On Display: “Monochrome” at the Cultural Council of PBC

Mark Forman - #225 - Monochrome exhibition at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County

Mark Forman, #225, 2013

Acrylic on canvas, 60 X 48 inches

Sometimes, less is more. In the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County’s newest exhibition, “Monochrome,” on display from October 31 through December 6, 14 area artists were tasked to limited their palette to adhere to the facets of monochrome art. Working with a monochrome palette restricts the artist to the use of all the colors of a single hue (and for photography, black-and-white and sepia tone). Though this may sound bland in theory, the use of different tints, tones and shades, as well as texture and surface variation, allows artists to create nuanced works expressing a range of emotion and meaning through contrast. By focalizing portions of the canvas, sculpture or photograph, the surface takes on greater import than subject. The absence of hue contrast can give a work a stronger sense of visual cohesion, allowing for a more intensive examination of value and meaning.

   For “Monochrome,” artists Vincent Cacace, Joel Cohen, Misoo Fian, Mark Forman, Stephen Futej, Jacek Gancarz, William Halliday, Mimil Langlois, Kandy Lopez, Sally Ordile, Michael Price, Scherer and Ouporov, Thomas L. Tribby and Harvey Zipkin worked in a number of mediums to challenge viewers on aesthetic and how they consume art. “In an attempt to diversify our exhibitions and programming, we try to reach new audiences and to keep the art fresh and exciting,” says Nicole M. Hickey, manager of the artist services at the Cultural Council and curator of the exhibition. “Monochromatic work can evoke ideas and feelings in the viewer that they may not have expected. [I] selected works that illustrate the diversity of what the definition of monochrome is.”

Scherer & Ouporov - Celestial Tree - Monochrome exhibition at the Cultural Council of Palm Beach County

Scherer & Ouporov, Celestial Tree, 2014

Gold leaf, Swarovski crystals on wood panel, 13.5 X 13.5 inches

   The works, a collection of 53 paintings, photographs, sculpture and a site-specific installation, certainly leave an impression on the viewer, even for those relatively new to art appreciation. In Scherer and Ouporov’s Celestial Tree, the collaborative artists used a combination of gold leaf and Swarovski crystals on wood paneling to create an ethereal aesthetic that would otherwise be lost if muddled with competing hues. When looking at Mark Forman’s bold #225 canvas, the viewer’s gaze can’t help but follow down to the bottom third of the canvas, where he created a deep tonal rift.

  • “Monochrome” will be open from October 31 through December 6.
  • On October 30, a special exhibition preview will take from 5:30-7:30 p.m. Admission costs $20; free for members.

In connection with “Monochrome,” two lectures are scheduled with some of the exhibition’s featured artists:

  • On November 8 at 3 p.m., photographer Joel Cohen’s lecture—in reference to the Andy Warhol’s iconic Campbell’s Soup Cans—“Is It Art or Is It Soup” will explore what makes fine art.
  • On December 20 at 3 p.m., “A Discussion on Monochromatic Art” with artists Mark Forman, William Halliday, Sally Ordile and Mimie Langlois and moderated by Joel Cohen will delve into the world of monochromatic art.
  • Lectures are open to the public and cost $10 (free for members).


Concurrently, the Cultural Council will also present a special photography exhibition by Sue Patterson. Along with her husband, best-selling author James Patterson, the husband-wife duo have been working on a documentary, Murder of a Small Town. Based around two locations—Newburgh, New York (James Patterson’s hometown), and Belle Glade—the television documentary explores the history of violent crime in both and the effect it is having on the community.

Sue Patterson - Hudson - Cultural Council of Palm Beach County - Murder of a Small Town

Susan Patterson, Hudson, 2014.

Color print, 20 x 30 inches

    Stemming from the 2012 murder of Jimmy McMillan, owner of the Alabama Grocery Store in Belle Glade, the documentary aims to shine a light on the misconception that these small, trouble towns are not filled with troubled residents but rather good people overshadowed by the violent perception. Sue Patterson’s exhibition comes from her work on the documentary, with 22 photographs shot while on assignment in Belle Glade and Newburgh.

  • Sue Patterson’s solo exhibition will be on display from October 31 through December 6.

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