Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Measuring Up to the Job

by Shannon Kirby

It seems in every one of our projects we are asked many questions about the "right" height or placement of lighting and art.  There really isn't one specific answer but I do follow guidelines so things are comfortable and pleasing to the eye.  Please use these as a starting point not just the hard and fast rules.

Chandeliers look best 33-36" above the table no matter the ceiling height.

The formula to begin to know what minimum size of fixture is best for your space is to take the width of the room in feet times 2 and convert this number to inches.

Wall sconces should be no less than 68" off the floor.  If they are in a hallway and have shades be sure they are high enough so the light doesn't shine directly in someones eyes.

Fireplace mantels vary widely as do the recommendations of where to add sconces.  The 68" above the floor is a good place to start.  If your fireplace is very wide they should be hung over both ends not in the wall spaces beyond the mantel.

Bedrooms pose their own set of issues.  The height of the swing arm light in the photograph is a good starting point.  The headboard height will really determine where it should be hung.  You will have to sit on the bed too to make sure it isn't shining in your eyes.

The base of the wall lamp should be a minimum of 8" from the headboard.

If you want to place fragile things above your bed be sure to use museum glue or even a glue gun so there is no  chance of something falling on your head.

If you hang art or a mirror above your bed be sure to use earthquake hangers which securely hold the wire through an "s" channel.

Hanging art is very personal and what is best to remember is the overall shape of a group of art.  In a living room if your sofa is low and long I would suggest you hang them low and in a row horizontally.  Hang 10" above a sofa so elbows and heads don't hit.  Sit in your room and look at the placement and height of the art- it should be easy to see without stretching your neck.  Hallways are where people walk so they should be at eye level but not hung by someone 6 ft 6 inches tall!

Mirrors above a fireplace are popular but can be tricky.  They should begin 8" above the mantel.  If you cannot see yourself in the mirror and only see the ceiling when standing in front of the fireplace I would suggest hanging something else.  If it looks too small over the fireplace it is!  Now it is possible to angle the mirror down into the room by increasing the length of the wire to the desired pitch but don't angle too much or you will see everyone's feet.

If you want to do a group it is best to lay it out on the floor first.  Once you have an arrangement you like you can use sheets of wrapping paper or other long paper on a roll to outline each piece and where to hanger should be.  Then just  tape the paper on the wall, hammer in the hangers where you marked, remove the paper and hang your art!

photos from House Beautiful 11/2001

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

2010 Art Exhibits in San Francisco...Richard Diebenkorn

By innerspace
Two San Francisco art galleries are presenting landmark exhibitions of paintings by Richard Diebenkorn and Helen Frankenthaler during April, May, and June 2010.

Richard Diebenkorn | Paintings and Drawings from the Collection of Christopher Diebenkorn at the Paul Thiebaud Gallery opens on April 20, 2010 and runs until June 26, 2010.

Instead of the gestural techniques of the Abstract Expressionist and Color Field painting movements of the 1950's, Richard Diebenkorn (1922-1993) developed a more controlled style, where the geometric lines accumulated during the drawing and painting process remain visible.

In addition to other modern artists and his academic colleagues, Diebenkorn's residential location influenced his work. Here are some highlights from the show, which not only features abstract works from Diebenkorn's earlier Sausalito (1947-1949), Albuquerque (1950-1952), Urbana (1952-1953), and Berkeley (1953-1966) periods, but also from his later Santa Monica (1966-1988), and Healdsburg (1988-1993) periods. 

Richard Diebenkorn | Untitled | 1948 | Watercolor, Ink and Paper Tape on Paper | 20 1/4 x 14 7/8 Inches
photo Paul Thiebaud Gallery

Richard Diebenkorn | Untitled | 1951 | Gouache on Paper | 40 5/8 x 36 Inches
Richard Diebenkorn | Untitled (Urbana) | 1952 | Ink and Gouache on Paper | 13 1/2 x 11 1/2 Inches

Richard Diebenkorn | Cityscape #4 | 1963 | Oil on Canvas | 47 x 53 3/4 Inches

Santa Monica...
Richard Diebenkorn | Invented Landscape | 1977 | Gouache and Crayon on Paper | 16 3/4 x 13 7/8 Inches

Richard Diebenkorn | Untitled #10 | 1991 | Crayon, Graphite, Synthetic Polymer, and Pasted Paper on Paper | 22 x 39 5/8 Inches

The exhibition also features representational figural drawings, still life drawings, landscapes, and cityscapes from the different phases of Diebenkorn's career. 

Which style and 'location' do you prefer? 

2010 Art Exhibits in San Francisco...Helen Frankenthaler

By innerspace
Two San Francisco art galleries are presenting landmark exhibitions of paintings by Helen Frankenthaler and Richard Diebenkorn during April, May, and June 2010.

Helen Frankenthaler | Paintings 1961-1973 at the John Berggruen Gallery opened on April 1, 2010 and runs through May 22, 2010.

Helen Frankenthaler (b.1928), who was influenced by the techniques of Abstract Expressionist painters such as Jackson Pollock, Willem de Kooning, and Mark Rothko, led the Color Field painting movement in New York during the 1950's.  She developed a gestural painting technique that, by pouring paint over an unprimed instead of a primed canvas, allowed the paint to penetrate and stain the surface.

Here are some highlights from the show, which features rarely exhibited paintings from the collections of the artist and other private collectors. 

Helen Frankenthaler | Provincetown l | 1961 | Oil on Canvas | 92x101 Inches
Helen Frankenthaler | Pivitol Square | 1962 | Oil on Canvas | 56x62 Inches 
Photo John Berggruen Gallery | San Francisco CA 
Some of the earliest paintings in the exhibition include Provincetown l from 1961 and Pivitol Square from 1962.

Helen Frankenthaler | Gulf Stream | 1963 | Oil and Acrylic on Canvas | 86x65 Inches
Helen Frankenthaler | Mountain Pool | 1963 | Acrylic on Canvas | 48x78 Inches
Photo John Berggruen Ballery | San Francisco CA
Helen Frankenthaler | Orange Underline | 1963 | Acrylic on Canvas | 55x71 Inches
Photo John Berggruen Gallery | San Francisco CA
 Helen Frankenthaler | Interior Landscape | 1964 | Acrylic on Canvas | 104x92 Inches
Photo John Berggruen Gallery | San Francisco CA  
The San Francisco Museum of Modern Art loaned Interior Landscape from 1964 to the Berggruen Gallery for the exhibition.

 Helen Frankenthaler | Coalition | 1968 | Acrylic on Canvas | 83x75 Inches
Photo John Berggruen Gallery | San Francisco CA
According to art scholar, Barbara Rose, Coalition from 1968 is 'Among the finest paintings produced anywhere in the late sixties'.
Helen Frankenthaler | Moveable Blue | 1973 | Acrylic on Canvas | 70x243 Inches
Photo John Berggruen Gallery | San Francisco CA 
But,  Harold Rosenberg, a New York art critic and proponent of the Abstract Expressionist movement, described Frankenthaler's post-1960's work as 'Mere interior decoration'.

What do you think?