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Jacqueline Humphries Sunset Noir, 2005

Sunset Noir

Artwork Factory


Jacqueline Humphries’ Black Light Paintings shy away from brightness. They need the darkness and create the light themselves. Fluorescent paints are applied with a spray gun, which squirts the paint in large quantities onto the canvas. The more fluorescent paint Jacqueline Humphries and her assistant applied to the canvas, the brighter it became in the studio.

Associated modules

Jacqueline Humphries brings the atmosphere of a nightclub to the museum! Instead of daylight, her paintings use the invisible glow of black light, which is normally found in discotheques rather than in museums.

Look closely

What do the colors, shapes and blobs remind you of?

Jacqueline turns off the light in her studio, switches the black light lamp on, and starts painting. Thus light enters the darkness! When she applies her fluorescent neon paints to the black canvas, it gets brighter and brighter. The luminous paints really do result in an actual glow!

After fire broke out in her studio, Jacqueline started again from scratch. She asked herself:

How can you get museum visitors to look at a picture? She took the plunge and painted a series of paintings using fluorescent paint – a technique widely frowned upon in the world of art. It was a success, for her pictures are more than mere eyecatchers!

Talk about it

Why are the luminous images so fascinating?

"[...] There has to be enjoyment in what you do. Abstract painting allows for an overflow of my cynical side. I also think that the ‘Black Light Paintings’ are ridiculous in a way – at least I hope they are!"

Jacqueline Humphries


Ponder this

The title also has something to do with light and color. But how does black go with the sunset?