Phenomenon of white in contemporary architecture, art and design in Europe and Russia

Nowadays white is often used in architecture, art and design in Europe and in Russia. This paper aims to analyze the white color as an independent concept with different functions and meanings. There are various interpretations of white architecture such as an idealized view of antiquity, vernacular functionalism, or novelty. Besides the use of total white in new architecture as an aesthetic manifesto of pure form, the use of white in governmental and religious buildings is a symbol of virtue. White as a social position is used to describe office managers reflecting the turn to a post-information society. Contemporary art has often used white in various semantic aspects and formal qualities, from Piero Manzoni to Olafur Eliasson. After the popularity of white minimalism and the white cube, a trend to “return to nature” can be observed. Off-white colors are now favored in fashion and design, while the always wider use of lighting technologies to characterize the space makes white surfaces perfect screens for lighting effects. In recent times, with the actual pandemic crisis, we notice that white has also returned to be associated with medical environments and has the new meaning of a tabula rasa and hope for the future.

Grigorash Alena 1, 2 , Bossi Davide3
Смоленский государственный университет
  • 1 MPG
  • 2 RUDN
  • 3 Comune di Milano
Ключевые слова
Valery Orlov; Manzoni; ideal white; white architecture; off-white fashion
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