White abstract (Royal Family Portrait), 2003

Keith Coventry’s White Abstract (Royal Family Portrait) transforms an formal photograph of the Royal Family into a white monochrome abstraction. The photograph was taken from Hello magazine, a glossy publication known for its gossipy coverage of the Royal Family. Coventry plays with the tension between traditional values and contemporary society by using the language of abstraction, referring in particular to Russian Suprematist paintings by Kazimir Malevich. By depicting the Royal Family exclusively in white, Coventry drains the subjects of any blood or life, and suggests the waning political and symbolic strength of royalty.