White is not often considered a color. Even the Impressionists didn’t see white in nature. But, nature has plenty of white – objects such as clouds, snow, and flowers to name a just a few. White has its own harmony of silence.
For me either, next to the brightness and playfulness of all the other pigments, white in its pure form wasn’t something I was missing. Of course I always had a white tub of paint for mixing and adding to other colors, but never used it alone. Just white, in it’s pure, clean presence. With time, I realized its absence – that I was missing its luster and allure. White is more than just a color. It is the manifestation of all colors together, the complete energy and spectrum of light.
Slowly with time, white became an important part of my paintings. Leaving the white, raw color of paper between the colorful lines in my watercolors is meant to establish a dreamy lightness, like a surreal quality, and suggests a notion of calmness and safety. White can offer something that no other color can – an inner cleansing and purifying of your thoughts and emotions. It is associated with purity, innocence, light, cleanliness and spirituality. It is the color of perfection. In psychology, white is the color of new beginnings; it is the blank canvas waiting to be written upon.
Robert Rauschenberg’s White Paintings (1951) consist of a different number of modular panels that have been painted completely white. His primary aim was to create a painting that looked untouched by human hands, thereby being absolutely pure. Shocking when first exhibited in1953, his works gradually secured a place in art history as an important precursor of Minimalism and Conceptualism. They require attention from the viewer, asking one to slow down, watch closely over time and realize the subtle shifts of colors, light and texture.