June 3, 2021
Designer Series | Accent Color for Definition
by SAL McINTYRE
Designers of all kinds know the value of working with an accent color, as its uniqueness in the landscape of a project serves to feature the best qualities of the work and convey the overall character in a standout way — a highlight singing atop the foundation. As for interior design, using the choice of artwork to both compliment the style and project the voice simultaneously can be a magnetic combination, and a way to really tie the room together.
Works by Christo are an obvious go-to, as they frequently utilize this concept as one of their main focal points. This piece The Gates XXVII, with its black and white backdrop scheme, shows the brilliance of the infamous saffron colored installation in New York’s Central Park from 2005.
Javacheff Christo – The Gates XXVII, offset lithograph 2005
Warm reds and ochres flatter the greenery that perhaps already exists in a room full of plants in this Rothko Untitled, #15, a dreamy co-mingling of these two opposites that have enjoyed a long history together on the canvases of many beloved artists, popularized by visionaries like Van Gogh.
Roberto Crippa uses simplicity to his advantage, needing no more than shape and color choice to do all of the talking. This 1970 silkscreen Galerie Iolas has the drama to speak confidently and the softness to agree with any design elements already in place.
Mark Rothko – Untitled, #15, offset lithograph
Roberto Crippa – Galerie Iolas, silkscreen 1970
Hockney’s Corbusier Chair and Rug nods at that oxidized copper green that seems to fill everything with romance, wielding the potential to converse with truly any metal that is used in the space, from kitchen fixtures to window trim.
Rialto by Perry King, a 1984 silkscreen, retains the quiet atmosphere of a long-shadow summertime dusk while allowing the faded pink of the neon sign lettering sweep the mood with nostalgia and dwindling daytime boardwalk energy.
David Hockney – Corbusier Chair and Rug, offset lithograph 1969Perry King – Rialto, silkscreen 1984
Jichosai enjoys the same emotive ambiance with this work Chushingura in classic Japanese minimalism, where only pale pink is necessary to propel the strength of a brush painting into the realm of contemporary vocabulary.
Jichosai – Chushingura, offset lithograph 1992
"... its uniqueness in the landscape of a project serves to feature the best qualities of the work and convey the overall character in a standout way — a highlight singing atop the foundation."
Turquoise mingles with subtle black flecks in this gorgeous 1967 stone lithograph work by Paul de Lussanet, Untitled Composition. This intriguing piece derives from a small art publication of first edition lithographs titled The Situationalist Times: International Parisian Edition, the sixth and final issue produced in the spring and autumn of 1967 and featuring artists from the renowned CoBrA and Figuration Narrative movements.
And Gary Lichtenstein also gives prominence to this coveted turquoise in this signed work Art 80 Washington DC, blending it effortlessly between demure tones of plum and slate blue, calling to mind scenes of tropical twilight or shimmering caves full of gemstones.
Paul de Lussanet – Untitled Composition, stone lithograph 1967
Gary Lichtenstein – Art 80 Washington DC, SIGNED offset lithograph
N.R. Farbman’s Redwood Forest is nature’s exposé of these famously soothing peaceful giants, and Sheila Metzner’s Flower is a true understatement, the soft demure tulip lending its own individual definition of elegance.
Albert Watson – Child 1, offset lithograph 2008
Red and pink again stand out against earth tones and greens of nature, giving this work Child 1 by Albert Watson a crisp and sophisticated charm. And these same featured hues make the abstract expressions of Antoni Tàpies look nearly three-dimensional, lending passion and vibrance without a sacrifice to clarity, as in this 1988 stone lithograph Galerie Lelong.
Antoni Tàpies – Galerie Lelong, stone lithograph 1988
Charles Loupot – Saint Raphael, silkscreen 1988
And to continue with the red against black and champagne palette, Saint Raphael by Charles Loupot hosts a dialogue with silhouette in the classic subject of aperitif poster art, this a 1988 silkscreen print, and Illustrated Poems - "Parler Seul" V by Joan Miró works angles both understated and daring, this striking composition a limited edition stone lithograph published by Maeght Éditeur in 2004.
Joan Miró – Illustrated Poems - "Parler Seul" V, stone lithograph 2004