Style Court

Textiles, Art History, Gardens, and a Little Mental Traveling with Courtney Barnes 2006-2016

8.10.2008

Contrasts


In the August issue of InStyle, Jonathan Adler offers tips for hanging art. One thing he likes to see is a modern abstract in an Old World ornate frame. If you've seen many films from the 1950s and 60s, or studied vintage design books, you know this was a popular mid-century look.

Case in point: the dramatic black-walled, black-floored gallery in the Santa Barbara home of collector Wright Saltus Ludington, as seen in The World in Vogue.

Ludington's collection includes works by nearly every modern era master: Picasso, Braque, Dufy, Modigliani, and Miro, just to name a few. Apart from the ornate frames chosen for the art, other contrasts in his home include pale painted French and Venetian antique furniture set against sleek, masculine black walls. The architecture of the residence is modern with expansive views of the California hills and the Pacific.

If you come across an abstract -- perhaps a Picasso-inspired piece -- at a student art show or flea market, try framing it in a chunky, unexpected heavy frame. It can be very eye-catching.

16 comments:

simply seleta said...

Whew, that's quite a collection.

Thanks for InStyle tip, must snag one. I'm such a JA fan since reading his book. I absolutely love his joie de vivre.

Style Court said...

Seleta -- he does have joie de vivre! Fans will love seeing another Adler-designed home in the Sept. Elle Decor.

Ana Carini said...

Hi there!
I am here to introduce myself. I am new to the Blog community and would like to meet new people. Your blog attracts me, so I posted a link on my site. Stop by and say hi sometime~

artsetoile.com said...

Very helpful post, thank you for pointing out Jonathan Adler's tips. I simply love ornate giltwood frames paired with modern and contemporary paintings. Framing can be quite stressful because there are so many options! I am currently having a hard time deciding how to frame a small collection of antique maps, any ideas?

Style Court said...

Artsetoile -- great question. I think for old maps maybe simple frames. The finish -- gold, natural wood, silver or black, would depend on personal preference and your home. Try looking at examples in magazines or on the web. I'll look for links.

Style Court said...

Hi Ana -- welcome!

Artsetolie -- I'll try to post links to frame examples here in the comment section later today.

The Peak of Chic said...

I think the contrast of an old world frame with a modern painting is a bit unexpected and pleasant too. It's also a nice change from all of those plain black frames that were all the rage a while back.

Style Court said...

Great point Jennifer :)

Patricia Gray said...

I love the juxtposition of modern simple art in an ornate frame (preferably a vintage ornate frame).

Style Court said...

Patricia -- I agree, the vintage ones are special.

balsamfir said...

We used to joke in NY that "if it doesnt' sell, frame it in gold" but there is a lot of truth to it. I expect that most of these paintings have stayed in their original frames since that is considered part of the work in many cases. What I really think is exciting is the serious art collection on a black wall, instead of the traditional gallery white.

Style Court said...

Balsamfir -- yes dark walls are amazing with art, something I'll highlight in my next post :)

Style Court said...

I like browsing Steven Gambrel's portfolio to look for framed maps:

http://www.srgambrel.com/portfolio/country/amagansett-weekend-house/

girl meets glamour said...

This is such a great look and great post too Courtney. I had clients that had a few originals and tried to convince them to put their Dali and Picasso in a more ornate frame...but, it's not always an easy sell. Glad to see you feature this!

~Kate

Style Court said...

Oh good Kate -- glad this was helpful.

columnist said...

I didn't know framing modern/contemporary art was a 50s-60s thing, but it's something I usually do. As others have said, it's somewhat unexpected, but it does make any picture look more "important", and "that's a good thing", as MS would doubtless say.