Monday, April 27, 2009

Square Art

On a recent visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art, I thought about painting sizes and shapes. In one of my favorite sections, impressionist art, I can't recall seeing many square canvases. And yet, especially over the past few years, I have seen literally hundreds of square paintings a year in my work with emerging artists. I personally gravitate towards square canvases because I like the balance, and because a square canvas can fit in virtually any space.

This painting by Dusty Griffith is one of my all time favorites (interior design by Suzanne Kasler). The square shape works perfectly in the space above the mantel. I recently visited the house of an acquaintance for the first time, and she had the most beautiful Dusty Griffith painting I had ever seen. It was great to see one of his works in person in an actual home, as I had only seen his work in the Lowe Gallery and in magazine photos.


This painting, in a McGuire furniture ad, has always been a favorite. It has all the hallmarks of an Elliott Puckette painting - the calligraphic swirls are a favorite motif of mine (take one look at my header and you will see the inspiration!). I love the look of a square painting above a sofa.


A square contemporary painting is the perfect balance for this traditional dining room by Gerrie Bremermann. Joni from Cote de Texas pointed out the Bremermann has been using contemporary art much more frequently in her designs. The look of contemporary art in a traditional setting is one of my favorite looks.


This dining room, from an Atlanta real estate listing, features a beautiful square painting by artist Haidee Becker. I always appreciate the look of contemporary art in a dining room, and Becker's art works beautifully with its rich colors and balance between the contemporary style and traditional subject matter. Becker is represented by a great gallery in Atlanta, Timothy Tew.


This image is from a House Beautiful from several years ago, and the painting had such an impact on me that I actually visited the gallery that represents the artist on a recent trip to Washington D.C. All of the works by this artist were square, interestingly; it was a good juxtaposition with the circle theme of her art. The artist is Mira Hecht, and the gallery is the Ralls Collection in Georgetown. When looking up the website for this post, I saw that Hecht has an upcoming show that begins May 7. The show runs through early July, and since I have a trip to D.C. planned in late June, I will be sure to see the latest and greatest by this talented artists (it looks like some of her new works are not sqaure!). Interior design by Jodi Macklin.


I don't think that I have ever posted a picture from Metropolitan Home, as much as I admire the work in this magazine. However, this painting really captured my eye with its beautiful shapes and colors. I also love the painting light that is wired into the wall, and the sconces that flank the painting. In my next home, I would like to plan the perfect locations for art and have the walls wired for painting lights. I think that great lighting really enhances art and makes it a focal point in a home. Image via House of Turquoise.

FR Western Interiors AugSept08_willwick_kd

This painting translated as square to me when I saved it, but now I am not so sure. It makes a beautiful and dramatic statement, whatever shape it is! This image has an element that I admire in a room: neutral upholstery, with the color from the art. Via Western Interiors, August-September 2008.


I like how the square painting is balanced out with smaller pieces of art. Via Domino magazine.


I have no idea where this image came from (I think the picture is from the 90s), butthe large dramatic square painting is truly the focal point of the room. I like how the pillows match the colors in the painting - true art aficionados would frown on this, but I think it is so pleasing!


What a lucky child to have exposure to great art from the cradle! Another situation where the art matches the decor - and it looks great.


I love this bold square painting above the fireplace - it defines the room. Interior design by the Wiseman Group.


I saved this picture both for the ethereal color scheme of the room and for the beautiful square painting above the fireplace. Image via Domino.


This is my favorite Amanda Talley paintings; it is the perfect shape and size (not to mention color) for the spot. This image appeared in the book Swedish Interiors; I would love to see the rest of the house! Her more recent paintings seem to be looser in style than this one.


Contemporary art in a bedroom always catches my eye, and the large square painting works beautifully in this bedroom with its tall ceilings and dramatic gray accent wall. I love how the pillows, the wall, and the art all have that great shade of gunmetal gray.


One of my favorite artists, Rana Rochat, frequently paints in a square format, especially for her smaller pieces that look good hung as a series.


This Jan Showers' project is a home in Dallas that was featured in Western Interiors October-November 2007. Showers chose to keep the room largely neutral, and brought in the colors through the art and accessories. This is another situation where the art translates as square to me, but I can't quite tell because of the angle of the shot (and perhaps because of the lens used).


I have quite a bit of square art in my own home. My favorite is this triptych (a piece of art that consists of three parts) by Atlanta artist Holly Golson Bryan.

As you can see, all of the square paintings that I have featured in this post are contemporary and abstract in style. I don't know if this is because the square format is more modern, and contemporary art is better suited to the square shape, or if it is because I do not gravitate to images of traditional art and didn't have any to feature in this post. I also see many, many pieces of traditional art in my work in the art world, and I occasionally see some traditional pieces that are square. However, I see this much less than the square contemporary pieces. I wonder whether the dominance of the square format is waning a bit; this year at the art markets that I have attended, there have been far fewer square pieces than in the past. I know in my own house I have so many square pieces of art that I am purposely avoiding the square format unless a piece really speaks to me.