I put together this minimalist art guide for entirely selfish reasons…as well as for you, of course. Even though we still have nothing up on the walls yet and I refuse to until all the plastering and painting is done (could take some time) it hasn’t stopped me collecting prints for when we do. So I thought I’d share a few tips on what I’ve learnt thus far along with some of the best places I’ve found to buy art online.
It can be completely overwhelming trying to find that perfect piece to hang in that blank space you’ve been staring at for months. And then how should you display it? Alone or in a group? Art is completely subjective of course, so much of the choosing part of this post will be down to your personal taste, but in this instance, I’m focusing on contemporary artists who are creating restful, thought-provoking works in a variety of mediums. For the most part, you can apply these tips to any style of art. Shall we get started?
What’s The Purpose?
Consider the purpose of the art you’re choosing – are you looking to make a statement with something large scale above the sofa or a small collection to hang in the hallway? How do you want it to make you feel when you look at it? If you prefer to buy prints and then decide where to put them, that’s fine, although perhaps a little expensive if your choices don’t fit with your space. I prefer to plan for what I need, making room for the occasional impulse buy because buying art is an emotional process too. Sometimes you see it and you’ve just got to have it!
One of the fundamentals of interior design is to understand the importance of scale. Once you’ve found the right hanging place, think about the size of the space it needs to occupy. You don’t want to end up with a piece that completely overwhelms, equally you don’t want art that gets lost against large furniture. If you can’t find a piece large enough within budget, look for a small grouping (as shown in the top image) to fill it. Make a template of the frame you’re using with brown paper and stick it up on the wall to get a sense of the size and location before you buy.
Less Is More
This is my mantra and it helps put me back on track when I’m feeling tempted to add more. But when it comes to minimalist art, the impact is greater in relation to the rest of the room when it’s displayed on its own – a stand-alone piece can command a space. It’s also worth remembering that a blank wall doesn’t have to be filled. It might take a little confidence but I think it makes a bigger statement.
Find A Common Thread
Are you grouping a selection of prints together? Whilst you shouldn’t feel obliged to stick to one style, it helps if you choose pieces that share a common thread. For example, it might be that they belong to the same colour family or explore the same subject. Are you drawn to work by the same artist?
What To Buy
Unless you’re looking at this as an exercise in future investments, I wouldn’t over think it. Buy what sparks an emotional response in you. Buy what connects with you and your home. Does this piece put you in a good place? Are you a keen fan of architectural photography, or perhaps you prefer the simplicity of line drawings?
Artists often make small limited edition runs marked with the print number and signature which makes it all the more exclusive. If you can buy an original, even better. Keep your eyes open when you’re out and about too – chances are you’ll come across that perfect print when you least expect it.
Where To Buy – London Art Fairs
Contemporary art fairs are a great way to discover new artists and galleries in your area.
The Other Art Fair | The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL (selected October dates only)
The Affordable Art Fair | Battersea and Hampstead (selected dates only)
Frieze London | Regent’s Park, (selected October dates only)
London Art Fair | Business Design Centre, 52 Upper Street, N1 0QH (selected dates only)
Tate Shop | Tate Modern, Bankside, SE1 9TG
Moniker Art Fair | The Old Truman Brewery, 91 Brick Lane, E1 6QL (selected October dates only)
Where To Buy – Online
Of course, it’s far easier to discover art online even if it does take out some of the joy of the hunt. Let’s face it – I never have the time to visit fairs, so it’s not surprising that I have a pretty decent black book of contacts. Here are a few artists to put you on the right path. You’re welcome.