Found Monochromes

David Batchelor

Curated by Nina Shen

22 October – 11 November 2021

Opening reception: Friday 29 October 2019, 6-9pm⁠

#residencies&exchange #photography #installation

Since 1997, David Batchelor has been photographing blank, white, rectangular panels that he finds in the streets of the cities he visits, from London to Sāo Paulo. While he started looking at how abstraction is embedded in the urban fabric, the series has grown into a far more personal project, a psychological map of each city he visits. ⁠

The monochromes of the street are occasional, often inadvertent and always temporary. For Batchelor they are moments of blankness in an otherwise saturated visual landscape; rectangular planes of nothingness that can also appear as voids at the centre of the field of vision. As such they are like errors: a space where there shouldn’t be a space, an absence where there should be a presence.⁠

There are currently over 600 images in the series. ⁠


Image credits:

Nina Shen 

Screen captures: ‘Found Monochromes’ by David Batchelor

The two-screen installation at CT20 project space is an extension to the billboard artwork ‘Monochrome 272, Sᾶo Paulo, 10.09.07’ by Batchelor, on display on the façade of Tannery Art studios & Drawing Room. It is the last of a series of 4 temporary public artworks curated by Nina Shen-Poblete, commissioned by Tannery Projects.

David Batchelor’s work is principally concerned with colour as it is experienced in the modern city, and takes the form of three-dimensional work, drawings, photographs and animations. Apart from being a prolific artist, David is also a provocative and compelling writer whose published books explore the West’s cultural discrimination of colour. His published works includes ‘Chromophobia’, ‘The Luminous and the Grey’, and in ‘Colour’ he has edited an anthology of writings on colour from 1850 to the present. This installation of his work was inspired by his book of photographs, Found Monochromes: Vol 1, no.1-250 (2010). ⁠

Nina Shen is a multidisciplinary curator and arts producer with multiple careers in the visual arts, architecture, design and education. She is the artistic director and co-founder of CT20, where she leads the production of cultural contents including the commissioning of visionary high impact site-specific artworks by world-class artists.

As a leading curator in the visual arts sector and having come from working-class first-generation Chinese immigrant heritage, Nina is developing participatory arts projects with minority diaspora communities in Kent and people not traditionally in the arts, exploring post-colonial legacies on counter-cultures, class and cultural identities, how they shape complex contemporary experiences and hybrid aesthetics.