400 years ago, Robert Fludd, an English cosmologist-philosopher-occultist = know-all, published a book that would explain everything. In it he included a diagram to represent the idea of nothingness – the state of the universe before creation. To modern eyes it looks a lot like a black Polaroid picture. Three Centuries later, Kazimir Malevich painted ‘Black Square’ – [Tate video] which was his statement that from then on painting would be free of having to represent real things. It was as much a revolutionary idea as when Marcel Duchamp stuck a urinal in an art gallery. And since then artists from Rothko to Richter have painted, drawn and photographed all-black pictures.
Here’s a slide show my ‘Top 30’ (and a couple more) ‘Black Pictures’ – which I’ve collected in a one-off artist’s book called, ‘A Little Book of Black Arts’ – more on that in another post.