Black White Grey - Picture Books without Colours

In picture books, the absence of colour is still uncommon today. But they do exist, the colourless picture books. They impressively show how illustrators use the expressive power of lines, shapes, contours and contrasts to create original, captivating pictures that often have a unique aesthetic and radiate a particular atmosphere.

The wide range of illustration techniques and artistic styles of the stories told in black, white and grey is remarkable. The palette ranges from printing techniques such as woodcut and linocut to pictures in scratch technique, pencil, charcoal and ink drawings to watercolours and pictures composed on the computer. Some books stand out for the abundance of filigree details drawn in delicately graded shades of grey, others for an expressive, striking style that thrives on the contrast and interplay of black and white or dark and light spaces.

There are also no limits to the content. For example, the picture books tell humorous animal stories, dystopian parables, and well-known folk tales, deal with fantastic creatures in a bizarre underground world, lush forests, day and night, and much more.

The exhibition, which has been compiled from the library‘s international collection, presents outstanding examples from the last twenty years, including books by internationally renowned artists such as Suzy Lee, Lorenzo Mattotti, Albertine, and Einar Turkowski.

Content of the exhibition:
1 introduction panel, 30 picture panel, 30-40 international picture books with annotations, text panels with quotes, 6 short videos, and some additional material. Further information upon request

Picture books in diverse languages, introduction and annotations available in German. Translations about request

The exhibition was on display in the International Youth Library in 2023. Six participating illustrators share their artistic approaches in short videos which can be viewed under the following link: Black White Grey

Next venue:
26 August - 19 December 2024:
Worlds of Words - Center of Global Literacies and Literature, College of Education / University of Arizona in Tucson, AZ / USA

Einar Turkowski © Mixtvision Verlag, München 2015