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Kathleen Cammarata
Kathleen Cammarata

The Color Black

Black is an ancient color…the first color…the first charcoal drawing created 30,000 BCE.
Black is serious as in cleric robes and funeral attire.
Black is elegant as in the little black dress and the black tie affair.
Black is velvet, silk, ink, paint.
Black is soot, ebony, onyx, outer space.
Black as two opposite definitions. It is the lack of all colors of light or it is a combination of multiple colors of pigment.
Black is pervasive in the art world. It appears in the Chavaux cave drawings, in the Greek black figure pottery, in the backgrounds of Rennaisance portraiture, in Whistler’s paintings and in Malevich’s “Black Square” painting.

The ultimate expression of the color black in art is the Rothko Chapel housing fourteen massive dark paintings. It has been documented these paintings have evoked the most tears shed by people in front of a work of art.

I have explored black in monotypes, drawings, and paintings. I find it challenging to mix a rich black pigment and then paint layers to achieve some depth of color. Black is both dense and void.


Kathleen Cammarata has a BA from Montclair University. She has taught printmaking and contemporary drawing in two museums and at UMass Lowell University. She has had 25 solo shows the most recent at Belles Artes. She has participated in more than 50 juried exhibitions. Her work is in corporate and private collections in the USA and in Mexico.

Her work can be seen at Esperanza Studio the first Sunday afternoon of the month (January 10) or by appointment or at

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