Designer Series — Black & White Photography

Nov 29, 2020Artwise Posters
Designer Series — Black & White Photography
JUNE 28, 2019 

Many designers know the value of finding wall art that can tie the room together while still being a standalone statement— something that could be both ignored and appreciated, harmonizing and soloing. Black and white photography can be bold and quiet at the same time, the high contrast creating structure and foundation while the artistry and the gradations of light are allowed to shine with layers of complementary mood. It can be a staple of any design repertoire, and a secret ingredient in a space full of much more dramatic or colorful design choices — and it can be especially effective neighboring an arsenal of plants.

Karsten Thormaehlen – The Forum, Rome, offset lithograph 2000
Jurgen Held – Brandenburg Gate, Berlin, offset lithograph 2000

Cityscapes and architecture are an easy fit as they provide depth, something useful in making any size space more magnificent. Famous places can furthermore be rich with cultural nostalgia and steeped in historic significance, such as The Forum, Rome from Karsten Thormaehlen, Brandenburg Gate, Berlin from Jurgen Held, The Chrysler Building, New York from Christopher Bliss or London Bridge, London from R Von Gotz.

Christopher Bliss – The Chrysler Building, New York, offset lithograph 2000
R Von Gotz – London Bridge, London, offset lithograph 2000

High fashion prints never fail to contribute waves of beauty, as the photographer’s eye, the model’s forms, the fashion designer’s vision and even the quality of printing all have an influence on the magic infused in the final expression. When all is working in concert the works become striking images, near impossible to tear the eyes away from, such as Orcel, Paris (1954) from Henry Clarke, Chapeau + 5 Roses, Paris (1956) from William Klein, Nusch Eluard et Sonia Mosse from Man Ray and Lady Balancing Branch from Bruce Weber.

Henry Clarke – Orcel, Paris (1954), offset lithograph 1986
William Klein – Chapeau + 5 Roses, Paris (1956), offset lithograph (contact to inquire)
Man Ray – Nusch Eluard et Sonia Mosse, offset lithograph 1988
Bruce Weber – Lady Balancing Branch, offset lithograph 1995
"...the high contrast creating structure and foundation while the artistry and the gradations of light are allowed to shine with layers of complementary mood."
Richard Serra – Blindspot, SIGNED offset lithograph 2003

Photography of art can be in a way a form of art photography, blurring the lines between genres and enriching the atmosphere in which they lounge. Richard Serra’s Blindspot is a simultaneous enjoyment of Serra’s sculpture, the surrounding natural lighting and the beautiful architecture of the building. Man Ray’s African Mask is one of his most famous images, with many layers of elegance softly evident. And Desire, Paris (1982) by Paolo Gasparini seems an enchanting tour of the aesthetic of film negatives, advertising and street photography— being an artistic statement and also an edgy and compelling visual in and of itself.

Man Ray – African Mask, offset lithograph 1986
Paolo Gasparini – Desire, Paris (1982), offset lithograph 1982

Patterns and shapes create wonderful lines that can either continue or juxtapose a structural theme already in place, and photography that plays with representational objects in a subtly abstract way adds depth without sacrificing the universality of the undefined. Paul Rebeyrolle’s Derriere le Miroir, no. 202, N.R. Farbman’s Redwood Forest, Pol Bury’s Manhattan Cinetisation (1964) and James Welling’s Ellwood Beach 25 are all convincing demonstrations.

Paul Rebeyrolle – Derriere le Miroir, no. 202, stone lithograph book 1973
N.R. Farbman – Redwood Forest, SIGNED stone lithograph
Pol Bury – Manhattan Cinetisation (1964), offset lithograph 1986
James Welling – Ellwood Beach 25, SIGNED giclee 2011

And if a measure of artistic license allows for some more intrepid choices, the high art vision found in works like In Deference by Shirin Neshat or An Iconic Form by Edgar Arceneaux is overflowing with inspiration, confidence and lyricism, and would add the unique and unparalleled spark that the best interiors covet.

Shirin Neshat – In Deference, SIGNED mixed media 2018 (contact to inquire)
Edgar Arceneaux – An Iconic Form, SIGNED giclee 2008
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