Female Impressionists, Male Designers

When I start painting I don’t know what’s going to happen…When you’re dancing, you don’t stop to think: now I’ll take a step…you allow it to flow.  
– Elaine de Kooning

Elaine de Kooning’s description of the process refers to the legendary account of Abstract Expressionist painting by Harold Rosenberg: its genesis comes from an ‘event’ and is a ‘result of this encounter’. Many a female painter from the late 1940s and 1950s adopted similar approach to their artistic practice. The result was not only a deeper commitment to the process of painting itself but also a profound and lasting influence which can be seen in the works of present day prominent male interior designers.

Hedda Sterne, Alaska I, 1958
Jean-Louis Deniot, Paris -Rue De Lille: Apartment, 2012

The works of female artists tended not only to show personal responses to life experiences, but also according to individual encounters in each artist’s own way. These included responses to a place – whether at home or traveling, to a time of day or night, to change and to seasons.

Perle Fine, Roaring Fire, 1958
James Dixon Architect, Bond Street Loft, 2014

The paintings were almost quite abstract but about real events and real places, people, memories and experiences;  much like our homes  – designed around experiences, memories and people.

Joan Mitchell, Untitled, 1950
Francis Sultana, Historic London House, 2017

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