woman in a white dress posing amidst a blatantly fake moon and stars. On the right, we see a detail of Lena Horn, intentionally marginalized by the composition of the work.

See more info about the work here.

Bertrand Dorny - Untitled IV

A French artist, painter, engraver and graphic designer, Bertrand Dorny was particularly attracted to poor materials such as paperboard, floated wood, worn papers, from which he realized collages, folded papers, wood-reliefs (“topomorphes”) and assembled very large floated wood panels.

Untitled IV is a color etching from the Pierres D'Ombre portfolio, signed in pencil by Dorny. The portfolio consisted of 5 color etchings and was published by La Mata Editeurs, Paris, in 1974.

See more info about the work here.

Marc Chagall - Couple Beside Tree

A Belorussian-born Russian-French Modernist artist, Marc Chagall combined elements of Expressionism, Symbolism, Cubism and other Modernist art movements. He created numerous works in various techniques and media, including painting, book illustrations, stained glass, ceramic, and fine art prints, establishing himself as one of the leading artists of the 20th century.

Couple Beside Tree is an original lithograph with lovers from Chagall Lithographe, printed by the legendary atelier of Fernand Mourlot.

See more info about the work here.

Kerry James Marshall - Untitled (Woman)

In his practice, Kerry James Marshall focuses on a history of black identity, excluded from the artistic canon throughout history. Through various media such as painting, sculpture, installation, collage, video, and photography, he explores issues of race and history.

A limited-edition etching, Untitled (Woman) is a portrait of a black woman rendered in a style reminiscent of a silhouette, investigating how Black bodies have been both literally and metaphorically made invisible. Her skin color is exaggerated, made black as the pigment allowed, drawing more attention to the content of the work.

See more info about the work here.

David Hockney - Rumpelstiltskin

Considered one of the most successful and recognized artists of our time, David Hockney has redefined the medium of painting during over six decades of creation. Known for stylistic versatility, he brought a whole new creative dimension into contemporary art.

The artist did some beautiful etchings for Six Fairy Tales from the Brothers Grimm, originally published in 1970. The book features weird and enchanting drawings for The Little Sea HareFundevogelRapunzelThe Boy Who Left Home to Learn FearOld Rinkrank, and Rumpelstiltskin. This etching is one of these haunting and scary, yet beautiful black and white illustrations.

See more info about the work here.

Vija Celmins - Spider Web

One of the most significant Latvian-American artists to date, Vija Celmins is best known for her photo-realistic paintings and drawings of natural environments. Fascinated with phenomena such as the ocean, spider webs, star fields, clouded sky and rocks, Vija dedicated her career to depicting such wonders in an unconventional way.

This intricate, monochromatic serigraph titled Spider Web was commissioned as part of the Lincoln Center's 50th Anniversary celebration.

See more info about the work here.

Man Ray - Le Store (The Vertical Blind)

Man Ray's innovative work established him as the leading figure behind the concepts of Dada and Surrealism, as well as for the rest of the early avant-garde art. He expanded the medium of photography by introducing the artistic potentials of different processes, such as solarization and rayographs.

The artist found the surreal in the commonplace, particularly in the female form. Throughout his career, many women took leading roles in front of his lens, becoming archetypes of a certain kind of photographer’s gaze. An offset lithograph, Le Store (The Vertical Blind) is a sensual female nude from 1981.

See more info about the work here.

John Baldessari - Tiger with No Stripes

As one of the leading figures and determining forces of the late 1960s conceptualism, John Baldessari relied heavily on the linguistic play, but also upon appropriating and recontextualizing images. This way, he disrupted the relationship between sign and signified, between convention and unconscious meaning.

In this work, the original color was substracted, leaving the negative space which invites the public to collaborate and color-in the poster themselves. You can stamp, draw, paint, and adorn your artwork onto this poster or leave it as is.

See more info about the work here.

Henri Matisse - Nude with Bracelet (Small)

A French painter and printmaker, Henri Matisse was one of the most influential artists of the twentieth century. His stylistic innovations fundamentally altered the course of modern art and greatly affected the works of several generations of younger painters that followed.

The abbreviated shapes and simplified composition in this work anticipate Matisse's bolder works of the later 1940s and early 1950s, in which he simultaneously represents form and space through nearly sculptural silhouettes. The white lines, which denote areas where Matisse carved into the linoleum, appear as if they have been sliced into black paper.

See more info about the work here.

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Brooklyn, New York, United States of America