Thursday, July 17, 2014

Influences of Modern Home Decor

Very few things within art and design appear out of nowhere; they tend to be influenced by something else. Modern home decor is no exception to this. Influences from one era to the next, allow for incredible results. When one thinks of modern, they tend to think of present time. Modern furniture has actually been around for a hundred years. When modern design began to emerge, it was viewed as experimental and innovative. These characteristics still hold up today.

Modern design was influenced not only by eras, but the artists within this time-frame, as well. Before modernism took off, furniture and decor were more ornamental. The value of a chair, for example would be based off the intricate detailing and time invested. Modern design began moving away from this idea. Artists and designers began focusing more on functionality. Instead of trying to recreate past items, new ideas were presented. New materials were being produced; it was time for a whole new level of creativity. For example, the use of wood was being replaced with steel, plastic and molded plywood.

It is hard to speak about modern home decor or design for that fact and not mention Bauhaus. As can be read in an online business blog or many journals, this was a school in Germany (operating from 1919-1933), that had a large impact on design. The school closed due to Nazi Germany; the artists and designers began to influence as they immigrated around the world. Ideals from this school are still influencing modern design today.

Since furniture began to transform (new materials, forms and shapes), the layout of rooms changed, as well. Furniture began taking on a more accessible and functional role. It was then that some pieces began taking on more than one role.

Modern Interior

Modern Interior Decor

Art also began to take a shift; seen in abstract and pop art. Art generally has a lot to do with the culture and time period. Pop art is a prime example of cultural influences. Andy Warhol was a leader in this style of art. He displayed everyday items in a vibrant, fun manner. Abstract is clearly visually captivating; it can add a lot to a space, although, it was not created solely for that purpose. Abstract art was created, so that society would stop and think about what they were seeing. It was actually more of a rejection towards culture. The art would appeal to individuals in different ways.

It's hard to generalize, because individual artists have their own influences. With that being said, modernism was most certainly influenced by the industrial revolution, engineering (in order to create furniture) and the growth of consumerism. From there, it has developed into a clean, sleek, modern design. Modern home decor has grown, becoming highly popular and influential.

The Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso

The Human Race’s Expression of Grief

If you’ve ever even been within walking distance of an art college, there is a fair chance you have heard about Picasso’s masterpiece Guernica. It’s a near black and white oil painting that was created to show the reaction of the bombing of the town during the Spanish Civil War. Guernica is famous in art classes because yes; it is a famous symbol about the suffering of war. But it also was well cataloged through its creation by a photographer Dora Maar. Because of this, it gives us a powerful example of how genius is created.

Weeping Woman is considered to be a continuation of Guernica. Dora was one of Picasso’s mistresses, and she painted many times by Picasso. Sometimes begin; sometimes tortured she was undoubtedly one of Picasso’s favorite topics. He spoke a few times about her, stating that he tried to paint the deep reality of a woman, not just a superficial one. Weeping Woman she represents the grief of humanity, something that goes beyond a singular event.

Color plays a large role in the painting’s message. The woman herself has real warm hues in her. Her hat and the background are a warm red, and it is not hard to notice that she has yellow on her skin. But the yellow is placed next to green and combined it radiates no warmth. All that is gives off is sickness that is almost painful to look at. Her entire body is distorted by the grief- face mashed with eyes front and complete to allow the view access to her tears. She has no words to offer us- her mouth is a cold whitish blue that no logic nor happy could survive in.

Likewise, the painting technique can suggest length. The brush strokes a wide and flat, giving us no depth to suggest a possible change. She stands there molded in sadness, body fused in the act in a way she will never be able to separate. Even her tear is placed solid against her- unable to escape and take even the tiniest sliver of pain off of the woman’s face. Even her breath is caught in her tissue, frozen in dark blues. By her design, she cannot blink nor cry nor breathe- just express pain and suffering. Picasso has made her stand there to be a permanent example of humanity’s weeping women that he called “suffering machines.”

Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso

Woman with a Flower - A High Praise of Woman

While Picasso is most known for his cubism, it is not as prominent that his fame devastated his life. Perhaps more so than any other artists, Picasso painted his emotions. When he was penniless in Paris, his paintings were filled with blue, starving humans. Then a few years later he found love and suddenly the woman of rosy Paris graced his canvas. The painting, Woman with a Flower was published in 1932. It’s important to understand how Picasso was feeling at the time. First, his marriage was in the shame. Divorce has just gone through, and he was quickly creating illegitimate children via mistress after mistress. In his professional life, he felt that the public was blindly praising him- something that fundamentally clashed with his childhood upbringing structured by harsh criticism by his father.

During this time, Picasso rapidly flirted with various styles of art. He took up more sculpting, and it subsequently influenced his oil painting style. Woman with a Flower is not true surrealism as it is not photo-realistic. It does, however, share the aim of surrealism - to help the viewer to what odd. Picasso throughout his career was often confused on what a representation of a woman was. He struggled from realism to cubism to find the essence of the female and here he takes a stab using elements of surrealism.

Perhaps this is why that the center focus of the piece is two spheres representing a woman’s breast. Humans often use this fundamental judgment if a person is a woman or not. The next most detailed piece of the woman is her head. We are shown two eyes, a nose, a mouth and in contrasting color- hair. Her mouth in particular is given great detail, drawn in an inhaling pose suggesting the inner natural of a woman. Hands are also represented in great detail. Beyond that though, the rest of the woman is portrayed rather loosely.
The other large section of "Woman with a Flower" that is given great detail is the flower. Ironically the flower itself is actually only a white blob. It is, in fact, defined by the stem and the leaves. This is critical to the painting. A flower (despite having both male and female parts) is traditionally considered feminine. Yet here it is defined beyond that- a beauty that grows from the nurturing steam. It is the steam that is considered more important here, more worthy of praise. Likewise, we can use the flower to see a woman through Picasso’s eyes. Are the breasts important? Yes, they are front and center. But it is a woman’s face, the place where thought is born that is given the detail and relevance.

