Stare into the Blackest Material in the World

Artists and scientists alike have been fascinated by the interplay of light and the human brain since the time of the ancient Greeks.

This area of inquiry occasionally leads to a search for light’s absence, methods and materials that confuse the eye by giving it, well, nothing.

Ad Reinhardt attempted it with Abstract Painting, a 1963 work made with null brushstrokes. It’s eerie to look at a painting with no brushstrokes, but there’s still something there. More recently, artist and scientist Frederick de Wilde talked with The Creators Project about his all-absorbing, nano particle-based lab creation called “the blackest black in the world.”

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Ad Reinhardt once said, “There is a black which is old and a black which is fresh. Lustrous black and dull black, black in sunlight and black in shadow.”