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A Guide to Mid-Century Modern Art For your Home

Guide to Mid-Century Modern Art

Campbell’s Soup Cans

Midcentury Modern Art – Introduction Video

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Mid-Century Modern is a term that is used to refer to a style of home design that took place between the mid-1940s and 1965. Mid-century modern art is a form of art that was produced during this time period. This type of art is characterized by its unique design. Mid-century style furniture was only one example of the unique art that was produced during this time period.

Artists like Henri Matisse (1869-1954) and Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) helped to define this type of art. Their work was characterized by its use of color and abstract forms. Mid-century style art was not only limited to painting and sculpture. It also included items such as furniture and architecture.

Mid-century modern furniture is still sought after by collectors today. For example, the Eames Lounge Chair is considered one of the most iconic pieces of furniture from this time period. Mid-century modern architecture is also still popular today. Many people appreciate the clean lines and simple designs that characterize this style of architecture. 

Mid-Century Modern Paintings

Mid-century modern paintings are truly a sight to behold. There is such an extensive variety of styles that artists employed. If you need an illustration of the wide range, one only has to compare Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock.

Even though their paintings are not exactly the same, they both fit within the contemporary tribute to Mid-century style with their own unique flair. Pop artist Andy Warhol’s pieces, such as the world-renowned Campbell’s Soup Cans and the Marilyn Diptych, undoubtedly reflect the zeitgeist of the time.

Many of Warhol’s paintings have a one-of-a-kind quality due to his dramatic use of color and repetition of patterns in several of his paintings. On the other hand, Jackson Pollack’s abstract expressionism is at the opposite end of the spectrum.

He was known for pioneering a new approach to painting that launched him into fame in the art world. His “drip painting” technique emphasized spontaneity and gave his paintings a sense of movement. Consequently, paintings provide art enthusiasts with a feast for the eyes, as there is such an impressive variety of styles to choose from.

Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle | The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation

Vasily Kandinsky: Around the Circle | The Guggenheim Museums and Foundation

Mid-Century Wall Art

Mid-Century Modern wall art is typified by its clean lines, geometric shapes, and atomic feel. The Mid-Century style emerged in the 1940s and 50s and took cues from both the Bauhaus and Art Deco movements. Artists sought to create a new visual language that was stripped down and unadorned.

Mid-Century wall art is characterized by its simplicity and minimalism. Wall art often features abstract patterns and organic shapes. Mid-century artists were also influenced by nature and Often incorporated natural motifs into their work. Midcentury Modern wall art is highly collectible and can be quite expensive.

However, if you are willing to forego the name brand value, you can find wall art at second-hand shops and garage sales. Mid-Century wall art is a great way to add a touch of retro style to your home décor.

Andy Warhol, Marilyn Diptych – Smarthistory

Marilyn Diptych

Mid-Century Modern Sculptures

Mid-Century Sculptures are a type of artwork that emerged in the middle of the 20th century. This style is characterized by its use of straight or curved wires welded into place to create free-form works of art.

These sculptures often fetched six-figure prices on the open market; however, there are several examples of less expensive Sculptures that can be found at estate sales and thrift shops.

Resellers may get these pieces with exceptional design and workmanship for as little as a few thousand dollars. Mid-Century Modern Sculptures are a type of artwork that adds personality and flair to any home or office.

Harry Betoia, American (1915 - 1978) — Vallarino Fine Art

Harry Betoia, American (1915 – 1978)

Final Thoughts

Mid-Century Modernism was an artistic movement that spanned multiple disciplines, from architecture to interior design, product design, and fine art. Its heyday was the mid-20th century, roughly spanning the years from 1933 to 1965. Over the past few decades, there has been a resurgence in popularity for all things Mid-Century Modern.

This renewed interest can be attributable to a number of factors; perhaps most significantly, people are yearning for a simpler time, unencumbered by technology and the hectic pace of 21st-century life. The clean lines and organic forms of Mid-Century Modern furniture and art harken back to a time when life was less complicated.

In a world that is increasingly mass-produced and uniform, the unique style of Mid-Century Modernism is both refreshing and enigmatic. Suppose you’re interested in adding a touch of Mid-Century Modernism to your home. In that case, there are many places to find authentic pieces.

Estate sales are always a good bet, as are online auction sites like eBay and Craigslist. You can also keep an eye out for reproductions at your favorite stores; just be sure to look for the telltale signs of Mid-Century design, like clean lines, simple forms, and natural materials. With a little patience and effort, you’re sure to find the perfect Mid-Century Modern piece to add to your collection.

Jackson Pollock | MoMA

Jackson Pollock | MoMA

Guide to Mid-Century Modern Art – FAQ

What is mid-century modern decor?

Mid-century modern decor is a type of design that emerged in the middle of the 20th century. This style is characterized by its use of clean lines, geometric shapes, repeating patterns, and natural materials.

Where can I find mid-century modern home decor?

To find mid-century modern home decor, you can look for it at estate sales, online auction sites, and even some stores. Be sure to look for the telltale signs of mid-century design, such as clean lines, simple forms, and natural materials.

A Guide to Mid-Century Modern Art For your Home

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M.Arch. Julio Arco
M.Arch. Julio Arco

Bachelor of Architecture - ITESM University
Master of Architecture - McGill University
Architecture in Urban Context Certificate - LDM University
Interior Designer - Havenly
Architecture Professor - ITESM University

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