Woman with a Flower

Abstract Art – Some of the Most Sought After Paintings in the World

Abstract art became an important medium of artistic expression in Western culture starting in the late 19th century. The abstract art movement produced many important artists including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse and Wassily Kandinsky just to name a few. Abstract art focuses more on the expression of the artist’s inner feelings, as opposed to attempts at replicating what the artist sees on the outside.

Because abstract art is related to feeling over imitation of the real world, people are able to interpret abstract art in their own way, making it personal to them. Perhaps this accounts for why people are so fascinated with abstract art and why it is so popular today. Attesting to its high demand is the fact that abstract art accounts for some of the most sought after and expensive pieces of artwork in the world. Some of these artworks have garnered record-breaking bids at auction and phenomenally high sales by private sellers. Below are some of these record makers:

Pablo Picasso – “La Rêve (The Dream)” Pablo Picasso is conceivably one of the most well-known painters among the average lay person. His painting “La Rêve (The Dream)” is somewhat abstract in that it is a distortion of fact, in this case a portrait of his mistress at the time. This painting sold for $155 million in 2013; this is the largest sum of money spent on a piece of artwork by a U.S. collector..

Le Reve

Francis Bacon – “Three Studies of Lucian Freud” Francis Bacon’s piece depicts Lucian Freud, who was his close friend at the time, from three different angles. It is also an abstract piece based on distortion of reality. An unnamed buyer bought the piece at auction in 2013 for $142.4 million which is the highest sale at auction to date.

Three Studies of Lucian Freud

Edvard Munch – “The Scream” This piece of art is perhaps the most well-known of these expensive modern art paintings and the most mimicked in pop culture. It is a depiction of a figure with a tormented expression standing on a bridge under a bright orange sky. In 2012, the 1895 pastel-on-board version sold at auction for $120 million. 

The Scream Abstract Art Painting

Pablo Picasso – “Dora Maar au Chat” Another painting by Picasso, this also features one of his lovers with the face distorted. The painting went to an anonymous Russian buyer in 2006 at the New York auction for $95.2 million. In 2006, it was the second highest price that a painting brought at auction. 

Dora Maar au Chat Painting

Mark Rothko – “Orange, Red, Yellow” Rothko’s painting is perhaps most representative of what an ordinary person thinks of when it comes to abstract art. It depicts three different sized rectangles in orange and yellow on a red background, hence the name. Also, a record-setter, this painting sold in 2012 for approximately $86.9 million at auction. 

Mark Rothko – “Orange, Red, Yellow

While these paintings represent some of the most famous and expensive paintings in the world, abstract art is widely available and can be much less expensive. Art enthusiasts should be able to find a huge selection of abstract art at a wide variety of price points by using resources such as internet sales and local vendors. Options include shopping local galleries for new or obscure artists, buying prints of famous paintings on mass production art websites, going on retail wall art websites and even modern furniture stores online. Abstract paintings are a great addition to any art collector’s home or office and are easily available for anyone to proudly display.

Life Expression - Composition "X" by Wassily Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky, the revolutionary artist that is credited with creating the first true abstract painting, had an interesting group of paintings called "Compositions." Although the first three in this series were lost in war, we are able to understand the entire series by the studies left behind in various mediums for the start of the Compositions. The ten works entitled Compositions stretched over four decades of work by the artist and shown his amazing growth towards his goal of being able to express his emotional perceptions through the media of art.

Composition X is immediately different from the other nine- if not solely for the background. In his earlier work, Wassily Kandinsky admitted that he viewed black as being close to death. Later in his work, he began to think of it as a mere stillness or a void of life. Before it was used to define the minority of the canvas but in his last work it helps enhance the color and form of the shapes found swimming it. Wassily Kandinsky has been long moving towards the idea of using shapes as modified representations of simple life forms.

The painting has clear motion as the little life forms swim up and outward. A particularly large one grows like a hot air balloon moving into infinite space. We can assume that this must be space by the look of the lunar like sphere on the left, shining out in the darkness. This lunar shape also helps express Wassily Kandinsky’s new found fondness for positive-negative relationships, shinning the harshest against the black background. Ironically, while it shows his progress forward it also shows us a fondness and return to his past. The figures swimming, recall Russian folk-art paper cut-outs.

By choosing to use the black as the dominant color, Wassily Kandinsky seems to have come full circle. Black is no longer the “inner sound of nothingness” but rather a fair background to allow his thoughts to move freely. Composition X was his final major art statement, but it allowed his development to come full circle, uniting his origins with all the wonderful experience of his life. It went beyond the trends of his time as futurism, cubism and all the work of his other contemporaries, showing his passion for expressing his innermost emotions. In his last statement his becomes to the microscopic in nature, the basic shapes of life that hold no singular meaning and yet compose everything around in brilliant color and pattern.

You have to love what he had to offer, an unmatched talent. Today you will find many young artists creating some fabulous canvas art, hopefully they will go down in history as great artists as well.

Wassily Kandinsky Project X

Mistress Studied - Le Reve by Pablo Picasso

Picasso deserves some credit, especially this painting, "Le Reve." During the height of his career, he realized that no matter what he painted the world would fawn over it. Now, some fewer mortals may have begun to laugh and started to churn out as many works for the hungry masses to gobble up. Picasso though turned back to the art community and started studying what his contemporizes were doing. He then would bring elements of what he learned into this own work- something that traditionally has been known to destroy artist’s careers.

