Blank Canvas

In my time as a professional artist I have seen more than a few artworks hanging in respected galleries or entered into art competitions that are little more than either blank canvases or canvases painted entirely one colour.

Although I don't know if it is still there, the State Gallery of South Australia had an all yellow canvas, while the State Gallery of Western Australia once exhibited three canvases painted three different shades of car 'duco' paint. Whilst I'm not sure of the concept behind the yellow canvas the other three came with some spiel about "exploring the unique surface created by that type of paint".

I also have seen a virtually white canvas win first prize in a local art competition with the judges describing the work as "bold and confronting". No argument from me there. Many people criticised it and couldn't understand how it could even be called 'art'.

The point of this article is not to say that these canvases are not art but to ask the question why? Why would any artist want to produce such an artwork? At the end of the day, no matter what conceptual spin you put on the artwork, it still is just a canvas either not painted or painted entirely in one colour.

I'm not going to speculate on the possible thinking behind these works, nor am I going to justify their existence as a legitimate work of art. I'm simply going to leave the question open. Why would any artist want to produce such an artwork?

Unfortunately I'm still an emerging artist. My work has years to go before it becomes minimal enough to fully capture everything I have to express with a large blue canvas.


  1. Hi TET

    I know just what you mean about the blank canvas bit in galleries. I often wonder how much the artist was paid for the "artwork" and think to myself, "why didn't I do that, and make a killing?"
    Now to explore more of your website, "The Last meeting of the Gawler Town Council", now that is what I'm going to click on first.
    Ex Councillor from the District Council of "further north".....TC

  2. Yes I have seen that too, but just because they do it doesn't mean it's worth emulating.

  3. Apparently this kind of art does speak to some artists enough to emulate it. I've seen it time and time again where some emerging artist has produced this kind of art for reasons that are beyond me.


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