2.2.09

Abstract Art - Go Big or Go Home

"Interiors are motivation; and they speak louder than voices. People are searching for spiritual experiences. Environments featuring art and design can provide those experiences." Mary V. Knackstedt

In the past year (2008) I have noticed a proliferation of large scale abstract art being used in living rooms and dining rooms. The effect is bold and dramatic and creates a strong focal point in a room. Most of the rooms shown in the pictures below are large in scale architecturally and benefit from a strong focal point. Over scale in size shows abstract art to it's very best. Abstract art is non-representational and lets an eclectic array of furnishings and accessories stand on their own merits as works of art. Abstract art is beautiful and organic in nature...... Enjoy the slide show.

Definition of Abstract Art: A cluster of theoretical ideas lies behind abstract art. The idea of art for art's sake – that art should be purely about the creation of beautiful effects. The idea that art can or should be like music – that just as music is patterns of sound, art's effects should be created by pure patterns of form, colour and line. The idea, derived from the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, that the highest form of beauty lies not in the forms of the real world but in geometry. The idea that abstract art, to the extent that it does not represent the material world, can be seen to represent the spiritual. In general abstract art is seen as carrying a moral dimension, in that it can be seen to stand for virtues such as order, purity, simplicity and spirituality.

For those of you who read this by email click here to view the slide show.

photography Jen Wong1 untitled28 Bilhuber

Left Photography Jen Wong / Right Jeffery Bilhuber

 

Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design, architecture,
and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© Patricia
Gray Interior Design Blog, 2009

Definition of Abstract Art: A cluster of theoretical ideas lies behind abstract art. The idea of art for art's sake – that art should be purely about the creation of beautiful effects. The idea that art can or should be like music – that just as music is patterns of sound, art's effects should be created by pure patterns of form, colour and line. The idea, derived from the ancient Greek philosopher Plato, that the highest form of beauty lies not in the forms of the real world but in geometry. The idea that abstract art, to the extent that it does not represent the material world, can be seen to represent the spiritual. In general abstract art is seen as carrying a moral dimension, in that it can be seen to stand for virtues such as order, purity, simplicity and spirituality.

For those of you who read this by email click here to view the slide show.

photography Jen Wong1 untitled28 Bilhuber

Left Photography Jen Wong / Right Jeffery Bilhuber

 

Patricia Gray writes about 'WHAT'S HOT 'in the world of Interior Design, new and emerging trends, modern design, architecture,
and travel, as well as how your surroundings can influence the world around you.
© Patricia
Gray Interior Design Blog, 2009

36 comments:

  1. I love love love these.

    Art is so personal...if I saw some of these pieces out of context, I am not sure I would love them, but it in a well designed space, and they sing to each other.

    It took me a long time to figure out that art and music were the two of the best things in life...

    I like the piece in rusts, with similar colour pillows on the sofa.

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  2. All amazing pieces. I especially loved the third one (large blue) with the blue sofa, and the 7th one, with the pink chairs. The works stand alone, but when they are picked up to accent the decor (or rather decor accents them), it is an inimitable combination!

    Great post!

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  3. I prefer the last explanation, at least for my art anyway.

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  4. I can't get over how much I love this post Patricia! There are so many amazing rooms which are enhanced by these gorgeous pieces of art! Love it! Tracey xx

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  5. I love that first image! and the slide show - how fancy!!!

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  6. Cara Patricia,
    Wouldn't mind a Mondrian.... Identify completely w your interiors. Also, a minuscule, expressive abstract in an architecturally big room/studio wall is indeed dramatic. Bacione, Ingrid

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  7. I was going to start by stating which is my favorite picture until I saw the whole slide show and decided that I cannot decide.
    Having lived with art all my life (abundance of artists in the family, the closest being my brother) I know how important it is for people to love and own a beautiful piece that would make their hearts skip a beat. I agree with Michelle, art and music, and I would add love :) are the best things in life.

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  8. I love big pieces of art, abstract or not!

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  9. I think the reason these large, bold art pieces work for me is because the rest of the rooms remain more neutral. The artwork becomes the "queen" in the room, the focal point.
    I agree with Terri, that large blue piece is gorgeous.

    xo
    Brooke

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  10. I didn't notice...thanks for the mention!!

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  11. I will never look at abstract art the same way again. Thanks.

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  12. I love the definition of abstract art. I am being pulled in that direction in my own art. Thank you for a wonderful post!

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  13. I love art, and I work with dozens and dozens of artists every year in my role as art consultant and 'emerging artist scout'. Most of the contemporary artists I deal with prefer to work very big - in fact, most of them do not even like to work in sizes less than 48"x48" because any smaller and it becomes too difficult for them to express their vision. I like these images that you have shown, because it shows that you do not have to be blessed with 12 foot ceilings to incorporate large scale contemporary art into your home.

    Gorgeous collection of images and artists. I have always wondered the name of that artist above the Celerie Kemble picture (you do not have it noted). I admire that painting every time I see it (I think this room was used in a Stark ad too). I also love Brice Marsden's style.

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  14. I love big abstract art, especially when paired with a classic room. These rooms are so harmonious.

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  15. Patricia,

    I love the fact that you use a phrase from Michelle - that was so cool.

