The blackest painting in the world

London gallery Carroll/Fletcher is bringing what it claims is the blackest painting in the world to the UK.

Contemplating the darkness
Contemplating the darkness

NanoBlck-Sqr#1 is a piece by Belgian artist Frederik De Wilde, whose work focuses on “notions of the intangible, inaudible and invisible”.

For his “black” work, De Wilde collaborated with NASA and Rice University in Texas to develop a material that is apparently so dark that it absorbs practically all visible llight.

The material is developed as “bundles” of carbon nanotube. These are “grown” in a laboratory and then applied to an aluminium canvas by De Wilde to create the work.

Creating the carbon nanotube bundles that “absorb practically all visible light”

The gallery compares De Wilde’s work to that of Yves Klein, who worked with chemists to develop his International Klein Blue hue. The gallery says: “Similarly, De Wilde’s monochromatic or ‘blacker-then-black art’ works as a space of boundless immateriality. Yet black cannot be called a colour, merely the visual impression formed in its absence, and so looking into a void space evokes a vital act of introversion.”

De Wilde says: “There is a kind of beauty in trying to realise the blacker-than-black concept. Not just claiming it, but also trying to produce it by trial and error. There is beauty in doubt, to doubt and question perception and reality, simply by asking the poetic question: ‘Is there something blacker than black?’”

NanoBlck-Sqr1 in all its glory
NanoBlck-Sqr1 in all its glory

Frederik De Wilde: NanoBlck-Sqr#1 is at Carroll/Fletcher, 55-57 Eastcastle Street, London W1W, from 14 November-20 December.

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