Kazimir Malevich painted his Black Square in 1915, and it was soon followed by White on White. I had thought this was pretty radical, but I’ve just been reading of three earlier works along similar lines, created by Alphonse Allais in the 1880’s. Alas, no images seem to be available on the web, but I’ve approximately re-created them from descriptions in Kirk Varnedoe’s Mellon Lectures.

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