The use of large abstract art for office walls adds character and interest to an otherwise bland interior. Large abstract art is often placed in foyers or long hallways but also in individual offices.
Here is a quick primer on selecting abstract art for your office environment : Scale is critical. Choose a piece of art that has a scale that fits the location…too often a painting is selected which is too small and is dwarfed by the surroundings. A painting should be about three feet off the ground and two to four feet from the ceiling. The painting should have an impact on the space.
Abstract paintings typically come with four or five distinct styles. A first category would be geometric abstracts where hard, sharp lines define the spaces and shapes. A second would be what I call organic abstracts where all shapes and lines are not straight or linear but softly curved. A third style uses very dramatic, sweeping segments which may represent nature. Cubistic abstracts are still very interesting, often denoting city scapes. Richter made famous the drag paintings and these tend to be very elongated, horizontal impressions which also are quite dramatic adding impact to an interior wall space.
Interior designers can be helpful in choosing a style or genre. Artists themselves can be consulted, often providing a no cost initial consultation to determine which type of painting would work in a particular environment. Sometimes where there are many, many walls such as at universities or hospitals a theme will be chosen. This theme might revolve around a certain color scheme. By its nature abstract art often translates very well in large scale – something more realistic scenes are unable to accomplish. Large abstracts come either framed or un-framed and original paintings can be truly stunning – greatly enhancing interior environments.
Many emerging artists will eventually ask themselves, why paint abstract oils? Or even further, why paint non-representational art or art that has no reference whatsoever to known objects? Painting abstractions of course is mis-leading because it can imply that a vase or a cup or a tree is recognizable but has been bent or elongated through artistic abstraction. Both non-representational and abstract art expression provides an important vehicle for authentic artistic expression.
When the breakthrough painting by Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending the Staircase, was presented it shocked the art world. It is almost a shame that he titled the painting because without a title the viewer needs to look more deeply to discover the painting. It is indeed a figure or figures descending a stair. There is great movement, wonderful dynamics and force, even with a limited pallete. Why did he depart from a realistic image to this abstraction of form? It might be simply that he was attempting to paint more authentically. He wanted to paint a certain vital essence. By concentrating too much on the nature of form he would have neglected the great action. This effort paved the way for an entirely new way to paint on canvas – one that relied on an inner response and not one that pointed outwards to some exterior form or place or person.
Kandinsky went further by making no reference to any known form. In Duchamp’s painting if we look carefully, we can see the abstracted cubist form descending. In Kandinsky’s work shapes and designs stand on their own merit without reference to anything beyond themselves. This direction in painting can be exhilarating. It can free up various hang-ups, especially the need to accurately represent something real. As an artist you might measure yourself with how well you represent a scene or a still life or a face, but this can be limiting and even detrimental to creative growth. Allowing for freer expression by painting abstractionally can help to discover your own personal style.
Fortunately art (painting) is evolving just as music, dance and architecture evolves. We no longer need be tied to reality. There is a strong inner realm that we can experience which often more directly reflects our own personhood. By responding to internal feelings rather than external sources we come in contact with something very valuable and also very powerful. This alone is an excellent reason to paint abstract oils.