Finding Inner Peace Between Thin Black Lines

Agnes Martin’s Monochromatic Art Was Her Answer to Taoism’s Call for Austerity

Black is a strong color, and makes a powerful line. It is also elemental and austere—things that would have appealed particularly to artist Agnes Martin, who grew up in a Calvinist household in early 1900s Canada and was later influenced by Taoism and Zen Buddhism.

Martin is best known for her sublime abstract paintings of grids and lines, which at first glance may look like hand-drawn ledgers. Her early work from the 1950s and 1960s is mainly black, white, and earthen tones. In her long career, Martin did not solely …

Dressing in Black Takes Impeccable Skill

The Difference Between Standing Out and Fading Away Is in the Finer Details

There she was again. I’d been more or less able to avoid her since leaving New York, and I certainly wasn’t expecting her to turn up next to me at …

Are Black Dogs Unadoptable?

Rescue Shelters Perpetuate a False Belief that Dark-Coated Animals Are Unwanted

It’s easy to mistake Ozzie as ferocious. His teeth are jagged ivory. His fur is dark as night. But his eyes are the true windows into his soul. Warm, brown, …

A Color That Is Anything but Neutral

From Puritan Industrialists to Pro-Slavery Propaganda, Black Has Accumulated Contradictory and Controversial Associations

Black may be a color, but it’s not just a color.

Panelists at a lively Zócalo/Getty “Open Art” event at the Getty Museum explored the hue’s often contradictory and controversial …

The Accidental Color That Redirected Human Expression

Discovered by a Chemist, Prussian Blue Gave Painters the Spontaneity They Were Missing

True blue, royal blue, ultramarine: During the Renaissance, these were all names for the most prized of all pigments, lazurite, derived from the semiprecious mineral lapis lazuli. Mined and processed …

The World Below the Brine

The world below the brine,
Forests at the bottom of the sea, the branches and leaves,
Sea-lettuce, vast lichens, strange flowers and seeds, the thick tangle,
openings, and pink turf,