    I have always love large pieces of art, actually I have in my living room a Daguerreotype based in la Velata by Rapahel 80 " W by 95" H (lol)

    This is one of the coolest post ever :)

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  16. Dear Patricia,
    I do agree with you and I have this very subject running in my head for my latest project for a client. The dining room is enormous with three large empty walls, the interior style is classic late 1800 with a few modern attributes.
    I am trying to figure out the best combination, maybe a big cupboard, a large beautiful mirror and a painting.....I am stuck a bit and will have to sort out my mind. In time...

    All the best,
    Ingela

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  17. Something is wrong at my end, I can't see your slideshows until about the 3rd day - darn it! From what I see on your post though, it looks like something I would love :)

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  18. Great post. I love that abstract art is now used in both contemporary & traditional interiors. (I agree about the blue one & am also a huge fan of the silvery gray one with white)

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  19. I am finally able to comment on your Posts, being back in Milan where my computer finally works.
    This Post is amazing and since I love Art in any form it is even more interesting. I have to say that (being a photographer myself) Photography is also going bigger and bigger.
    I love big strong pieces but they must be carefully selected and placed.
    Not an easy task for everyone, that is why Interior Designers and Art Consultants exist.

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  20. Wow!! Some of those paintings are absolutely stunning!! The yellow & grayish blue painting in the room with the cream sofa & chairs is probably my favourite. Which is surprising, because I'm not normally drawn to yellow. Another favourite is the cobalt blue painting in the all-white bedroom.

    I love the look of a great big piece of art on the wall -- it has such an amazing impact on a space.

    Kelly (one half of DesignTies)

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  21. Hello Patrica,

    I love this post on Abstract Art!

    I managed the Michael Taylor Showroom in SF for a couple years, and our showroom had a couple great pieces from Berggruen Gallery, Robert Kelly and Elmer Bischoff.

    Last year, I moved to Boston and miss this look -- working at Micheal Taylor, really made me appreciate large scale art and of course furniture! Thank you for your post! Here is some great furniture to pair with Abstract art
    www.michaeltaylordesigns.com

    Have you seen the new book on Michael Taylor, by Stephen M. Salny? Fabulous!

    Cheers!

    Kristine Mullaney

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  22. What a great collection of abstract art! I am a definitely a fan of the oversized pieces!

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  23. Great post. It's interesting that most of the pictures are either unframed or very simply framed. I believe abstract and modern art fits very well with classical framing. One of the Jeffrey Bilhuber pictures is framed this way, and it works perfectly.

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  24. I've come back to this post again. It's wonderful. I have a huge painting over my sofa and I love it...compliments abound. I need more wall space! I love your slide show.

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  25. Patricia - great post. I love that first image with the big blue table!

    -Lana

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  26. Patricia what a post! When I finished viewing the slide show I was in heaven. The Kandinsky work stood out.

    I remember one of my first art history class being on Wassily Kandinsky, Cossacks was talked about quite a bit. It is my belief that my professor was a bit obsessed with the artist. He told stories of Kandinsky's work being refused by museums around the world at one point. Claiming that his work was too abstract too...too(his words not mine:-) ) Some were placed in storage rooms only to be found in ruins after the war. I'll stop now. Needless to say I adore his work and can stare at it for hours.

    Thank you for a magnificent post!

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  27. Marta24/3/09

    Thank you Patricia! Wonderful post! I enjoyed seeing and reading this very much.

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  28. Anonymous14/6/09

    I happy to see an interior designer who repsects art, not that ID'S don't but most think furniture first.
    I think-light-form-texture-art but art should be the last or the first thing in the room...it's up to the viewer and should never dictate the design of the room.

    kudos.


    www.palmspringsmodernart.com

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  29. A friend and collector of my work pointed me to this post. Thank you for it! It is particularly wonderful that you showed contemporary and modern art in rooms with traditional and classical furnishings. Juxtaposition can be so powerful, and it is something I am always trying to convince people of.

    Great post, thanks again.

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  30. Patricia,
    I am forwarding this post on to my mother. She loves large contemporary art & has wanted to create her own piece for her home.
    These are some excellent examples. I will urge her to also read the comments above as a few of the designers also have some excellent advice.
    Thanks again for another interesting look around. Like i said before, i always feel smarter after a visit with you.
    Lisa

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  31. Thank you for this great blog, Im a long time bronze sculptor creating monuments and have a line of larger abstract paintings that Im working on. What is the best sizes and color combinations people are looking for.

    Rip Caswell

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  32. very interesting post!

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  33. I love how you incorporate contemporary art with a traditional living environment. My favorite is House Beautiful, love the work of art as well. Enjoyed reading your blog, I'd love to take a trip to Italy and take a mixed media course, any suggestions, since Emily Carr is in Vancouver. Thank you!

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  34. I work with a lot of Interior Designers and a feature wall or a large piece of dramatic art is great at creating an impact.

    These examples are fantastic because the designer isn't afraid of using colours outside the design.. it's ART rather than there to fill a space.

    I love love love this first piece, it's sharp, sophisticated and is a wow piece. Great for a modern apartment. Using white furniture, neutrals, and using the artwork to bring in the contrast colours is a great idea.

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  35. It is so great to see large works shown in such lovely interiors. I personally love large paintings.

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Patricia Gray | Interior Design Blog™

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