Does Architecture Influence Art?

Posted by: Obsidianram

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This is an article I wrote for my WordPress blog (which I just created this past week).  I'm still adding content to the blog, but I will link to it a little later once I have it fleshed out a little more.  In the meantime, hopefully you enjoy this thought provoking musing.


Does Architecture Influence Art?

A question I've often pondered is whether trends in architectural design have an influence on the artwork chosen for interior furnishing. Architecture is arguably an art form in and of itself, but it is also one that is dependent on other forms of art to make it a complete work of art. Most any living or working space designed includes some form of static visual art works, statues, mobiles, murals, etc. or a combination thereof.

In the late 70's and into the 80's, there was a tendency toward living space design that did away with separate dining rooms and family rooms.  These living spaces were combined into what was termed a 'Great Room,' not unlike the similar concept of 'Florida Rooms' of past decades in certain geographical regions.  This adaptation had the illusory effect of a larger total living space that featured larger floor space and, subsequently, larger wall spaces.

One concept that sought to address and compliment this trend was the use of large murals to fill up the newer, larger expanses of emptiness and provide and additional layer of depth to make the rooms appear even larger.  The creative challenge offered by covering the walls of these modern living spaces with truly unique original works of art attracted the attention of many artists, even including some artistic first attempts by do-it-yourself homeowners.  The down side to this concept, though, is that the artwork could not be transferred to a new abode should the occupant(s) move.  It was great while it lasted.

Furnishing these living spaces in a more traditional fashion brought about some intriguing questions, as well.  "What would look best?  A wide panel painting to accentuate the lateral open space, or several smaller panels to break up the continuity?  What about a series of related smaller panels that achieve both effects?"  The answers obviously are a matter of personal taste and the decisions in decorum reflect the individual in question.

So this now brings us to the question of the contemporary trend of more compact living spaces and 'efficiency' designs.  Do the new designs place more emphasis on vertical oriented art panels due to the more limited wall space available, or is the preference given over to horizontal panels in an attempt to make rooms look wider, and thus larger?

It's generally accepted that darker colors will make rooms look smaller, however I'm not attempting to factor in the effects of the selection of carpeting, hardwood floors, drapes, etc.   These additional aspects may very well influence choices of horizontal versus vertical art panels for interior furnishing; however, it's also interesting to consider what impact any given wall space plays in the decision process.  Any thoughts or ideas on the matter are certainly welcome, as there is indeed no "right" or "wrong" answer.

©2010 ~Obsidianram~

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