Black needs no surrogate or replacement; there is no new black. The old one is still doing just fine.
Our relationship with black as a medium goes back at least 35,000 years. Many of the primordial art materials were black — soot, charcoal, pitch, asphaltum — and were most likely associated with ritual and special occasions. Because of this, no color is as heavy with significance. Black was associated with authority, priests, and royals. It was also the dark of night, the void, the beginning and the end. It would come to symbolize death, mourning, evil, magic, and no doubt because of all of the above, sex.
Black would be integral to cultures around the world. The earliest uses of black in manufacturing that can be dated include Korean and Chinese lacquering and pottery around 700 -800 BCE. A short time later it would also be found in Greece and the Americas.
Below: Black-figure Neck Amphora, 6th century BCE.
When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou say'st,
``Beauty is truth, truth beauty,''--that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.
John Keats, Ode to a Grecian Urn
While black was the color of power it also symbolized submission. Priests don black to demonstrate their submission to God.
Black was also favored by vampires and witches for implications of evil. It also gives the wearer the appearance of being thinner which for many of us may be the opposite of evil.
Boulders suspended in a sea of high gloss black walls.
Black is the complete absorption of all colors and the absence of light. It is those properties that make black, along with yellow, the most visible. (The reason why it's used on street signage.)
Robert Longo prints and Queen Anne chairs direct the otherwise subtle tones of the wallpaper and flooring.
An old school remix with Adolf Loos:
And David Hicks:
Interior designer Billy Baldwin's blend of classicism and modernism is described with a Louis XV chair and a Chinese table framed in black with flashes of gold. His ca. '50s Slipper chair is in the foreground.
The Interior designer that the New Yorker once called the presiding grande dame of West Coast interior design and erstwhile Playboy Playmate, Kelly Wearstler, channels some serious David Hicks mojo in her use of black, above and below.
Storied designer Nicky Haslam channels his own version of Dorothy Draper mojo:
The entrance to the Avenfield House, Park Lane, London:
For this British home, Haslam turns up the aristocratic swank. Shiny and glittering surfaces bounce a little harder given the undertones of black.
The white linens on this bed designed by Loyd Ray Taylor and Charles Paxton Gremillion, Jr. bursts into the room's stark black.
The cabinet gives a touch of black to add drama:
Black deftly provides some cold yin to the room's otherwise white hot yang.