Black & White Artwork

Perusing through some of my favorite inspiration images recently, I've noticed that one of my favorite elements is black & white art work.  You have to be careful with black & white so that it doesn't feel stark, but when done well, it's one of my absolute favorite combinations:  timeless yet a little edgy.

What makes this room below (by Gerrie Bremermann via Cote de Texas) for me is the combination of antique gold finishes and the contemporary black & white canvas.  There's not even one stitich of green in the room, yet I still LOVE it!!


I've posted the next image more than once & it still remains one of my favorites.  Again, it's that black & white artwork juxtaposed with the gold.  (And they've used greenery & frogs & BALLS so can it get any better?  ;)


{House Beautiful}

This Nate Berkus room (below) also showcases black & white contemporary artwork and I think it stays warm-feeling because of the textured bed and basket.  I love it with the zebra hide. 



Again, another one of my favorite spaces ("favorite" warning:  will say it a lot in this post).. Monelle Totah's apartment feature in Elle Decor.  To the right of the fireplace you can see her black & white print peeking out.


I just saw this image (Martha Stewart) on La Dolce Vida and loved its massive black & white contemporary paintings.. (Honestly, if someone had told me 5 years ago that I would ike something like this, I would have laughed and then groaned.):


Anyway, since I started getting this black & white art craving a few months back, I was at a clients house and we were looking around her home for art options for her living room.  (Love shopping in clients' houses!)  And I saw this original beautiful black & white tree painting she had. 

{Are you ready for my blonde moment??}  I thought she had done it because the name scrawled on the painting looked like her last name to me at first glance.   I was like, "You did this?!  It's amazing!"  
...
And then I looked closer as she laughed...  "Matisse"  
It was an original Matisse. 
Oh. my. goodness.
hahhahaah SO...  at least she's got a sense of humor and we're now using it in the living room. 
(And I would say it's time for me to bruch up on my art ;)


xoxo, Lauren

37 comments:

a little luxe said...

Oh wow... Matisse! Exciting! I love black and white artwork. So good for that graphic punch. Breaks up a colorful room nicely. Great post! Love your blog!

Jennifer

http://alittleluxe040708.blogspot.com

In the Tweeds said...

I am loving black & white artwork too! And WOW a Matisse?! That's kind of amazing!

kayce hughes said...

she has great art and a great decorator....one lucky lady.

Connie @ SogniESorrisi said...

That Matisse story is great. Could happen to anyone!

Janell @ Isabella and Max said...

That is too funny, I have my share of blonde moments and I'm not even blonde! Love black and white abstract art, Motherwell did the most amazing black and white canvases, check out his work. Janell

Kathysue said...

Love, love anything in black and white!!! I am dying for a piece at Art that fits in the Biltmore collection. They have some amazing pieces. I did a shopping post where I featured one of the Biltmore settee's in a black and white. You can get them at a pretty reasonable price too. I have so many blonde moments so I totally understand your moment!! We blondes keep life fun and interesting,lol, Kathysue

Suzie @ cupcake monkey said...

ahaha That is hilarious!! I have a few blonde moments daily! :)

I absolutely adore that first image.

Gretchen O. said...

Funny about the Matisse:) I can't wait to see the result.--Gretchen O.

AntiqueChase said...

Love the black and white. The photo that speaks to me the most is the one with the greenery and basket peaking out... love the combo when green is added!

Dagny @ Scandinavian Chic said...

Haha, I could easily have done exactly the same!! Am stuck on the b&w combo myself these days...

xx
d!

Acquired Objects said...

Too funny abut the Matisse but innocent mistake, could have happened to anyone! Lucky you to be working with someone who even owns a Matisse!

Rebecca said...

hahaha....just love that story! I have a similar one...I once asked a client if one of her kids drew one of her pieces...I thought it was so sweet that she had it mated and framed. It was a Picaso. bahaha. Glad I'm not alone with those silly ditzy moments!

Empress of The Eye said...

Totally agree on the Black and White artwork. It looks so fresh these days.

lisaroyhandbags said...

Love your blonde moment - sounds like something I would do! I do like the black & white art idea since no matter what changes you may make in a room in terms of colour, it will always look great and timeless. :)

pve design said...

It takes one master to know the other, and if only Matisse were alive to know you~ If you lived here, I would love to give you an Art & Art History lessons in exchange for your pure style home decor!
Happy Thursday and I love all the black and white art.
pve

Stephanie Sabbe said...

love black and white. always

monkeygrasshill said...

Funny! most of the artwork in my house has been painted by me over many years. I pick up my brushes every now and then. I was noticing a few months ago that most of it is black and shades of white with pops of green.

I did a very simple one recently that is BIG you might be interested in. It's a black canvas with stark white tree branches and two green birds.

Julie

Teresa Hatfield said...

Love these images. I am painting 2 monochromatic paintings now. It is interesting to see the designs that show up.
Great post!

Teresa (Splendid Sass)

Loretta Fontaine said...

Lauren,

What a funny story! A Matisse to play off of? What a delightful (daunting?) challenge!

I wish I had taken an Art History class in college. No time to read a long textbook, I love the children's section in the library. The best super slender little biographies in the young adult section. Just finished one on Coco Chanel. And since they're edited for kids, the nasty stuff is glossed over. "So, Vincent was feeling really sad one day and..."

Sorry for this bit of a digression, (but I'll pick up Matisse's bio next time I'm in the kid's section!) Have a blast on the project and tell us how you work with that (it's got to be amazing) painting!

Vivian De Winter said...

Recently, I've been drawn back to black and white art - whether it's photography, pencil, charcoal or paints. As a kid, drawing with pencil was my favourite medium. Then I wanted colour, so I moved on to acrylics.

I like picture #2 - it has great attitude!

You'll have to write down that story about the Matisse - maybe in your decorating memoirs?

I came across this image on Country Living - a blown up black and white photo of a white horse. Placed below the picture? One of those old galvanized tubs, stocked with firewood. It reminds me of what it was like to live in the country growing up. We had a real wood fireplace (no horses, though). Oh well, someday...

Here's the link if you're interested - slide #8
http://www.countryliving.com/homes/house-tours/country-cottage-1109?click=main_sr

Great blog and portfolio by the way.

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

Bromeliad did a DIY of a similar black/white art! You can see it here: DIY Dollar Store Abstract

Elisa @ What the Vita said...

Link didn't work - trying again - http://bromeliadliving.blogspot.com/2010/09/my-diy-dollar-store-abstract.html

mydesignchic said...

I love black and white art. The second room it amazing. So elegant and beautiful!

Windlost said...

I have been meaning to post on this same topic. Over half of my art is black and white. I have sketches, etchings, line drawings. I love its crispness and neutrality and classicism!

Lovely! xo Terri

design traveller said...

Graphic style always look great, simple and elegant :)

tarheel said...

You're cute. And how fun to design aroud an original MATISSE?!! Love him.

Summers Cottage said...

I can't come close to Matisse, but this might be something I try myself - throw some abstract black paint on a canvas... hmmm...

Karen said...

I agree---I love black and white as long as it's softened with other things. I loved the image with the frogs and green...wonderful. Great post!

Karen @ Garden, Home and Party

Stacy Zimmerman said...

Now I'm curious as to which Matisse she has! I hope you will be able to post pics of this project. Inquiring minds want to know! xoxo Stacy

Mahala said...

I have always loved black and white art. One of the most stunning works I have seen recently was a pair of botanicals in silhouette, white on a black background, and framed in white. The were in the Ralph Lauren shop in Las Vegas. They took my breath away with their crisp, clean, yet traditional look. I tried to photograph them but was sternly warned not to. They were gorgeous.

Val said...

I love this look...It's very classy but with an edge.

Living It At Home said...

I think you have now convinced me to love black and white art! Love these images and the art really does work in the rooms. Funny story about your clients art! Don't we all have an embarrassing moment that we wish never ever happened? Good luck! And I hope you can post what you do with your clients home!

Carol@SofasandSage.com said...

What a scream!! -- I did a post today on zebra rugs, and then I come for my daily visit to you and here they are, too! Great minds...:)! I've had so many blonde moments it almost warrants going back to my lighter brown. Your mistake is what makes you endearing!

Room Service ~ Decorating 101 said...

I would say that you know good art when you see it...lol too funny. I just sent the first picture to a client myself. I want her to paint all the woodwork in her house the same color as the walls. She loved it. But could not see it in her mind.

homesteaders said...

Just got a fabulous black and white piece from Ashley Goldberg. See the bottom pic in this post:

http://homesteaders.wordpress.com/2010/08/16/ashley-goldberg-and-artstream/

shari @ little blue deer said...

That is a fabulous blonde moment, SO something I would do! I agree, black and white with touches of cream and gold = yum! This reminded me of Bromeliad's DIY black and white abstract art tutorial:
http://bromeliadliving.blogspot.com/2010/09/my-diy-dollar-store-abstract.html

I usually don't post links but it's pretty chic! XX!

LindsB said...

Dont feel bad, that is totally something I would have said too :)