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Abstraction in the interior: instructions for use

Abstract paintings are works of art that can fit into any interior, even a lush historical setting. Don’t believe me? Let’s figure it out!
Abstraction in the interior: instructions for use
Painting and interior design are two areas of activity related to each other much more than it might seem at first glance. For example, such a direction as abstractionism is the aesthetic origins of two popular interior styles, Art Deco and Minimalism
Minimalism is now most often spoken of as a visual and design technique, and even as a fashionable lifestyle, which helps people to get by with the most necessary things. You can even watch a documentary on Netflix about this ascetic movement and its apologists. But in the 1960s, the term was first used by American art critics to denote the new art trends of young artists and sculptors. Read more
. And if you want to buy a painting for home decoration, abstraction remains the best choice for any modern style.
Photo Source
Photo Source

Abstract art in the interior: quick reference

It is believed that abstraction is any painting that cannot be attributed to a realistic manner. From this point of view, canvases of Futurism and Cubism
Avant-garde is how modern art critics refer the general trend of new artistic directions that arose in world art at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. A very thin line separates it from the concept of “modernism”. Read more
The art movement developed in the first quarter of the 20th century, mainly in Italy and Russia. Some ironically called it scandalous cubism. The founding fathers urged to stop adoring the art of the past, and to exalt the industrial spirit of the future: to draw airplanes, cars, metal bridges, steamers and other achievements of the progress. Read more
Cubism (fr. cubisme) is a recognizable art movement that originated at the beginning of the 20th century, and many of its techniques are still in demand. Its distinctive features are the direct use of geometric shapes, a narrow circle of subjects (portraits, still lifes or buildings), deformation, angularity, complete lack of realism. In Cubism, shape is more important than colour. Read more
are quite suitable for those who want to buy an abstraction painting for interior decoration.

However, abstractionist trend emerged in 1910 as a natural way of development of Cubism, Expressionism
You can hardly tell the exact day or year of the birth of Expressionism, which is usual for all powerful art movements. You cannot draw a border on the map and indicate the territory where Expressionism took its start and got stronger. Overall, it’s all roughly known. Except for one rock-solid spatiotemporal benchmark: Northern Europe on the eve of the First World War. Expressionism is an avant-garde art movement, a new tragic worldview, and a whole set of significant motifs, symbols, and myths. Moreover, it is a revolutionary reaction both to the shabby, lifeless traditional academic art, and the light, idyllic southern impressionistic “appearance” of the world. Read more
. The ancestor of the direction is Wassily Kandinsky. At the beginning of the twentieth century, his artworks were a real revolution. But even today they amaze the imagination, you want to watch them. Of course, only a wealthy collector or museum can buy a painting of the founder of abstractionism today. But to decorate the interior, you can order a high-quality reproduction or purchase a work of a modern artist.

Back to the history of this trend, it is worth noting that abstractionism was a kind of response to the revolutionary changes that took place in all spheres of public life in the early twentieth century. Therefore, such paintings cannot be regarded as some kind of decorative compositions. They are temperamental, impulsive, even dramatic. And therefore, even works painted a hundred years ago remain relevant. Moreover, contrary to popular misconception, they fit well into residential interiors — modern, modernist, and any others, even classic.
You are unlikely to acquire the work of Kandinsky, but if we talk about abstraction as such — here i
You are unlikely to acquire the work of Kandinsky, but if we talk about abstraction as such — here it is!
Some of these works can be viewed for hours, they become the dominant feature of the interior. Therefore, before buying an abstract painting, you need to think about where to place it, its harmony with other pieces of furniture. The easiest way is to choose such a canvas for a minimalistic interior, since light walls serve as an ideal backdrop for any colours and shapes. But for a decorator, a more interesting task is to fit abstraction into the historical style with its splendour and abundance of décor.
Robert Delaunay. Rhythm
1934, 145×113 cm

Practical advice

You can’t just decide that you need a bright abstraction, buy a painting and hang it on a wall like in a museum. The canvas chosen at random will look like an alien element. Therefore, you need to act like this:

1. If the apartment is being improved, then you need to select objects of art at the stage of creating the project. You can find a painting by a modern abstract artist that fits the general concept on our website.

2. Choose a picture not as a decoration item, but as an important part of the interior, so you need to think over not only the background, but also the lighting to present it in a favourable light literally.

3. If the picture is integrated into an already designed interior, then you have to select it so that it matches the colour and the scale.

The main thing is that you must be sure about the correctness of the whole approach. If you don’t know which painting to buy, abstraction is always the best option, unlike figurative painting.
Photo Source — Pixabay
Photo Source — Pixabay

Abstraction in colour

If you decided from the very beginning that the interior should be decorated with bright abstract painting, then it is better to choose furniture and walls of neutral colours. Glossy magazines recommend shades of grey, beige, lavender and pink. But remember that these colours can become out of fashion. But any shades of white are always relevant. And they serve as an excellent background for abstract painting. At the same time, furniture does not have to be neutral, you can choose sofas and armchairs in dark or rich colours.

It is often the case when the owner decides to buy an abstract painting for an already finished interior. Artists have a negative attitude towards the fact that canvases are bought of the same colour as sofas, but in this case there is simply no other solution.

No need to get too hung up on the fact that furniture, walls, textiles and painting are perfectly matched in colour. Such an interior would look boring. It is better to take care of the impression the picture makes as a whole. Moreover, sooner or later the owners will want to freshen up the interior or move to another apartment. They will keep their favourite picture in any case, so a strict colouristic reference is not needed.
Hilma af Klint. Series "Ten most important." Youth
1907, 328×240 cm

Size matters

Many people think that buying an abstract painting for a small apartment is a difficult task. In fact, even in a small room, a large-scale abstract canvas could fit well precisely because it is not a figurative painting. Many designers even recommend looking for such large paintings in cases where they need to be integrated into an already designed space.

You can even pick up a canvas that would visually expand the space. To understand how the work will look in the interior, you can use a special computer program.
Photo by PIRO4D, source
Photo by PIRO4D, source

Psychological impact

There is always a temptation to buy a painting in the spirit of abstract art so that it matches the colours, and that’s it. But in fact, this is not quite the correct approach. Remember that you will see this piece several times a day. And if it makes a negative impression on you, then no matter how well it goes with the walls and furniture, it will be a bad option. Of course, everything is very subjective here. Same work is perceived by one person neutrally, while in another it causes anxiety or other negative emotions, so you only need to focus on your own impressions.

How to frame
It has always been important for artists and art collectors how to frame their works of art. We can paraphrase Shakespeare and say,

“What’s in a frame? That which we call a picture
In an improper frame will look less nice.”

Or, perhaps, the picture’s message will be obscured by too ornate or too plain framing. Here, we present a retrospective journey into the history of framing and its evolution, with illustrations and an expert’s commentary. Read more
up a painting

You have decided to buy a painting, no matter whether it is an abstraction or a classic. What do you need to think about besides matching with furniture? About decoration — framing and lighting. The framing of the work is usually done by the artist himself, and in most cases nothing needs to be changed. As for the backlighting, it should make the picture stand out and at the same time be delicate. Manufacturers even produce smart lighting systems in which you can change the intensity of the lighting directed at the art object.