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The class immerses students in a monochromatic art display

“Not many people know what monochrome art is or think ‘Art made with one color? Well, I can do that too’, or ‘Why is that art?’” said Professor Mehring, co-curator of the exhibition specializing in abstract art: “I take these questions seriously, otherwise I wouldn’t have my job!”

The thematic galleries help guide visitors through these questions, although the exhibition draws no singular conclusions. “The structure of the exhibition is basically to help visitors find the first answers on their own,” Mehring said.

According to Mehring, monochrome is about allowing viewers to make comparisons and see the differences. The white room is a perfect example. “For artists like Robert Ryman, white is pure essence, stripping painting down to its essentials, albeit in surprisingly diverse ways,” Mehring said. “For others, like Bethany Collins, white is racist. In this seemingly constrained practice, there is so much room for creativity, nuance and range of meanings.

Collins’ play, A model or a practice, uses pages from the Department of Justice report into the police shooting of teenager Michael Brown to form a grid. The text, rendered in raised white letters, is impossible to read unless the visitor looks closely.

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