What was even more interesting is that Picasso was willing to adopt elements of paintings styles that had already died and receives little acclaim at the time- as Fauvism. It was called Fauvism as a way to disparage the artists as it meant wild beast; it was a contrast to the civilized men (and their art styles) of the Renaissance.

Le Reve, translated to English as "The Dream," is a large break from his standard style. When people think of Pablo Picasso, you usually get the words ‘cubism’ and ‘blues period’ to pop up after a quick discussion. Cubism, not oddly uses muted colors and squares to depict the world. And his blues period was subjected in heavy realism that was focused on poverty and the despair of the human condition. Picasso can be most widely linked to the human emotion of suffering as well, again from his blues age and his series of paintings of weeping women and the effects of war. Perhaps this is why Le Reve is so fascinating with its bright primary colors, round shapes and erotica elements.

Le Reve interestingly uses a background to link it to the real world. The woman is present in a distinct room, in a chair- unlike the earlier works that were meant to evoke a universal response via a lack of specificity. The woman herself lacks specifics, however. She is milky white with blonde hair, enough of a nod to his mistress, but also a common template that many women can be linked to. She is a poetically nude with half a breast peeking out from her flesh toned clothes, a comment on the natural sexuality of all women. An adornment of civilization, a necklace, mimics her form. And perhaps most interestingly, is her face. At first glance the woman looks like she is reclining her neck and facing the view with both eyes closed; however, focusing on it for a moment reveals that the top half of her face is an erect penis. It is not done to be vulgar but rather a mere extension of her identity. From this painting, it is clear that Picasso did not hold contempt for this woman for being sexual. We can see that she and her sisters were beautiful to this man and the reacts they elicited were as fair as they were.

While Picasso's original Le Reve is obviously unattainable, admirers may obtain Art Wall Le Reve The Dream by Pablo Picasso Rolled Canvas Art through places like Amazon. The world of Art is spectacular, who knows what will evolve in another 100 years. In my opinion however, abstract art rules right now.

Le Reve by Pablo Picasso

Listen to the Loudest Composition - Wassily Kandinsky

Composition VII by Wassily Kandinsky is the most complex of a series of ten paintings produced by the artist in the 1930s. Kandinsky’s years of art and personal education was the fuel for these series. He felt that the artist moves the world forward, testifying to reality and few today and helping the masses move forward with recognition later. The name Composition VII was meant to mimic the musical definition of the word- a deliberate piece in contrast to his earlier improvisations. Over the last few decades, Kandinsky had abandoned lines in an attempt to communicate with the soul similar to the way music did; he was particularly inspired by the work of Richard Wagner. The painting was considered to be Wassily Kandinsky’s most complex work- taking four solid days of painting to finish after creating over thirty drawings, watercolors and oil paintings in preparation for the piece. This was particularly noteworthy as this abstract art piece was produced during World War I when the shortage of even basic necessities made paintings a pure luxury.

Kandinsky’s abstract art series was focused on the idea of creation and distraction. In the center, a circular structure is seen- a form Kandinsky often referred to as being the most like a soul. Around this piece, swirls colors range from black (closure) to gold (new beginnings). The rhythm of the painting is certainly chaotic. Without much repetition in shape or color, the mind has to swirl around the painting hoping to find something to rest on. There are minor notes of rest; dark colors placed next to each other that create small islands of harmony but they are buffeted by opposing colors lapping. Orange clashes with green and the mixes of color are not even complete. The purples for examples are more in the style of pointillism- loose mixtures whose gradient is disturbing to us. But even the chaos is not consistent- they would allow us to rest. There is just enough repetition to prevent the painting from becoming pure chaos- an odd form of consistent order in its own way.

It’s not a simple piece. We cannot easily dissect it as a picture of an apple or human. Without something easily recognizable, it leaves us to only emotions to understand the piece. To me I will always see the birthing pains of creation. The rapid rise of attempted life that dies out just as instantly as it was born. But at the center is something stable- something unique. And although new, it stands in the center of creation, and it will survive. To me, it gives hope that chaos will find an order and that something will remain living in this order rather than cold, sterile order.

wassily kandinsky composition vii

Pablo Picasso - The Variation of a Master

Pablo Picasso is conceivably one of the most well-known artists today and is widely considered to be the founder of the most important art movement of the 20th century- cubism. He also can lay claim to creating a collage and helping define developments in the “plastic” arts: painting, sculpture, printmaking and ceramics. Despite his immense childhood talent, Pablo Picasso was willing for experiments and changed his style and art theory many times during his life, the mark of a modern day master.

Picture of Pablo Picasso
He no doubt owes his lifework in part to his parents. His father was a classical art teacher and gave his son formal art training, often to the detriment of his academic work. Another important landmark in his early years was the death of his sister that prompted him to move and quickly become accepted at an art college at only 13. There he was given an apartment by his father, a teacher at the same school, who kept a close eye over Picasso. His work, like many of the modern greats, is divided into periods based on his style.

His early years are tinted heavily by his father’s demand for him to study classic styles and human anatomy. Although not classic realism, the figures in his early paintings did always have mostly logical anatomy and shading. Later symbolist influence occurred, and he spent a good bit of time painting landscapes in non-natural violet and green tones. When he left for Paris, he experienced extreme poverty, and many of his paintings were burned in his own apartment for warmth. A few cartoons from him survive in a published magazine that depicts the harshness of being poor.

His experience led him into his blues period. During this time, human figures were depicted with more structural anatomy which balanced out the somber coloring. Picasso paid greater detail to signs of human wear, such as wrinkles and thing figures with long hands and barely skin covered bones were put front and center in his works. Gaunt mothers with children were a frequent motif.

