Wall art adds emotion, color and vitality to rooms. If you’re wondering what to do about your bare spaces, don’t be timid about choosing wall art, especially large pieces.
Our booth at Avonlea Antiques & Interiors features mainly Mid-Century Modern (MCM) decor, but I want to show you how art from any period can enliven your space.
First of all, choose a piece that brings you joy. It’s perfectly acceptable to pause in front of your art while passing through a room, or sit on a chair and look into it, even for a minute. Art helps give you balance in your life.
An easy way not to become desensitized to your art is to move your pieces around. That way you can make new discoveries each time you look.
So, let’s see what speaks to you in terms of emotion, color and vitality with images currently in our booth.
Color Study: Squares with Concentric Circles
Wassily Kandinsky created his original study, hardly bigger than a sheet of copy paper, in 1913. He applied washes of watercolor in concentric rings and used it as a reference to study the interaction of colors. Ironically, his small reference became his most famous work. Kandinsky believed colors evoke feelings and affect your mood. Of course, the red and yellow double mats of this poster enhance the energy of the vivid colors.
If you want to know more about Kandinsky, check out this video:
Aperitif in A Studio
Step into this cozy artist’s studio. How bohemian! Join the ladies taking a break in the cramped surroundings, sipping aperitifs and nibbling sweetbreads. They huddle around a small table as an artist’s assistant pours the aperitifs. While this visually looks like an intimate group, notice they aren’t interacting. Perhaps it’s simply a work break.
The woman on the right, clad in black down to her shiny silk stockings, studies a portrait. Another woman turns away. The artist features one model by placing her near the center, clothing her in an undergarment, highlighting the whiteness of her breasts, and giving her red hair.
Contemporary Brazilian-born artist Juarez Machado’s (1941 – ) style reminds me of the Expressionists of the late 19th and early 20th century. The Expressionists sought to convey emotion rather than physical reality. I believe there’s much to study — to feel — in Machado’s Apertif.
The more I learned about this Danish art poster, the more I liked it. A 1996 exhibit combined the works of a photographer, poet, and artist. They focused on the Danish coast between Roskilde to Køge Bay. Perhaps the three gentlemen had received a cultural grant from the Danish government to interweave nature and culture.
Look at how different the mood is between the painting’s churning water, and the lone boat in the black-and-white photo. As for interpreting a line of Danish poetry in cursive, I’m not going there. But add in the huge amount of white space, this poster looks so clean, so Scandinavian. It’s a lovely wall art poster.
We found this painting at an estate sale. I suspect the artist had lived in the house and, alas, there’s no visible signature. The first thing you see is the artist’s impasto technique, whereby he or she heavily layered the paint so that it shows visible brushwork and cuts of the palette knife.
The paint — its texture and colors — draws your eyes along the canvas. The color choices are interesting, with the red cherries lusciously bursting on a plate. The blue bottle lands slightly behind the white pot which reflects the colors around it.
Juxtaposition of the highly ornate frame with the modern image creates an interesting, not necessarily harmonic, contrast.
Self-taught artist Leonetto Cappiello, called the Father of Modern Advertising, created this advertisement for Contratto Liqueur in 1922. In that period, merchants paid artists to create a single image — vibrant and colorful — to sell their wares.
One of Cappiello’s best known ads, this Contratto poster features a lovely woman easily supporting an oversized glass of bubbly Contratto. There’s movement everywhere: the flowing champagne, her swirling floral skirt, and the gauzy fabric of her barely-there top floating behind her.
As for color, it bursts forth. Her blue hair, golden champagne, white froth, red top, olive skirt with yellow flowers pop out against the black background. What emotions do you feel? I find her joy contagious.
Wall Art and Frames
You can find art at estate sales, garage sales, thrift stores, flea markets, Craigslist, on sale at online poster sites, friends moving to another city — everywhere. Also, I hoard interesting frames so that I have choices. David picked up 2 large frames at the end of an estate sale for $2.50 each.
So, what are you waiting for? Just look for art that speaks to you. Because frankly, you deserve it.
Until next time,
Ann Marie and David
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