The minimalist black and white paintings of Spanish Artist Miguel Ángel Campano

The series: Black and White

When I encountered the minimalist Black and White series by Campano at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid – I was immediately inspired. Recently I have been attempting to push my own designs to be more essential and these paintings mirrored what I was doing with my own work.

Scale and texture in the paintings

The difference with Campano’s paintings and my own design work is it’s scale and the visible texture of paint on canvas. I think we forget how those subtle handmade touches can evoke a more human connection to the art. In design those details are usually replaced by solid vector shapes becoming more digital and in some ways impersonal.

Miguel Ángel Campano minimalist black and white paintings at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid Spain

From order to chaos

As the Black and White series progresses the paintings grow more complex. The shapes on the canvases seem to be spawning, multiplying and combining into an unsettled chaos. There is a sense of movement, organization and even problem solving mid-action.

Campano’s work in black gradually leaves its monumental sobriety behind. The interplay of fullness and emptiness does not simply construct a geometry tied to its own plane, but forms, and spawns constellations.

Reina Sofia Museum – Madrid, Spain
Miguel Ángel Campano minimalist black and white painting
Miguel Ángel Campano minimalist black and white painting

Introduction of texture and color

The series eventually evolves from it’s minimalist roots and Campano starts to re-introduce small sections of color and texture. The forms are still graphic but the added touch of color draws your eye in. Not that dissimilar from how we as designers use a highlight color for buttons and call to actions.

About Miguel Ángel Campano

Campano’s work is incredibly varied from abstract loose paintings in vibrant color to very controlled graphic compositions. The Black and White series is only a small part of his repertoire.

Miguel Ángel Campano was a Spanish painter who was critically acclaimed as part of the “generation of the renewal of Spanish painting”, receiving, among other prizes, the National Award for Plastic Arts in 1996.

Miguel Ángel Campano painting