How to view art and interiors with a Scandinavian eye

How to view art and interiors with a Scandinavian eye

There was a moment over Easter when the design world stood still. But it’s back with a new look – and it’s a look that those of us who view art and interiors with a Scandinavian eye like very much.

There is so much on offer: fun, colourful, witty and thought provoking works of art and interior design pieces. But this different look is emerging that perfectly fits the Nordic palette and aesthetic.

Colours are chrome, if not monotone and washed out, with hints of pastels. And the mood is either pure hygge, cool or sometimes even melancholic (remember Hamlet?).

Two names that caught my Scandinavian eye

Here we show how each work of art perfectly summarises the Nordic look and why that look is more complex than minimalism.

Two names caught my eye this week: Frank Auerbach and Stephen Inggs. Auerbach is, of course, a household name, the British-German master painter famous for his realism, abstraction and introspection.

Then there is Stephen Inggs whose subtle botanical images are intended to “slow down time” – a concept the Scandis have almost made their own.

Frank Auerbach self portrait
Stephen Inggs’ Protea in Bottle

Auerbach’s self portraits are currently hanging at the Hazlitt Holland-Hibbert gallery in London’s St James’s. It’s a rare exhibition organised by Frankie Rossi Art Projects.

How to view art – does it work in Scandinavian home?

Do Auerbach’s paintings work as part of the Nordic home decor? Yes, they do. These self portraits are dated from 2017 until the present. They are far from glamorous, but they’re honest and endlessly fascinating to look at.

Up close they look like a random selection of lines, sketched with a finger tip. As you step away they begin to take shape and they become the face of a man, Auerbach’s own. Step away further still and they represent a mood, feelings.

How ever long it stays on the wall, there is always a new way to look at his painting. That’s what matters to the Nordic aesthetic.

The Scandinavian eye – how decorative pieces matter

We like decorative pieces in our homes to have a story or some connection to a lived experience. We don’t glam up our homes with items that simply “fit in” or bought on the hoof.

Ralph Fleck’s Cortado series is pure hygge. I spotted this oil on canvas at the Purdy Hicks gallery in South Kensington – it speaks a thousand words about the simple things such as relaxing, enjoying a coffee and unwinding.

Ralph Fleck at Purdy Hicks gallery
Why I’ve picked those three paintings and how they each explain the way art and interiors work with the Scandinavian eye

This time I’ve picked three paintings which would both match and contrast the decor of a typically Nordic home. Those are the pieces that perfectly explains how to view art and interiors with a Scandinavian eye. The grey and white colour scheme of the coffee – not to mention the theme – is pure Scandi minimalism and hygge.

Think chrome, monotone colours. But there is more to the Nordic look than white, grey and black. Here’s how multi-layered the look really is and what makes it tick

The branch of leaves in a bottle at the HackelBury gallery – incidentally next door to the Danish cafe Hjem – is raw Nordic climate and simplicity. Those living in the cold north will all have experience the windy beaches, of which we have a lot, and the grey, sandy and green colours of of the dunes and plants.

The bottle instead of a decorative vase speak to the Scandi rejection of things too ostentatious. And the lone branch of leaves and bottle is our way of saying less-is-more.

Frank Auerbach’s mood-ish self portraits at H H-H gallery speak to the Nordic spirit. His introspection (think of Shakespeare’s Danish Prince Hamlet), the brutal honesty in his sketches and layered presentation tap into the ideal which appears so simple on the surface, but is oh so complex when you take a closer look.

Read also our post on how to pick art for the Scandi Boho home.

Our 3 most recent posts:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *