Vinterior is above all known for our expansive collection of unique vintage and antique furniture. Look a little further and you may also happen across an unexpected wealth of artworks and prints, featuring among them a host of artistic gems from the 20th century. As with furniture, choosing pieces of art which we love is a distinctly subjective and individual experience, key to the Vinterior philosophy of celebrating the unique and one-offs. We seek to highlight original pieces because they lend instant and unique character to a space and grant us the opportunity to create interiors which reflect who we are and fire off our imaginations.
Like iconic furniture design, great art deserves some time in the spotlight. We want to draw attention to the works of four renowned artists from the 20th century who we are delighted to feature in the Vinterior collection. Pioneers of colour, abstraction and even founders of formal artistic movements, the Vinterior 20th century collection counts among its numbers celebrated names such as Sonia Delaunay, Victor Pasmore, Miklos Nemeth, Jean Cocteau, and Francis Bott.
Whether these names ring a bell or not, we are delighted to introduce them to the budding art collectors among you. In both the domestic and commercial spheres, statement artwork will not hang quietly on the wall but energise the space in which it rests. It should catch the eye, provoke thought and – in our opinion – ultimately inspire! Go boldly with these forward-looking pieces by some remarkable 20th century painters. Highlighted below are three artists who were particularly revolutionary within the context they created.
Sonia Delaunay, a Ukrainian-French painter born in 1885, was one of the most significant artists of the early 20th century. Born into a humble Jewish family in Odessa, she was invited at the age of nineteen by a wealthy uncle to St Petersburg where she discovered the vast realms of Russian and European culture. This lead Delaunay to pursue studying painting in Germany before settling in Paris where she would on to become a prolific painter, textile and stage set designer. She is widely acknowledged as the co-founder of the Orphism movement with her husband, who she met whilst moving in avant-garde artistic circles in Paris, fellow celebrated French painter Robert Delaunay. Orphism, known for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes, derives from Cubism but focuses on pure abstraction. It was revolutionary at the time of its introduction to the Parisian art scene. Delaunay stood out through her approach to creating art without distinguishing between fine and applied arts, a flexibility some believe was permitted to her because she was a woman, although others attribute it to Delaunay’s Russian roots. This variety in experimental expression defined Delaunay as one the most innovative creative thinkers of the 20th century as she moved between the realms of painting, fashion and stage design. We are huge fans of her vibrant textile prints and tremendous eye for sensational combinations of colour. As Delaunay herself stated in one the last interviews given before her death in in 1979, ‘Everything is feeling, everything is real. Colour brings me joy.’ We hope her prints give you a similar boost in inspiration!
Victor Pasmore, CH, CBE, was a British artist and architect known for his pioneering role in the explosion of abstract art onto the British art scene of the 1940s and 50s. He was also a famed conscientious objector during WWII, serving 123 days of imprisonment for his refusal to enlist. Of painting, Pasmore said that he felt ‘the picture has to be an independent object in its own right, not a representation of another object.’ Influenced by Piet Mondrian and Paul Klee, he made waves in the British art scene shortly after the end of war in 1947 with a thought-provoking series of work which opened up a dialogue around the inexplicable nature of abstraction – which in this period bore only a vague presence in Britain – and its power to evoke a sense of harmony despite its assumed chaos. This creation of a dynamic harmony through abstraction symbolised to Pasmore the future harmony of society as it recovered slowly from the cataclysmic effects of the Second World War. Pasmore’s work can be found in many Public Collections around the world including Tate Britain, Royal Academy of Arts, Museum of Modern Art, The British Council, Yale Center for British Art and numerous regional British galleries.
Born in Budapest in 1934, Miklos Nemeth was a Hungarian painter who played an important role in Hungary’s Modernist movement. He overtly rejected the movement established by the Soviet Union known as Socialist Realism, instead seeking inspiration from the natural world. Many of his motifs are derived from the garden of his parents’ villa which was filled with flowers and fruit trees with a view out over the surrounding mountains. Nemeth was known for his spontaneous and gestural approach to painting, preferring to create in the moment rather than conducting a series of subject studies before attempting the final piece. Highly influenced by German Expressionism, Nemeth’s paintings vary between the representational and abstract and are chiefly characterised by bursts of bright colour, a world away from the stark backdrop of the Soviet Union.
Great art, however, is not just about the artist; it is about how we respond to it as the viewer. Within the context of interior design, the dynamic within a piece of artwork can set the tone of the room in which it is placed. Used effectively, an artwork can both lead and accentuate, preside as a bold visual statement or sit more quietly in reference to other thematic details. It might serve as the catalyst behind the design of a space, or its finishing touch. We hope that this collection of 20th Century Greats will pique your curiosity, and ultimately that you find something that you – or your client – love!
Title image credit: czartdesign.com