Karen Zimmermann, Contributor 

“There’s no such thing as pure black or pure white,” Thomas Hilton said, pointing to the almost-black circle in the center of a pop-art geometric piece. Hilton, the exhibition director, pointed out how there was a slight amber glare on the spot from the studio lighting above.

“So pure black and pure white are more… theoretical?” I asked.

“When you add light, yes,” Hilton said.

The theme of the Monochrome exhibition was a limited palette — not just black and white, but those were the colors featured most prominently.

Lines, contrast and an emphasis on form filled the space. In fact, visitors found themselves walking on artwork composed of light variations alone — a human shadow dominated the floor.

Sketches and black-and-white photos were a natural presence, as were several kinds of prints, which were created by using a carved material like a stamp, making art from the difference between. The presence and absence of ink on the paper created the artwork. Each three dimensional piece was a single color, not simple black or white, but one that served to summarize its character.

The paintings that did incorporate an actual color – a hue – did so with power, as they stood by the black, white and grays, forcing the viewer to really con- sider the hue.

In an accidental way, Monochrome seemed to hit just in time for Halloween. A good number of the works had a spooky sense to them: undeterminable, vaguely writhing forms, sullen women looking away, unattended life- style objects, skulls and organs.

“Black-and-white images can have a dark association,” artist Anthony Curia said. Curia, a graphic design student, displayed his print of a skull and candle in the exhibition.

The next exhibition scheduled for the Rio Grande Gallery is the ACC Art Majors Exhibition. Student artwork will be on display from Nov. 12 through Dec. 11. The annual ACC Holiday Art Sale which will feature student art is scheduled for 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Dec. 4.