The rose period was ushered in by Picasso finding a mistress. He found the warmth in the city of Paris as well, and began painting many circus people. He was accepted into art galleries and as the warmth of human experience came to his canvas, he became less bound by his depiction of the human form.

Cubism followed after a few years of experimentation. Despite being what he is most known for, the period lasted less than half a decade. Picasso would later experiment with more styles until the bombings caused by war returning him back to surrealism.

Wassily Kandinsky - Composition to the Founder

The Russian artist, Wassily Kandinsky, is credited with creating the first abstract works. Kandinsky is unusual among artists as his painting studies began in his thirties after a life of studying law and economics. His entire life as an artist faced severe opposition from communism’s less than pleasant opinions on art, Nazis closing down the school he taught in, and working as an artist during the rationing of World War One. He spent his last years as a French citizen in Paris where he was able to create some of his most prominent art.
Wassily Kandinsky went through six different artistic periods. His youth’s paintings were inspired by regional folklore and his childhood love of colors and theorizing on the symbolism behind them. His earlier works were influenced by the impressionistic style of Monet and often featured broad brush strokes. He was particularly struck by Monet’s haystacks and the fact that the color had taken life beyond the subject, which was almost an afterthought.

After this, he turned down a promising law career and entered art school. He enjoyed the time greatly, considering the period to be one of the easiest in his life. He followed Monet’s example capturing landscapes in wide swaths of bright color. Fauvism had become apparent in these early works. The few examples of humans in his paintings rarely had a hint of the standard skin tone. Humans were mostly absent from his work during this time or when present became almost unimportant details.

After the creation of Blue Rider, a mostly unimportant piece in skill but rather of the direction Wassily Kandinsky would take, his paintings began to move away from lines. It was at this period he started to use musical terms to identify his works, seeking to express his art to the feelings of the soul. He began writing during this time, defending the tenants of abstract painting; he quickly found an audience in the English speaking world for both his written and painted works.

When he returned to Russia, he was able to paint little. During these years, he found the love of his life and experienced harsh rejection in his homeland. Wassily Kandinsky finally decided to leave Russia for Germany due to an invitation to come to the Bauhaus to teach. Here he was able to express his views to students and host workshops to augment his color theory. Geometrical elements began to flourish in his work during this time. This era was highly productive for him until the smearing from the Nazi party and the scariness of the World War ultimately prompted him to leave Germany for Paris.

In the last ten years of his life, Wassily Kandinsky created from his apartment. His geometric shapes eased into softer biomorphic forms, and he returned to the color palette from Slavic art. He also began to experiment with texture- using sand to give a rustic feeling to his paintings. During this time, he merged the thoughts of his earlier periods to create layered works that appealed to the observer’s soul.

Some of Wassily Kindinsky's Most Famous Paintings

Composition X was completed in Paris, France 1939

Painted in Alten, Germany 1925

Painted in Munich, Germany 1913

Using Art in the Bedroom

Our bedroom is a place to enjoy ourselves. It is an extension of who we are. Our bedrooms generally have a more personal feel, while sticking to the design incorporated throughout the rest of the home. Modern bedrooms tend to have fewer pieces of furniture; displaying a clean, non-cluttered look. It is due to this simplistic design that is why contemporary art is such a great choice.

Once you bought your bedroom pieces from a furniture manufacturer, choose your paintings by looking around your room. What colors and shapes do you want to accentuate? You also need to consider size and quantity; how big do you want your abstract pieces and how many pieces do you want to hang? Once you have decided these features, concentrate on what it is you want your art to do. We all know a painting cannot do your vacuuming or cook your dinner, but it can most certainly set a mood. This is more crucial than one may think; you need to feel comfortable in your home. 

Think about what you do in your bedroom; do you want it to be a place where you feel calm? Perhaps energized? Paintings can really affect the vibe in which your room provides. No matter what you choose, make sure that your room is balanced. You want harmony throughout the design; this includes your painting choices. This is why a contemporary painting is such a great option. You can find all types of mood enhancing, calming or lively options. 

Beach Painting on Wall

Take your time while choosing, there is no rush. Do not pick a painting simply because you think it goes well with your bed. You need to enjoy it. After all, that is why art is created.
Don't be afraid to place paintings where you will be able to enjoy them the most. If you spend most of your time facing a specific wall, than place your favorite piece of abstract art there. Some have even been known to place their favorites on their bedroom ceiling. I can see why a picture that brings you a sense of calming would be beneficial to view as you try to sleep.

No matter what abstract painting you choose; make sure it adds enjoyment to your room. You also want a piece that is going to make an impact; whether it be through the color or intensity. Adding splashes of color through an abstract painting, can add a lot to your modern bedroom. Look into contemporary art; you'll be happy you did.

Painting on Wall over bed

Art Decorating Choices for your Home

Many of us spend a substantial amount of time within our living rooms. This area is generally meant to relax, entertain or spend quality time. Before you are able to properly choose a painting to fit your living room; you need to have an idea of what look you're trying to portray. Modern living room furniture is simple; displaying straight edges and straight lines. Since modern living spaces tend to be quite neutral in color; an abstract painting can be the perfect addition.

Within ones living room, color scheme is crucial to the design. Since neutral colors are the preferred choice, bright color variation should be left to a minimum. The maximum recommended vibrant color scheme is around three (maximum) colors, although there are clearly exceptions. Once you decide which colors will accompany your black and white furniture; choose paintings and pieces that compliment the modern design and each other.

