Designer Series — Abstracts To Compliment
#ARTWISEUP by SAL McINTYRE
MAY 24, 2019 

There can be a lot on the mind in designing an interior space when juggling elements like carpets, upholstery, paint colors, fixtures, furniture and even unpredictable additions like pets and personal fashion. Choosing art for the walls that will compliment the design choices over a long period of time can be a challenge— one that can be addressed with a fundamental feature of design know-how by way of the Abstract, a genre of art spanning time delineations and cultural narratives which carries a well-earned reputation for being reliable. They have drama, emotion, structure and poetry, and they quite simply harmonize with everything nearby— even the eccentric great aunt.

Regina Gimenez – Sunrays 3  and  Sunrays I, SIGNED stone lithographs 2019

Barcelona artist Regina Gimenez offers beautiful meditations on universal concepts with the movements of geometry across the canvas. A series of four stone lithographs on the theme of Sunrays brings meandering joy through the mind and the soul, creating a sense of quiet while inspiring the essence of motion at the same time. These large signed works would soothe any space alone or as a whole set.

Antoni Tàpies – DLM Cover No. 210, stone lithograph 1974

Antoni Tàpies’ expressive black and white Derrière le Miroir works are fail-safe, looking contemporary and timeless, current and vintage all at once. His seemingly subconscious voicings are direct and honest, and glimmer with intricate beauty.

Wassily Kandinsky – Engraved Work, Mourlot stone lithograph 1954

Wassily Kandinsky’s works inspired by jazz inject a burst of life with a cool edge, much like the music he was listening to— and the classic modern typography on this 1954 Mourlot-printed stone lithograph Engraved Work is a singing sidecar.

Igor Gitlin – Arranged Lines, SIGNED mixed media 1986

The effortless austerity of Igor Gitlin’s Arranged Lines would hum alongside any divan whether bold or demure, and would help to compose the space as well, being of grand minimalism and resonating with geometric simplicity. This is a signed work from 1986 with a tactile embossed character to the printing.

John Katz – Smudged Diagonals, SIGNED stone lithograph 1971

John Katz’s Smudged Diagonals creates texture and action while in the vocabulary of grounded earthiness— its natural toned paper and charcoal aesthetic a perfect pairing, and an excellent bridge between soft and rugged, dark and light, creativity and tranquility. This is also a signed stone lithograph from 1971.

"They have drama, emotion, structure and poetry, and they quite simply harmonize with everything nearby— even the eccentric great aunt."
Eduardo Chillida – Shape Evolution, stone lithograph 1968

The searching pathways of Eduardo Chillida and the semi-cubist bird forms of Georges Braque seem to hold a place for daydreaming or officework, socializing or labors of love, setting the mood with artistic freedom. Both are Derrière le Miroir stone lithographs from the mid 1960s.

Georges Braque – Untitled, stone lithograph 1967

And Alain Le Yaouanc and Julie Mehretu offer works both street savvy and surreal, with a sort of hip-hop charm juxtaposed by a soaring enlightenment. Le Yaouanc’s Geometric Study on Black is from 1969 and Mehretu’s Easy Dark is from 2007, though they have no problem conversing with one another.

Alain Le Yaouanc – Geometric Study on Black, stone lithograph 1969
Julie Mehretu – Easy Dark, offset lithograph 2007

Robert Rauschenberg’s Ace holds court with its evolving panels of automatic rendering, a joyride through a day in the life of one of America’s most beloved artistic pioneers. Unusual for Rauschenberg as a genre, abstract expressionism suits him well, allowing us to see perhaps a more intimate view into his personal nature without the fanfare of assorted imagery.

Robert Rauschenberg – Ace, offset lithograph 2015

And Helen Frankenthaler wins every time with allusions to sunsets and mellow atmosphere, this silkscreen Southern Exposure seeming like a view from the porch in an exotic vacation landscape. Frankenthaler’s adeptness with color, tone and ambiance ensure her works reveal themselves as invariably flattering and ever-new, and her special combination of detail and sweeping simplicity make for a lasting impression.

Helen Frankenthaler – Southern Exposure, silkscreen 2006