Friday, November 20, 2009

Is it a painting or a real life room?

This room in a home in Blois has furnishings upholstered in a textile designed by Sonia Delaunay, the Ukrainian artist who was born in 1885.

Sonia Delaunay 1933

It got me thinking about how influential 20th century artists have been over interior design.

If you accept the 'everything's connected' theory, and also the 'trickle down' theory then it seems to me that everything we now see in our interiors, which was once radical and almost impossible to imagine, is largely thanks to those sometimes revolutionary and very often brave artists of the last century.

Think about a typical Victorian interior:

Just 15 years later, a Russian, Kazimir Malevich, painted this:

(Black Square, 1915)

And then consider a typical 2009 interior (just grabbing any old one):

How much has changed in 110 years?

So I thank Barnett Newman with his colour field paintings:

(The Voice 1950 MOMA)

for making this kind of monocoloured interior not just possible but normal:

And Franz Kline:

(Painting no 2 1959 MOMA)

for showing us the beauty of black and white and that calligraphy in the form of bold dashes of black can work in our bedrooms too:

And Henri Rousseau:

for showing how green and pink and orange and foliage can all work together, especially in Florida and Queensland:

And isn't it wonderful that something as utilitarian as a kitchen:

or bookshelves:

can explicitly reference the works of sculptor Donald Judd:

Is this art elitist or inaccessible? No. It is part of our lives, everywhere we look.

Have a happy weekend.

(Images (1) Point Click Home (3) (5) (7) (10) Point Click Home (13)(14) Celerie Kemble (15) Point Click Home (17) Others not sure please let me know if you know.)


Cath @ chunkychooky said...

It is interesting to link it like that- my three fave tings art and interiors and fabric. I think we are influenced all the time by things we don't even realise... this is just further proof. An interesting post.

Mise said...

What an enlightening and interesting post, and your example rooms illustrate the point very well. I like how you show that high art and normal living are more related than might be imagined, and that influences are subtle, accumulative and pervasive. And those chairs and ottomans in the first room are beautiful.

Laura said...

How fabulously insightful! I suppose creative minds, be they those of artists or designers, will always converge at various points over time. There is something sort of comforting about how interconnected art, aesthetics etc. all are!

Jacqueline @ HOME said...

I think that decorating IS art and our homes are like one big installation. I guess that all interior designers have been influenced by artists.
Great post Jane and very enlightening. XXXX

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