The size and color of a painting are the main factors. If a painting is too large it can become overpowering, while a small painting may get lost. Larger wall art tends to be best, especially over the sofa. Just remember that the bigger and brighter the piece, the more room it needs to 'breathe'. Let the painting shine, do not crowd it with other pieces in which do not fit.

If you do have cohesive pieces surrounding a painting, make sure your a focal piece sticks out. Get funky with it; perhaps hang the focal piece on an angle. It will draw your eye to the selected piece.

In the living room, it is a great idea to create an 'accent wall'. This wall may be painted one of your color choices, or it may display a collection of smaller abstract art. Just make sure that there is cohesion; not only across the abstract pieces, but throughout the room. By carefully choosing your abstract painting(s), the selected pieces will make colors throughout the room 'pop'.

Modern living rooms are perfect for abstract canvas art. This is not only because of the neutral color scheme throughout the design, but due to the walls as well. When you have a wall that is white or off-white, it will allow for your paintings to really stand out, as they're intended to do. It is also ideal to have a good amount of light coming into the room. Vivid, bright pictures, will have a much higher impact if they're properly exposed.
Painting on Wall

Painting on Wall

Abstract Art - It's Popular For a Reason

Homes are living spaces, which are decorated according to the home owners taste and style. Our homes reflect who we are; through the decorative decisions we make. Art is a common display of our personality and style. More modern spaces tend to have a neutral color scheme which can be accented by bright, vibrant decor.

Abstract paintings convey shapes and lines to portray feeling. They are extremely popular within modern spaces because it adds a dynamic, focal point. Abstract paintings do not allows reflect something found in the physical world. Some think that it does not require much skill, which could not be further from the truth. A painting does not need to portray real-life objects, there is something much deeper in terms of abstract. That is what's so beautiful about it; pieces are left to interpretation. These paintings are visually stimulating and can kick-start quite the conversation. They also tend to set the mood and display the home owners personality.

The use of abstract paintings has become very popular; paintings are so diverse and there are pieces to fit any room or any style. There are so many color variations and designs that you're sure to find one that fits your needs. A lot of abstract art deals with lines and shapes, which compliments the lines associated with modern design throughout ones home. Geometric forms are frequently seen when designing a modern room. These abstract paintings can be an extension of that modern concept.

Artists whom paint Abstract, portray feeling and emotion. A painting can make a room feel calm or lively; they're also readily available (both in-store and online). You are able to find great pieces at Artemaximus. There are extremely powerful pieces; they can truly move you. When the artist painted a selected picture, he/she was expressing themselves or a theme. You will feel that through their use of colors, lines and intensity.

When selecting a painting, make sure you focus on;

  • Color: Do the colors used within the painting match the color scheme throughout your design? Also, do the colors portray the mood your design provides? 
  • Size: Whether you are looking for one big piece, or smaller pieces for an accent wall; be aware of size. 
  • Use: If your room is made up of clean, sharp lines; look for a painting that accentuates this. 

The above suggestions are just a few of the features that you should look out for. At the end of the day, you need to like the chosen piece. It was made to be enjoyed; so choose wisely. here are some great examples of abstract paintings.

Wave Abstract Painting

Watercolor Abstract Art

Defining Abstract Art and What it is Today

When you think of the expression “abstract art," its repertoire is quite extensive. Indeed, it encompasses a range of artworks that include using the canvas to solicit imagery. Artists, through the use shapes, colors and lines, create abstract paintings that may, at-first-glance, seem intimidating and unorganized. At closer inspection, however, the viewer forms their own opinion of what imagery the artist is trying to convey. One description of abstract art may liken it to an artist’s emotions or feelings, revealing itself on canvas. There is no black and white when it comes to abstract paintings. The characteristics of it are dynamic and do not conform to the normal standards of classic art; but, instead create emotive sensations in the viewer, encouraged by the un-detailed display of geometric shapes and boldness of colors.

Suffice it to say that art, specifically abstract art, is a form of imagery being communicated to our inner emotions on a higher level. Many aspects of our daily lives can be attributed to abstract art. Our values, doubts, passions and our reactions to coming in contact with the environment, animals or music are all received and expressed in a distinctive fashion, unique to each individual.

The artist is tasked with the job of stimulating us to interpret and express our own responses to their abstract art. A feat not easily accomplished as some abstract art will be lost to those hesitant to look further that what they plainly see – as a relationship with abstract art is a very personal one.

What are the origins of Abstract Art?
Opinions vary greatly concerning the exact origins of abstract art. Some will claim that it was the answer to a period in the 19th century when artists felt that a new type of art expression was warranted. It was during that time that art was uncomplicated and simple; a painting of a person, place or thing. A new society of artists in 1870s Europe would emerge and bring forth Impressionism through art. Through Impressionism, paintings would take on an abstract appearance, rendering object art to be more intangible. Thus, abstract art was born.


It is obvious in today’s modern abstract art, that there have been some changes along the way. Expressionism would enter the art scene, coming by way of Germany at the start of the 20th century. Several artists, including Marc Chagall, Paul Klee and Edvard Much, started to inject emotion and overt moods into their paintings. The canvas became a vessel with which the artist could portray their state of mind at the time of painting; one that was not always realistic. Shapes

would become more imprecise, and colors would be increasingly vivid and bold. A new art genre, expressionism, would purposefully gravitate the art world towards embracing emotion through painting, as opposed to tangible objects.

After expressionism followed Post-Impressionism and Cubism. Post-Impressionist era artists, Paul Cezanne, for example, expanded on impressionism by deliberately altering color and shape to more closely mimic his own interpretations of the world as through his eyes. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque would initiate Cubism; an artistic undertaking to express objects and scenery in the same fashion that the human mind brain sees it, on canvas. In a cubist painting, there are multiple perspectives addressed. A painting showing a woman holding a child is expanded on by being shifted and reassembled in the most abstract way possible, with the use or color, shapes and lines.

