Whether one is a professional interior designer or a passionate decorator of spaces home, work and beyond, whether one works in a field curating the experiences of clients and guests down to the hominess of an environment or in a field not specifically related to visual aesthetics, it is hard to deny that fostering an air of tranquility and peace works wonders to facilitate the activities. Choosing the right art to adorn the walls can have a make-it-or-break-it impact on the atmosphere and ultimately on the nature of the conversations that happen in the space — and working with materials that have natural elegance only helps to set the tone with a tranquil sound.
Abstract art, flowers, architectural elements and black and white photography are all rich subject matter from which to choose and also have the benefit of matching effortlessly with other design elements already in place.
Eduardo Chillida – Collage, stone lithograph
Eduardo Chillida’s Collage stone lithograph print seems the ultimate example of abstract elegance, his work exuding confidence and warmth, strength and empathy all at once.
Kenro Izu’s Still Life #227 is an undeniable beauty, arranging this favorite of flowers in a unique composition and striking dark glow that show off its breathtaking elegance.
Kenro Izu – Still Life #227, offset lithograph 1997
La Foradada, Mallorca by Jurgen Muller has a wonderful mysterious ambiance, achieving an appreciation of both landscape and architecture with the quiet intimacy of a partial view.
And Man Ray’s coolness never fails to enrapture, making use of the full range of what black and white photography and darkroom experimentation can reveal with this lyrical work Solarisation.
Jurgen Muller – La Foradada, Mallorca, offset lithograph Man Ray – Solarisation, offset lithograph 1998
Piet Mondrian’s paintings of flowers are so softly commanding, whether you are looking at them or not, they have the talent to blanket a room with silent distinguished grace — this Chrysanthemum being no exception, especially alongside the classic allure of the misty radiance of Andreas Feininger’s Night View of the Brooklyn Bridge.
Piet Mondrian – Chrysanthemum, offset lithograph 1996 Andreas Feininger – Night View of the Brooklyn Bridge, offset lithograph 2005
"Choosing the right art to adorn the walls can have a make-it-or-break-it impact on the atmosphere and ultimately on the nature of the conversations that happen in the space."
And putting trust in tried-and-true favorites like Henri Matisse and Georges Braque allows for a reliable elegance mixed with other elements like loose brushwork, casual gesture and uncalculated freedom of expression. Matisse’s Flowers and Fruits is a splash of color that maintains a dignified poise, and Braque’s cover for Derrière Le Miroir, no. 4 works a sophisticated mix of typography, silhouette and emotion.
Henri Matisse – Flowers and Fruits, offset lithograph Georges Braque – Derrière Le Miroir, no. 4, stone lithograph 1947
N.R. Farbman’s Redwood Forest is nature’s exposé of these famously soothing peaceful giants, and Sheila Metzner’s Flower is a true understatement, the soft demure tulip lending its own individual definition of elegance.
Roy Lichtenstein’s Landscape with Philosopher puts a modern twist in the style and subject perhaps most known for its ability to promote tranquility— the Chinese landscape painting— and even makes adept use of a popular contemporary color palette.
For Kenro Izu, Still Life I contemplates a quiet moment with natural materials, a conceptual installation that guides the mind through subjects like birds, trees, clouds and the sky, building and the home— a satisfying arrangement reminiscent of many of the elements in nature all at once.
Roy Lichtenstein – Landscape with Philosopher, silkscreen 1995 Kenro Izu – Still Life I, offset lithograph 1985
And reflections of nature always seem to fill a space with just the right mood, whether your personal style leans toward bold or bright, hip or traditional, discreet or delicate.
Ella Sophonisba Hergesheimer – Mount Rainier, woodblock 1939 Shoichi Ida – Sazare No. 2, offset lithograph 1993
Ben Shahn – I Send You Here a Wreath of Blossoms Blown, offset lithograph