Blog Menu

Consistent Monochromes: Painting by Henry Codax

An installation view of several colorful monochromesUntitled (installation view at Office Baroque, Antwerp, Belgium)

Henry Codax is a painter who is best known for his large, unflinchingly consistent monochromes. The artist develops his monochromes with an attitude that belies the serious, academic tone that this style of painting is often known for, instead viewing the planes of color as outwardly referential and accessible.

A photo of several silver gradient canvases on a gallery wallUntitled (installation view at Martos Gallery, New York, NY)

The arrangement of the canvases next to one another on the wall seems to be an important factor in Codax’s work. In most of the artist’s gallery shows, numerous canvases are positioned in close relation on the same wall. In some cases, five or six canvases next to each other on a wall will create a gradient, with each canvas painted in a slightly lighter shade of a color than the previous, or with each actually containing a smaller-scale gradient that echoes the larger composition.


Codax himself is notably reclusive (Henry Codax is, itself, a pseudonym) and is known for having a gallery show without any press release, artist biography, or even a list of works. The works themselves are delightfully reminiscent of Barnett Newman, or even the monochromes of Ian Wallace, though tonally quite different.

An installation view of some pink and yellow monochromesStrawberry Lemonade (installation view at Everybody, Tucson, AZ)

About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

Read more of Dallas' posts

Make your art portfolio easy

and focus your time on making art.


Try free for 30 days. No payment required.