Wednesday, April 8, 2015

That touch of black; contrast

Continuing the conversation from last week (Shades of Umber at the Thyssen-Bornemisza HERE) another direction to go in an art gallery are black walls as seen here at the National Gallery of Victoria in Melbourne.
My Australian Penpal sent these to me -what do you think?  I'm a fan of black (these almost look to have a blue tint to them in the lighting) as I think it shows all images in sharp contrast. Even at the small scale of these photographs the paintings are instantly recognizable and in sharp detail thanks to the black background.
I hate the 'trend' (I even hate the word) for black walls in the home but I think in a gallery or retail space it's a brilliant idea. I wouldn't have kept the same black background here at ArchitectDesign for 9 years if I didn't think it worked!


Ann said...

So interesting! Totally reminded me of that interview I posted the other day where Mr. Slonem said dark walls make you look at the center of the painting and white walls draw your eyes to the frame. I'm so noticing that now! Too bad I still like white!

Karena Albert said...

At first I did not think I would like the black gallery walls, they are growing on me though and quite stunning to set off the art!

The Arts by Karena

Mark Ruffner said...

Dear Stefan,

The black walls are stunning, and they definitely make the artwork pop. I wonder though (and this is not a criticism, but a true wondering) whether the high contrast might tire the eyes after a while. I've read that the optimum background for a computer desktop is a medium grey (because that saves eye strain) and perhaps the same principle would hold true here. But again, the look is stunning!

Chronica Domus said...

I agree, darker walls make such an impact. The color of this gallery looks to be more akin to an Emu egg which is a sort of blueish greenish black (for lack of a better color word to describe it!). I show a photo of one in my Easter post - the walls and egg color look identical.

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

OMGosh Stefan how impressive black gallery walls are to make artwork pop and command attention, I have never seen this in any museum or gallery. Very impressive and sets a whole new appreciation for moody and dramatic.
Thanks for posting the photos from your friend.

home before dark said...

After living with an almost all white house for over 25 years, I have taken the plunge and gone to the dark side of the force. We are still in the process of this project which included putting bead board on the walls on the first floor. And, yes, I had them painted black. In our back room which now encompasses the working pantry, kitchen, library/dining room there are large windows to bring in natural light.I also chose the unorthodox form of backsplash/wall covering in kitchen area: sheet mirror. The look is black, stainless, chrome, mirror and it is a wonderful place to be in. The mirrors reflect the garden in the backyard, the large windows bring in the garden views in daylight and add lovely tracery of limbs as the sun goes overhead. I even had the fireplace painted black and it shimmers with candlelight. Love it!

Blue said...

I like black walls, in theory, but the tone of black and the type of surface it presents are all important. Beyond the personal reaction, however, I wonder if it is a universal background for artwork for people with a range of vision (from good to poor).

Row homes and Cobblestones said...

Knee deep in construction I missed the Cherry Blossoms in Kenwood on Sunday. I'm so bummed, it is my first year since age 5 I've missed visiting them in DC or the Kenwood area. I took a walk through our neighborhood and they are pretty but as you know not as lovely as in mass and maturity.

My Notting Hill said...

Those are great gallery walls. Yes, your black background definitely works!