Robert Ryman

Robert Ryman is an american artist. His work features many canvases applied with white in some way.

His work is "rigorous and experimental, playing with the possibilities of material, scale, brushstroke, and installation itself.  He is most commonly identified with the movements of monochrome painting, minimalism, and conceptual art, and frequently explores the classical distinctions between sculpture and painting, as well as concerns with themes of perception, context, and enforced limitations.  Since the 1950s, Ryman has focused on the conceptual nature of his work, exploring the varieties found in primarily white paint on square surfaces. Preferring to be known as a “realist” rather than a minimalist, his work presents compositions at face value, prompting an examination of the optical and material properties of the painting discipline."




"The No Title Required series is one of Ryman’s largest multi panel works, continuing his investigations into the relationship between non-identical panels, and presenting a further investigation into the relationship between panels. Subtly shifting layers of high-gloss enamel white along the picture plane are framed by blue paint, that extends out and around the support.  Creating bizarre conflations of perception as the viewer moves along the work, Ryman’s pieces are subtle inquiries into ideas of continuation and space, creating tacit links between works that are almost completely devoid of any mark."



Kasimir Malevich

Malevich was a Suprematist Russian painter. A few of his pieces, such as 'White on White', 'Black Square', and 'Black Square and Red Square' are composed of simple rectangular forms with some kind of white space in them. 

"the trace of the artist's hand is visible in the texture of the paint and the subtle variations of white. The imprecise outlines of the asymmetrical square generate a feeling of infinite space rather than definite borders."


Bruce Mau

(Bruce Mau is a Canadian multidisciplinary design firm originally started by Bruce Mau.) 



"Gasometer Oberhausen, the largest gas storage silo in Europe, is one of the rare sites that Christo has taken on twice: once in 1998 with a wall made out of 13,000 oil barrels, and for a second time this year, with a new installation called Big Air Package. The new show—which opened on March 16—fills the massive steel silo with 61,000 square feet of ethereal white polyester." 


Anthony McCall

Felix Gonzalez-Torres

Junya Ishigami

Manuel Raeder

Edmund De Waal

Tara Donovan

Vincent Lamouroux

White Space in Photography

"Negative space, sometimes referred to as white space, is a concept that's been used in art, design, architecture, and sculpture for hundreds of years. It's equally useful in photography, and can be used to turn an average photo into an outstanding one."

"Negative space defines and emphasises the main subject of a photo, drawing your eye to it. It provides "breathing room", giving your eyes somewhere to rest and preventing your image from appearing too cluttered with "stuff". All of this adds up to a more engaging composition."






White Space in Film

"The concepts of positive and negative space are really easy to grasp and yet extremely powerful. Negative space, also called white space, is the space around your subject while positive space is the space your object inhabits on screen. The larger your subject is in frame, the less negative space there is."

"Another famous example is the “Beyond the Infinite” portion of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. When Dave Bowman finds himself in that creepy white room, the color scheme Kubrick chose was white and neutrals making the background washed out compared to the subject." 

"Depth of field is used extensively in film for close ups and medium shots. By reducing the depth of field (using a shallow depth of field) the background blurs. The opposite of a shallow depth of field is known as deep space.

By using shallow depth of field you focus in on your subject while the background is blurred. This blurring makes your subject pop out of the scene and creates a negative space around it."



  • "Active White Space – This is the space that you make a conscious effort to add to your design for emphasis and structure. Active white space is often asymmetrical, which makes the design look more dynamic and active.
  • Passive White Space – This is the white space that occurs naturally, such as the area between words on a line or the space surrounding a logo or graphic element."




White Space in Print

"It separates elements on a page.

This the fundamental reason to use white space. Without it, your page would look cluttered and messy, readers wouldn’t be able to tell what words relate to the images, and it would be hard to read"

"If it surrounds something, that something really stands out. If your brand has a minimalist look, all of your advertising might take this approach."

"All other things being equal, words that stand out will be read more often than words that don’t. Also, words that are easy to read will be read more often than words that aren’t. Therefore, it pays to make the most important words stand out and easy to read."

"There are many things to think about when trying to create a balanced image: size, shape, colour, contrast, etc. Adding white space is a great way to balance different-sized objects on your page."

"White space is a really important design element. It can make your readers look at whatever you want them to or reinforce your branding. It can be used to make words easier to read and it’s especially useful for minimalist designs."



"Allow events to change you. You have to be willing to grow. Growth is different from something that happens to you: You produce it. You live it. The prerequisites for growth are the openness to experience events and the willingness to be changed by them.

