Living With Art: Two Forms In One

Living With Art: Two Forms In One

  |   Tips, Tricks and Insights

Written for Renovating NYC (By Gail Green)

More than ever, the design and decoration of a space play a significant role in the successful display of art. The landscape against which the art or sculpture sits becomes its surrounding background, highlighting the work like a secondary frame. This framing device- be it a wall, a visual opening, a table, or the floor – becomes an essential component to the artistic expression. The message is the same: it is about how space relates to art and how both compliment one another, emphasizing each other’s best lights.

Although most art collectors, connoisseurs disclaim the importance of decoration, the eye knows differently. It senses disproportion, conflict of space, adversity of color. That disharmony pits the art against its environment, rather than working with it. In many ways, this is comparable to the painter choosing to frame the art himself as – frame and art – bear a direct relationship to one another.

Having accepted the importance of design to art, the owner can position their art in numerous ways: on tables, on floors, on walls, in between walls. In addition, sometimes a painting is created directly onto the wall itself so that the wall becomes integral to the art. As art collector Paul Frankel notes about his Sol Lewitt that sits permanently on his dining room wall, art becomes “a transcendental experience enhancing one’s personal environment on an intellectual as well as visual level. It is a perfect example of where art, design, and decoration converge.”

Art consultant and appraiser Beverly Jacoby sheds some professional light on the subject. She maintains, “Great art and great design create an ideal environment for living and working. The design and architectural plan exert a decisive influence on the art choice, particularly regarding size, placement, proportion, color, and choice of medium. For a client with a panoramic window wall with southern exposure I would recommend sculpture, works of art, painting, and perhaps a multi-media piece. Works on paper and new media like digital should be placed in low light areas, such as in a library, gallery or hallway.”

Therefore, for a work of art to be successfully illuminated, it needs to bear a direct and significant relationship to its context.

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