Juan Munoz- Back Drawing

Back Drawing 1990 by Juan Muñoz 1953-2001

Back Drawing 1990 Juan Muñoz (1953-2001)  White chalk on a black background. Presented by Marian Goodman Gallery, New York 2008   http://www.tate.org.uk/art/work/T12550

I found this drawing, by Juan Munoz, as a great example of the use of tone to create shadow and ambience.  The subject is a back, sharply highlighted to create contour, shadow and texture.  The deep shading creates a sense of three dimensionality.  Although only the top of the back and hand are in detail, your minds eye fills in the gaps and ‘sees’ a complete figure.  The use of white on black creates a monochromatic, almost photographic affect, with a suggestion of “harsh” lighting to create starkly contrasting highlights and shadow.  The densely dark background creates a mood of pain/sadness(?); the stance of the figure is slightly awkward as if bending forwards; the texture is smooth, suggesting young unblemished skin.

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