Paul Cezanne Abstract Painting
One of the creators of abstract art, Paul Cezanne was called the solidifier of Impressionism, one of the earliest artists of modern art.

Georges Braque Abstract Cubism
Another early form of abstract art was Cubism like this painting by Georges Braque

The Surrealism Movement
About the mid-20th century, surrealism would be the answer to artists’ need to visually interpret the unrestrained, subconscious mind. A highlight of modern art, surrealism focused on irrational and dreamlike objects and scenes, representative of the mind’s eye. The Surrealist movement is still today a legacy in and of itself and a great contribution to abstract art.

Abstract Expressionism
In the latter half of the 20th century, Abstract Expressionism would surface among a swiftly changing art world. Abstract Expressionism, a successor to surrealism, is a style of art that is more non-objective. That is; it is more concerned with intense emotion and expression of self, like that of the German Expressionists. In New York, a collection of artists that included Franz Kline, Jackson Pollock and Dutchman William de Kooning, started to push the envelope of past art movements and focus on using their paint medium, the paint itself, as the focus of the artwork. Larger pieces of canvas art soon would center on the artist’s intensely emotional approach to art. With zealous brushstrokes and deliberate paint spatters, drips and smears, the painting would transform itself to an expressive masterpiece.

After stretching Abstract Expressionism to its limits, a myriad of art movements would emerge; all expounding upon earlier concepts of abstract art. Artists like Ellsworth Kelly and Frank Stella would break away from using paint as the concept behind the art and embrace the more metaphoric and at times repetitive, minimalism movement. In the latter part of the 20th century, abstract artists would express themselves through Pop Art, Conceptual Art and Performance art – introducing consumerism and political views into their representative works.

Modern Abstract Art
In today’s 21st century, modern abstract paintings can be difficult to summarize, as the current movement is still emerging - almost impossible to classify. Additionally, current abstract art is not readily the result past art movements. Modern abstract art hints of realism and countless art genres from different periods, making today’s abstract art more pluralistic in character than ever.

Have fun and explore! You will find abstract paintings in art galleries, modern furniture stores and online.

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Modern Sculptures in the Home - Great Decorating Ideas

The artwork that you choose to display can really set the overall tone of your home. Choosing the right artwork for your space is just as important as choosing the right furniture. Modern homes are full of thought-provoking art that stimulates the senses. Hanging abstract paintings and other wall art is one way to incorporate modern home decor in your space. Another idea is displaying modern sculptures, as they can be a unique and interesting addition to your modern home.

Modern sculptures are very popular today. You can see this if you visit a major metropolitan area. Many large cities feature larger than life modern sculptures in their cultural centers, and these works of art have become major tourist attractions. For example, Cloud Gate by Anish Kapoor, nicknamed The Bean, in Chicago is a huge tourist attraction in the city’s downtown area. Modern sculpture is also proudly displayed in museums around the world. And though this may lead you to believe you have to visit a large city or museum to enjoy this artwork, many people proudly display modern sculpture in their own home.

Modern Home Decor

The first thing to consider when choosing a modern sculpture as part of your home decor is to be realistic about the size of your space. Modern sculptures for the home can be the size of a sofa, or they can be small accent pieces placed on a side table. How much room do you want to devote to this sculpture? Do you want it to be the centerpiece of the area? Or do you simply want it to accent the other furniture in the room? Once you know the size of the area you can devote to displaying your modern sculpture, you can choose how you want to display it.

Another consideration for choosing sculptures in the home is how you want your room to feel. A large modern sculpture in an open loft space would create the feel of an art gallery. Conversely, a smaller sculpture would fit well featured on the coffee table in a living room with modern design and leave the room feeling more laid-back.

There are many ways to display a modern sculpture as part of your home decor. You can place them on mantles, bookshelves or end tables, or in the case of a larger sculpture, you can have a display case or platform built just for the sculpture, making it a prominent talking point in your home. A good idea for homes without a lot of space for a display area is utilizing the walls of the room. For smaller sculptures, you could create a lighted alcove in your wall, or hang shelves much as you would a painting and set the sculpture there.
The great thing about modern sculptures is that they can be of almost anything. You get to choose a piece of artwork that truly speaks to you. Modern sculptures stand out amidst the muted tone of minimalist, modern furniture and so can be a great addition to your contemporary home.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Modern Leather Sectionals in the Home Today

Leather furniture has been a popular choice in home decorating for years and continues to appear in homes today, though its style and silhouette has changed over time. As overall style has evolved, there have been many trends based on leather furniture over the years. Specifically, metallic leather made Elle Decor’s Hot List of Trends in Furniture in 2013. Another recent trend in home decorating is the modern leather sectional.

When we traditionally think of leather sofas, an over-sized, brown, masculine piece is usually what comes to mind. However, leather furniture is now offered in a variety of shapes and styles. Further, as decorating in the modern style has taken off, we are seeing more modern style leather sectionals as a part of this revolution of leather furniture. This has not only caused the rise in popularity of leather furniture as a whole, but in the use of the leather sectional. In additional to being trendy, there are many advantages to incorporating this style of sofa into your home.

Leather sectionals are used to provide ample seating space in a small room without taking up too much space. They are also used as an anchor in a larger room to define a seating area. The leather sectional takes these ideas and adapts them to be more cohesive with the modern style of decorating. Modern leather sectionals provide the form and function of a traditional sectional and still allow the home owner to have a stylish interior in their home.