Forget about good. Good is a known quantity. Good is what we all agree on. Growth is not necessarily good. Growth is an exploration of unlit recesses that may or may not yield to our research. As long as you stick to good, you'll never have real growth.

Love your experiments (as you would an ugly child). Joy is the engine of growth. Exploit the liberty in casting your work as beautiful experiments, iterations, attempts, trials, and errors. Take the long view, and allow yourself the fun of failure every day.

Capture accidents. The wrong answer is the right answer in search of a different question. Collect wrong answers as part of the process. Ask different questions.

Drift. Allow yourself to wander aimlessly. Explore adjacencies. Lack judgment. Postpone criticism.

Everyone is a leader. Growth happens. Whenever it does, allow it to emerge. Learn to follow when it makes sense to do so. Let anyone lead.

Slow down. Desynchronize from standard time frames, and surprising opportunities may present themselves.

Don't be cool. Cool is conservative fear dressed in black. Free yourself from limits of this sort.

Ask stupid questions. Growth is fueled by desire and innocence. Assess the answer, not the question. Imagine learning throughout your life at the rate of an infant.

____________ . Intentionally left blank. Allow space for the ideas that you haven't had yet and for the ideas of others.

Stay up late. Strange things happen when you have gone too far, have been up too long, have worked too hard, and are separated from the rest of the world.

Repeat yourself. If you like it, do it again. If you don't like it, do it again.

Stand on someone's shoulders. You can travel farther carried on the accomplishments of those who came before you. And the view is so much better.

Don't clean your desk. You might find something in the morning that you can't see tonight.

Make new words. Expand the lexicon. The new conditions demand a new way of thinking. The thinking demands new forms of expression. The expression generates new conditions.

Creativity is not device-dependent. Forget technology. Think with your mind.

Organization = liberty. Real innovation in design, or in any other field, happens in context. That context is usually some form of cooperatively managed enterprise. Frank Gehry, for instance, is only able to realize Bilbao because his studio can deliver it on budget. The myth of a split between "creatives" and "suits" is what Leonard Cohen calls a "shining artifact of the past."

Don't borrow money. Once again, Frank Gehry's advice. By maintaining financial control, we maintain creative control. It's not exactly rocket science, but it's surprising how hard it is to maintain this discipline — and how many people have failed to do so.

Take field trips. The bandwidth of the world is greater than that of your TV set, or the Internet — or even a totally immersive, interactive, dynamically rendered, object-oriented, real-time, computer-graphic-simulated environment.

Make mistakes faster. This isn't my idea — I borrowed it. I think it belongs to Andy Grove.

Scat. When you forget the words, do what Ella did: Make up something else (but not words).

Break it, stretch it, bend it, crush it, crack it, fold it.

Take advantage of coffee breaks, cab rides, and greenrooms. Real growth often happens outside of where we intend it to, in the interstitial spaces — what Dr. Seuss called "the waiting place." Hans Ulrich Obrist once organized a science-and-art conference with all of the infrastructure of a conference — parties, chats, lunches, airport arrivals — but with no actual conference. Apparently, it was hugely successful and spawned many ongoing collaborations.

Laugh. People visiting the studio often comment on how much we laugh. Since I've become aware of this, I use laughter as a barometer to measure how comfortably we are expressing ourselves.

Power to the people. Play only happens when people feel that they have control over their lives. We can't be free agents if we're not free."


Lars Von Trier / The Five Obstacles

Lars Von Trier/ Dogma Rules

"Dogme raged against the unrealistic plotlines and overwrought visuals of mainstream cinema."

"They even had a manifesto promoting 'the purity, freshness, simplicity and ethics we wish to associate with our region'"


Brian Eno / The Oblique Strategies

"In 1975, Peter Schmidt and Brian Eno created the original pack of Oblique Strategies cards, through thinking about approaches to their own work as artist and musician."


Daniel Eatock Manifesto

First Things First 

Gilbert + George's Ten Commandments

I Thou shalt fight conformism 
II  Thou shalt be the messenger of freedoms 
III  Thou shalt make use of sex 
IV  Thou shalt reinvent life 
V  Thou shalt grab the soul 
VI  Thou shalt give thy love 
VII  Thou shalt create artificial art 
VIII Thou shalt have a sense of purpose 
IX  Thou shalt not know exactly what thou dost, but thou shalt do it 
X  Thou shalt give something back


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