An Exhibition Featuring Invisible Art

Are you so bad at photography that all your photographs are completely overexposed to the point of pure white? Good news: there may yet be artistic hope for you. The Hayward Gallery in London is planning to mount an “Emperor’s New Clothes”-style exhibition titled “Invisible”, which will only feature artwork that can’t be seen. Pieces include Tom Friedman‘s “1000 Hours of Staring” (shown above) — a blank sheet of paper that the artist stared at for hours upon hours over the course of five years — and Andy Warhol‘s empty pedestal titled “Invisible Sculpture”.

Perhaps it’s only a matter of time before someone launches a photo exhibition consisting solely of blank white photographs.

Invisible at the Hayward Gallery (via The Telegraph via Boing Boing)

  • Jose

    You’ve got to be kidding me.

  • Sebastian Soto

    And then they complain that art is not taken seriously.

  • Sarah Heppell

    Sounds like a waste of time.

  • CX1

    I would expect invisible gallery patrons as well.

  • Joey Duncan

    This is what happens when crazy people have money

  • Wanderingbear

    Presume I can pay the entrance fee in Invisible money

  • F_luzzi

    wow, this is almost as good as this:

  • Frederico Malaca

    or buy that print with the same currency 

  • Knur

    It’s not an art. It’s a statement.

  • Steve Eastwood

    This gives a whole new meaning to the term “bullshit artist”.


    lol at “the artist stared at for hours upon hours over the course of five years” . i think he tricked them. He probably cut out a piece of wall paper from behind hi tv set

  • Paul Eliasberg

    Have a look at Hiroshi Sugimoto’s images of cinema’s. He opens the shutter when the movie starts. Closes the shutter when the movie has ended. Result is a blank white screen and a beautifully lit interior of a cinema. You can’t see any people, although they were there, but moved. I love it. It’s the best of both worlds. It’s a statement, invisible art and amazing photography all in one.

  • John Milleker

    It’s not art, it’s potential. I understand what they think they’re doing, but I find it neither clever or interesting.

  • Simondaviesphotography

    its a little different to this though, hiroshi sugimoto is a master photographer not a conceptual artist, even though some of his work is a bit abstract. 

  • Simondaviesphotography

    i do understand this work, maybe not the warhole piece. but just look at that piece of paper with the knowledge of what the artist claims to have done and you get a surge of anxiety, knowing what could have been, what would he had put on this paper. clever on so many fronts.  

  • Paul Eliasberg

    I beg to differ. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of his work. Nothing usually is what it seems to be. Portrait of the Queen? Photographing thousands of volts of electricity blasting through a metal table. That’s not just a master photographer at work. That’s an artist at work as well. Ansel Adams. Now there’s a master photographer and printer at work. Amazing technical capability and creativity, but technical creativity. When you’re reading Ansel Adams’s books it’s confusing to me that he keeps emphasising the creativity you need within your photography apart from technical proficiency. I really can’t see his creativity. Probably I just don’t recognise it yet, maybe when I’m a bit older and wiser…

  • Knur

    I will buy it.  I’ve got billions of invisible dollars.

  • sirscribble

    I’m going to assume that a fair amount of what appears in this show will be bullshit (and my personal preferences have no tolerance at all for Warhol’s work), but 1000 Hours is one of my favourite conceptual pieces of all time, precisely because you can not verify the claim the artist makes and there is therefore a certain tension.  On one hand, 1000 hours is far longer than most people would ever consider staring at an object.  On the other, Friedman has produced many tedious and extremely repetitive works, leading to the belief that he would be willing to devote such a ridiculous amount of time to something like this. The scepticism battling our desire to think someone might actually have the balls to do this and sell it is responsible for the harsh criticism it has received but overall it’s a thought-provoking piece precisely because he might not have started at it at all.

  • John MacLean

    Ansel’s creativity was that if you were there looking at the scene with him, his print would be an entirely different interpretation than what you saw. That was one of his creative geniuses! 

  • 9inchnail

    The perfect place to take your invisible girlfriend.
    Question: How do they know when someone steals one of these precious pieces of art?

  • Ranger 9

    August 22 – The Hayward Gallery was forced to close its “Invisible Art” exhibition yesterday after a prominent conceptual art scholar and critic declared that all the works contained in it were forgeries.

    In a news conference, Sir Eton Eritas of the National Gallery Trust explained that he had used advanced forensic techniques to analyze the works in the exhibit. He discovered, he said, that the empty space in Andy Warhol’s “Invisible Sculpture” had been removed at some point and replaced by a different empty space not connected with Warhol, and that the piece of paper represented as Tom Friedman’s “1000 Hours of Staring” was in fact merely a preparatory sketch that Friedman had stared at for less than five minutes.

    All the other works in the exhibit were similarly compromised in provenance, he said, noting that Interpol has investigated more than two dozen similar incidents attributed to an international ring of conceptual-art thieves who then take advantage of the publicity to sell forged copies of the missing works to high-end collectors.

    Hayward Gallery spokesman Uttor Tuatt denied that the gallery had any knowledge of the fraud, noting that the thefts could have taken place at any time after the works’ original creation — 1985, in the case of the Warhol sculpture — without anyone being aware of it.

    “We may be cynical scam artists taking advantage of the gullibility of the art-viewing public, but we emphatically are not thieves,” he said. “At least I don’t think we are. It’s possible that some of Warhol’s invisible space is out in the boot of my car, but if so it’s only a coincidence. It’s hard to tell with these conceptual masterpieces.”

  • Pgbrown

    Nonsense on many more fronts. 

  • Steve Eastwood

    Now THAT’S art!

  • Damian Monsivais

     Hiroshi Sugimoto’s its not invisible art but it is conceptual. His idea of there being a 2 hour film and there’s so much information recording into the film it becomes total white. Conceptual on all accounts. He did a lot of those and a lot of the ocean from different parts of the world, that left it looking like the same image over and over again. LOve HIs Work

  • Damian Monsivais

     Isn’t art suppose to make  a statement?

    if its just pretty to look at then isn’t it useless?

  • Damian Monsivais


  • Knur

    Pretty art is not useless but empty and without any meaning.

  • Killermotion

    90% of photographers are full of bs. The other 10% are better at disquising it.

  • cmcintosh620

    There was an exhibition at the ArtGate in NYC last month containing all pieces that were either extremely hard to notice (faint lines or textures, clear plexiglass, etc) or disappearing (pencil on wall with erasers provided). It was an amazing experience. This doesn’t sound like an amazing experience. It sounds like an experience that’ll make you leave saying “ugh, art”

  • rtfe

    your comment is only valid on other art sites. this is a photography site. art is not intended, wanted, needed, or understood here.

  • Mark Abeln

    Blank photos? I’ve already done it. It is a stale concept. They need to be more creative.

    My magnum opus of the concept, “Portrait of a Cat I (Shilo) [EV=-4.5]” can be seen here:


  • Jonathon Chambers

    Why do I get the feeling that they present a bunch of sheets of blank paper just to make profit off the entrance fees?

  • Smolenski

    the stupidest thing I’ve seen in quite a while

  • the truth

    no this is the truth     “you can’t handle the truth”

  • Smolenski

    I own this great bridge in Brooklyn if your interested

  • outraged by bullshit

    It’s a joke and a bad one at that Laughing his way to the bank from all tne idiots who read anything into this crap 

  • outraged by bullshit

    Its better actually   at least its funny

  • Samfunyun

    Hahahahahaha!  Good one!

  • Samfunyun