Another solid advantage of the modern leather sectional is the ease into which it fits in any home. Many of these types of sofas are low profile, with soft corners and edges and low-rising backs. They are meant to blend in with a room, not to stand out. They are also usually sold in solid colors, either neutral or bright. This makes it easy to match the sectional to any other type of home decor that you choose, whether it’s patterned, brightly colored or neutral as well. Most home decor will work well with a leather sectional.

Pure White Leather Set

Dark Grey Leather Sectional

Leather sectionals are also a good fit for those with large families, and specifically those with small children and pets. In addition to providing everyone with a place to sit, most leather furniture can be easily cleaned of small spills and pet hair wipes cleanly away. Leather sofas can also maintain their color and shape far longer than most fabric sofas. This durability makes a leather sectional a good investment for a family who may not be able to afford replacing their sofa every couple of years.

In addition to the above advantages, modern leather sectionals are also aesthetically pleasing which is always a plus in home decorating. Beauty truly meets function. So, from effortlessness in decorating, to creating simplicity in the home, to accommodating the needs of the homeowners, it’s easy to see why leather sectionals are so popular today.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

The Popularity of Abstract Animal Art in the Modern Home

Abstract art, which is best described as art that takes liberties with what is depicted in the outside world and focuses more on feelings and expression, has become widely popular over the last several decades. Individual expression paves the way for many new and emerging artists who don’t have to try to copy what they see, which can be challenging for many, but can concentrate on what they feel. Similarly, interior designers and art lovers are drawn to abstract art, as well, for this feeling of individuality. As home decor decisions are very personal, the choice of using abstract art can greatly enhance the feel and look of a room and blend well with the decorator’s personal style of expression.

Abstract painting is also very popular in home decorating as it is considered modern, cool and trendy. Many people are drawn toward what is trendy and new and view having it as a symbol of status. Abstract art by a well-known artist can really play into this idea. As can be seen is the paintings depicting animals, abstract animal art is new, fun and different and really make a statement in your home.

There are several prominent painters who have furthered the popularity of abstract paintings. Among them are Pablo Picasso, Wassily Kandinsky, Joan Miró and Jackson Pollock to name a few. When on display, these artists’ use of bold colors and expressive shapes and patterns make the abstract painting the focal point of the room. While paintings by these renowned artists are bought and sold for millions of dollars, the average art lover can find alternatives like the modern animal art shown here, to display in their homes that aren’t nearly as expensive. An abundance of options are available online for a reasonable price which may also speak to the popularity of this art form.

Paintings of flowers and still life are very neutral. They can be pretty and appealing, but they don’t express the emotion and energy of an the paintings featured in this blog. Flowers are easy decoration that can be looked at and admired briefly and then forgotten. Abstract art makes you think. Additionally, abstract art in the home can say a lot about who the home owner is. A bold, bright painting can reflect a strong personality, whereas a complicated, dark piece can reflect a complicated soul. Abstract art can truly be the signature of the home owner.

When choosing to use an abstract painting or another piece of canvas art in your home, it is important to remember that it can easily overpower other areas of your decor. It is best to let the artwork shine in an otherwise neutral room, or with less expressive accent pieces. This can be accomplished with furniture in neutral tones and focusing on patterns and textures that aren’t too busy. You may also want to display your art piece in a room that is not prone to a lot of clutter, as the clutter can take away from the strength and punch behind the artwork. And remember, the wall art that you choose becomes your signature, so choose wisely!

Sunday, June 15, 2014

Riding the Sound of a Painting - Improvisation 28 by Wassily Kandinsky

It should be no surprised that pieces of art created in a short period of time will always fall back on the standard style and themes that the artist holds internally. Wassily Kandinsky always eluded to his respect of music by naming many of his paintings after the subject. His famous Composition line holds less than a dozen pieces in it, probably due to the fact that each piece in the line required hours of study and days to complete. In contrast, Kandinsky has dozens of Improvisations that were of a more personal, spiritual nature. In his writings, he admitted to a preference for the Revelation of Saint John when working on these pieces.

Improvisation 28 is one of the later ones that occurred while the pioneering artist was still in the border of Germany. It is shallower than his later works, in that the meaning can be more easily garnered by a few moments of looking rather than days of soul searching. One of the biggest notes in the painting is of course the humans present throughout it riding something. In his earlier works, he drew people on horseback something that was common in his native land’s stories. In this abstract painting, the riders are shown to progress in a story from the left side of the canvas to the right. On the left, we see mountains and an environment that is rife with chaos. Depressive colors and wiggling lines showed a world without order that the rider moves forward through symbols of great pain. Their boat sails- perhaps riding on a great deluge- past wriggling serpents and cannons.
Compositions 28 Painting

But the abstract painting also offers a resolution. From the harsh waves of the left, we are brought to a state of rest. Houses are built upon a hill, and a figure sleeps peacefully on the bottom right corner. Lines become solider, less broken and the colors warmer. The couple that rode the waves now embrace under the warm red sun, and it seems they have lit candles - maybe in celebration or as a way to guide others to their place of rest. Although only one couple is shown journeying, the house they come to is bordered by another complete one and on in progress, suggesting that others will join them. 

Exceptional fine art like this painting from Kandinsky is obviously only attainable for a handful of privileged, however, today, the average consumer is able to obtain fabulous canvas art in many art galleries and online venues thanks to emerging and talented artists, that may one day become as famous as Kandinsky.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

The Individual Interpretation of Abstract Art

Abstract art is created by visualizing a composition of various forms, colors, textures and lines. While the term can refer to diverse mediums such as music, performance, and sculptures, abstract paintings are again rising in popularity in the mainstream art world.

