To make an image black and white is to simplify it. You take away multiple variations and mixtures of color that can be produced from the color wheel, and reduce them all to a pallet that is limited between two extremes.

At the same time that this restructuring of the visual spectrum simplifies what is available to work with, it also exacerbates internal contrast. Perhaps this is the reason that when choosing to depict subjects that are profound in their importance or gravitas, we may tend to consider conveying them in black & white.

As it so happens, works in this exhibit of black & white art did not shy away from depicting potent subject matter. Peter Pracilio’s “This Is Not A Toy” (2018), a 1:1 model of an AR-15, is placed across from Christine Heller’s works from her 2006 installation “In Our Name: Iraqi Children In War”. While these works were executed in black & white, the issues in our society that they bring to light are riddled with layers of grey.

This exhibition seeks to display the individuality of the artists who are showing their work. Looking about one is immediately met with contrasting shapes, subject matter, and mediums that have been employed by each person present. By limiting the pallets of the artists’ to be all the same, we are better able to see the importance of their statements.