Haynes Galleries presents “Black & White is Beautiful”
Through March 26, 2016

NASHVILLE— A special vignette exhibition of artworks solely in black and white has opened at Haynes Galleries. “Black and White is Beautiful” features paintings, photographs, drawings, and prints that showcase the dramatic qualities and stunning impact of the monochromatic palette. It’s on view until March 26 on the Music Row Roundabout and is free & open to the public.

“Black & White is Beautiful” offers the timeless beauty of black & white. The grouping is diverse in subject— introspective portraits, gritty street scenes, and historical studies— but they share the sheer beauty and simplicity of black and white. These works brilliantly reveal an entire spectrum from the deepest black in a shadow to a streak of white as a highlight and everything in between.

Yousuf Karsh is considered to be one of the most important portrait photographers of the 20th century. He photographed exclusively in black and white and nearly every well-known individual of his day sat for him. Over the years Karsh became known as the “master of light” for his portrait photos, like those of Jacques Cousteau and Albert Einstein which are included in the show, that illuminate both the subject’s physical features and their essence. Karsh photographed the famed French researcher Cousteau close up, in profile, and in his wetsuit but only the hood of the suit in visible making Cousteau look more like a pious monk than a world-renowned ocean explorer.

Like Karsh, John Guider’s photography manipulates light to enhance the potency of his image. Guider’s compelling platinum prints chronicle his many excursions across the country and the globe. The platinum printing process gives the final print a greater tonal range with deep blacks and rich grays. In Jefferson Memorial, Guider captures strong light as it hits a side of the iconic monument. Guider’s angle elegantly emphasizes the roundness of the site: the circular colonnade of Ionic columns and the shallow dome nearly glowing in the morning light.

A painting in black & white can have the same effect as a photograph like the hauntingly elegant Vermont Victorian by Stephen Scott Young, one of America’s leading Realist painters. With gouache and charcoal, Young softly feels out the shape and details of the clearly historic home.

Renée Foulks greyscale portraits are sparse and modern but they are also careful character studies and profound celebrations of light and the human form. Zaineb, on display during “Black and White is Beautiful,” hauntingly captures the moment a young woman ponders her future. She somehow vacillates between the here and now and tomorrow’s unknown, the gray tones lending the scene an ethereal effect.

During its run, “Black and White is Beautiful” will offer guests a refreshing new look at a habitually overlooked approach to making fine art, one that has inspired artists for centuries and continues to be a source of the most compelling work of the 21st century.