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Ryan Travis Christian

Top ten artists working with monochrome

Harking back to simpler times with artists scraping the colour off their palettes and going B&W

If only life was as simple as black and white. From charcoal to a blank page, these two extremes of the spectrum and every nuance in between are one of the building blocks of art. Here are some of best black, white and grey artworks on show now.

Christian Holstad 

Holstad has a practise that ranges from installation to finally made grey drawings created on rubbed out newsprint pages.

Opening at Victoria Miro, London April 26

Evan Gruzis 

Gruzis monochrome paintings are so perfectly painted they almost look airbrushed or digital. His use of shadow, shape and 'space grey' paint is in a league of its own.

Opening at Duve Berlin Apr 26

Ryan Travis Christian 

This Chicago-based artist is one of the graphic artists that once you see you don't forget. His black and white works brim with humour, madness, pattern, hand and goggly eyes.

Opening Western Exhibitions, Chicago Apr 25

Eva Rothschild 

Scottish sculptor Rothschild makes brilliant black metal works - sometimes dropping with black fabric pieces that cut gallery spaces up like a pen on a piece of paper. 

Opening at Stuart Shave Modern Art, London Apr 25

Oscar Tuazon 

Team Gallery's current Chez Perv group show is an ode to grey concrete and monochrome. It includes the work of Oscar Tuazon, an artist with a penchant for monochrome, this time in collaboration with Gardar Eide Einarsson and Matias Faldbakken.

Until June 1 at Team Gallery, NYC

Robert Longo 

Longo is the king of black and white. He made his name in the 1980s with big black and white figures and his latest show contains 12 charcoal version of Abstract Expressionist paintings from Rothko to Pollock.

Until May 23 at Metro Pictures, NYC

Christopher Wool 

If you missed it in NYC, its worth the trip (and at least the catalogue) to see this incredible retrospective of Christopher Wool paintings. His use of black and white is genius – from black stencil text works to scrawled paintings using everything from enamels to screen printing.

Until May 11 at Art Institute of Chicago

Robert Holyhead 

This British painter often employs monochrome – though often that means subtle strokes of pale blue or washed-out grey. These simple seeming pieces are all about shapes and traces. His solo show at Max Hetzler coincides with gallery weekend.

Opening at Max Hetzler, Berlin May 2

Michelle Grabner 

If you're into the abstract, Grabner, who gained a good dose of praise for her work co-curating this year's Whitney Biennial, makes work about philosophy, repetition, and mathematical order. Often in grey.

The Whitney Biennial runs until May 25

Trenton Doyle Hancock

Hancock is one of those artists quietly plugging away at the weirdest fictional world you've ever seen. This 20 year retrospective of psychedelic and often monochrome drawings, gives TDH a proper dose of attention. 

Opening at Contemporary Art Museum Houston Apr 26