Art Term

Black box

Relating to performance art, the black box is the name for a square room painted black in which artists performed experimental work

Aldo Tambellini Black Zero

The black box became popular in the late 1960s, when artists began using abandoned warehouses as their studios. The appeal of the black box was that it was cheap to maintain and had few technical requirements apart from some simple lighting. The absence of colour on the walls, together with the lack of a set or backdrop, focused attention directly onto the performer.

Related terms and concepts

Performance art

Artworks that are created through actions performed by the artist or other participants, which may be live or recorded, spontaneous ...

White cube

Refers to a certain gallery aesthetic characterised by its square or oblong shape, white walls and a light source usually ...