Wassily Kandinsky, a Russian painter, is credited with creating the first purely abstract pieces of art. Primarily an accident, Kandinsky noticed that different shapes in his paintings did not need additional definition, and had enough language in their body to speak on their own. Another popular abstract artist, Pablo Picasso, is nothing short of a household name. His ability to take well known subjects and transform them into an undefined abstract piece of art is still influential today.

Traditional abstract paintings depict subjects in a fluid structure, as opposed to a recognizably defined shape. Abstract art is in complete contrast to Realism, as it withdraws from the standard of what is known to be true.

Abstract art secured an important spot in history, with the height of its prominence in the mid-19th century. Artists worldwide were excited to express their creativity through a free form style of painting. Recently, abstract art has become popular for art enthusiasts as well as those interested in a unique piece for their home or office.

Abstract Art Painting

Seen as a way to liven up an office or home, many traditional consumers are opting to purchase abstract paintings because of the vibrant colors, the exuberant energy, and the modern feel that these paintings represent. Another reason it is in demand, abstract art is a great conversation piece in that every person can have a unique perception of the art. While many different types of art can be interpreted however the viewer sees fit, abstract art has no true representative features to focus on. The form allows the senses to filter and roam freely, taking in the true value of the piece.

Art collectors love to find antique abstract paintings at auctions, and the older ones are becoming rarer, due to the increased demand. Many art houses still show abstract paintings from famous artists, and this also increases awareness and demand for the genre of art.

Abstract art paintings are popular because their whole purpose is to evoke the human subconscious. The colors and movement of the work are said to express the artist’s truest emotions. This style of art appeals to the masses because, while it has very deep roots, it is also dazzling and can fit in any home decor or office space. It is raw, yet brilliantly balanced, and; therefore, it makes a statement wherever it is displayed.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

Modern Paintings - Eight Different Styles

When one thinks of modern art and modern paintings specifically, there are numerous styles that come to mind. Modernism is not limited to one strict style. Early modern art focuses on realism and impressionism, while abstract and pop art came later. Here are some of the styles in which make up modern art;

Impressionists focused on lighting, providing accurate depictions. Small brush strokes were typically seen. This still generally focused on real life depictions; painting from various angles. One of the most influential impressionist painters was Monet.

Post Impressionism
Impressionists influenced artists to begin blurring and distorting. Real-life scenes were blurred through the transformation of color and form. Van Gogh is a noted artist within this period. He focused more on fluid distortion (as seen in Starry Night) vs geometric distortion. Although scenes were real-life depictions, colors were not very accurate in terms of realism.

Abstract Art 
Abstract art began to move away from the physical world, displaying; color, form and lines. There were various movements within abstract art. Cubism for example, which focused on shapes. Picasso painted a picture depicting nature through three shapes; cones, spheres and cubes. Abstract art is currently extremely popular. Pieces depict emotion, form and bold color choices.

Surrealism added an element of surprise, portraying dream-like pictures. Objects in the real world would be combined through unconventional ways. This provided strange, thought provoking paintings. Salvador Dali is a great example. His paintings depict real-life objects, but skew them in such a way that they are no longer in realistic forms.

Conceptual Art
Artists within this style focused more on the perception of the piece than the art itself. Artists, such as Yoko Ono; were more concerned with how the audience would perceive the content. There were some highly interesting pieces created within this movement.

Pop Art
Pop art is so popular for a reason. This movement focused on everyday items, celebrities and comics. They are bright, vibrant and fun; influenced by culture. Andy Warhol is well known within this movement.

This movement is exactly as it sounds; realistic paintings were created from a photograph. Technical painting skills were key throughout this movement. In order to recreate a photograph, artists needed to be skilled technically and have an understanding of realism.

This movement focused on simplicity. The artists decided what was necessary in their depiction, and then that was all that was painted. Simplicity can be beautiful. As you can see, modern paintings widely vary. Look into which style you want, your options are vast

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Modern Paintings: The Start of Something New

Modern art made a large impact on both artists and society. Prior to the evolution of modern paintings, artworks generally resembled real-life depictions and contained more traditional forms. A classic example of this transformation was made through the birth of abstract art. Distortion was the main trend that was seen throughout modern art. With that being said, realism was and still is being created today. There is no doubt that modern art has made a huge impact on how we view art today; it continues to influence and trend throughout society and modern design.

Modern paintings are so popular because they are vibrant and thought provoking. Some like that these pieces can start a conversation, others like the emotion that they portray. Whatever the reason, there are many options to modern art. With so many variations; there are paintings for everyone and every style. Pay attention to what room it is you're decorating. Focus on a specific style, what would it bring to the overall look of your room? It doesn't hurt to look into the different movements, so that you have a better understanding of what you're looking for.

Due to modern design and neutral color use, rooms benefit from incorporating modern paintings. Since modern art began moving away from tradition, there was a vast amount of experimentation happening. This experimentation began a movement that is still going strong today. There are also many movements within modern art; abstract and pop art for example. Just as there are many movements, there are many different styles. Conceptual art differs greatly in comparison to photorealism.

Abstract art has become extremely popular, adding emotion and color to a space. There are options within abstract art as well. Abstract expressionism for example; will portray strong emotion, with intense feeling. Cubism is another example, utilizing geometric shapes (some more abstract than others). The main popularity of abstract art is the intense emotion and color it displays in a room.

There are numerous styles and areas within modern art. Decide what it is that your space needs, focus on colors, lines and shapes. Paintings can be a simple pleasure or even an investment. If you are not familiar with modern art but enjoy what it offers, there are knowledgeable people to help you. A great place to find modern paintings is at Artemaximus. They provide a wide variety of pieces and styles.

Whether you are looking for a bright red and gold abstract painting or a comic inspired painting; modern art has something to offer you and your home.