Achrome is simplicity itself. The barest, most reduced building block of art, the line, stretches across the surface of the canvas with curving and calligraphic elegance. A handful of pleats appear like ripples on either side of the main, deep central line. And yet, despite this elegance, despite the apparent perfection of this composition, it is not just Manzoni, but also chance, and the surface of the picture itself, that are responsible for the appearance of the Achrome. As it has set, the kaolin with which the canvas was soaked tautened without Manzoni's intervention. The picture created itself.
Despite the presence of this chance-created line, which hints vaguely at the simplest form of figuration, Manzoni's focus is on the nothingness, the emptiness of his canvas, which becomes a field full of potential. It is, as he explained, 'a surface completely white (integrally colourless and neutral) far beyond any pictorial phenomenon or any intervention extraneous to the value of the surface. A white that is not a polar landscape, not a material in evolution or a beautiful material, not a sensation or a symbol or anything else: just a white surface that is simply a white surface and nothing else (a colourless surface that is just a colourless surface). Better than that: a surface that simply is: to be (to be complete and become pure)' (Piero Manzoni, quoted in G. Celant, exh. cat., Piero Manzoni, Milan & London, 1998, p. 27).