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7 Classic Artists to Decorate Your Office

7 Classic Artists Office Wall Art

After a year of isolation, your workspace can start to feel dull and uninspiring. As we transition into this time of renewal, now is your opportunity to revitalize your space with new and refreshing pieces. Displaying office art has the potential to boost creativity, reduce stress, and increase pride in your workspace. It is also a great way to personalize your environment with pieces that bring you joy or evoke fond memories. Below is a list of seven of the most influential artists of all time… plus tips for using their work to spruce up your space.

#7: Peaceful Charm with Vermeer

Johannes Vermeer paintings are known for highlighting the beauty in humble daily chores. While the majority of his paintings depict simple, domestic interior scenes, he became renowned for his expert use of color and light. One of Vermeer’s most famous paintings, The Little Street, demonstrates his ability to capture the daily tasks of the middle class and turn them into a captivating scene.

The Little Street

Johannes Vermeer, The Little Street, c. 1657–58, Rijksmuseum

The nostalgia and luminescence of Vermeer’s paintings will add a serene touch to your office space. Depending on the aesthetic of your workspace, you may want to choose something striking like Girl with a Pearl Earring or something more peaceful like The Little Street. Whichever you choose, Vermeer’s masterful use of light and color will brighten your space and keep you feeling inspired throughout your workday.

#6: Get Rockin’ with Rothko

Mark Rothko, originally Markus Rothkowitz, is primarily known for his simplistic-seeming paintings that feature bold, colored rectangles. While they may seem unassuming on the surface, Rothko’s work was designed to delve into the deepest questions of human emotion and drama. When it was created in 1950, this type of painting was utterly new and it went on to inspire the future of abstract art. His work is meant to evoke emotion through its monumentality and simplicity.

Rothko Orange and Yellow

Mark Rothko, Orange and Yellow, 1956, Albright-Knox Art Gallery, © 1998 Kate Rothko Prizel & Christopher Rothko / Artists Rights Society, New York / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York.

Rothko created a plethora of paintings with this classic layout, each with a slightly different color scheme and composition. While many of his paintings use similar shapes and layout, they differ dramatically in tone and emotion.

Search through his work for a color scheme that will complement the existing tones in your office space, for a stately, modern touch. Notice how the slight changes in color and complexity in each of the paintings affect your emotional response to it. His use of bright colors and abstract designs are sure to add an exciting and chic element to your room. 

#5: Natural Beauty with O’Keeffe

O'Keeffe Red Poppy

Georgia O’Keeffe, Red Poppy, 1928, Museum of Fine Arts St. Petersburg, © 2019 Georgia O’Keeffe Museum / Artists Rights Society (ARS)

Georgia O’Keeffe made her mark on the art world as one of the few artists to expertly combine realism and abstraction. She is best known for vibrant depictions of flowers, rocks, and shells. O’Keeffe set herself apart from other artists by choosing to paint the natural beauty that surrounded her, rather than following the rigid art trends that were sweeping the nation.

Her skillful use of eye-catching colors and flowing lines allowed her to bring to life the beauty of the natural world. Georgia O’Keeffe paintings often elicit feelings of warmth and excitement. Consider taking note of your office’s current color scheme and choosing a painting with matching tones. The addition of an O’Keeffe will be both a beautiful display and a constant reminder of this artist’s revolutionary spirit and bold creativity.

#4: Cutting Edge with Kandinsky

Wassily Kandinsky is widely credited as the first painter to create truly abstract art. He was fascinated by the connection between classical music and art, frequently using color to represent sounds and music. It is believed that Kandinsky had a rare neurological condition called synesthesia. This phenomenon causes senses to become linked and trigger each other in unique ways. In Kandinsky’s case, he is said to have heard music when he saw color and vice versa. As he continued to paint, he began to use color to represent sound and the musical experience. His use of abstract designs and striking color creates a thought provoking and exciting experience for the viewer. Consider using a Kandinsky as your Zoom background to add a lively and colorful touch to your meetings.

Kandinsky “Unbenannte Improvisation III”, Roethel t. I n. 502, p. 507

Vassily Kandinsky, “Unbenannte Improvisation III”, Roethel t. I n. 502, p. 507, 1914, Los Angeles County Museum of Art

#3: Bring on the Color with Matisse!

Henri Matisse viewed art differently than most artists, once saying, “What I dream of is an art of balance, of purity and serenity, devoid of troubling or depressing subject matter, an art which could be for every mental worker, for the businessman as well as the man of letters, for example, a soothing, calming influence on the mind, something like a good armchair which provides relaxation from physical fatigue.” His passion for the serenity of art translated into his work through his exceptional use of color and patterns, bringing his paintings to life.

The Matisse painting La Gerbe was created by embedding ceramic into plaster in order to create a unique texture and visual appeal.

La Gerbe Matisse

Henri Matisse, La Gerbe, 1953, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, © Succession H. Matisse, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

This type of abstract expression of nature is used to engage the viewer and give them a unique perspective on the subject. He is widely regarded as one of the most influential figures in modern art, especially recognizable due to his use of striking patterns and colors to express emotion. Implementing a painting with bright colors, such as Open Window, is beneficial for both mood and energy levels. Consider sprucing up your office space with a Matisse for a classic and engaging touch.

#2: Conversation Starters with Picasso

Pablo Picasso stretched the bounds of art through his radical creations and constant innovation, often blending artistic styles to create something entirely new. He is credited with co-founding the Cubism movement, which breaks subjects into pieces and rearranges them into abstract creations, giving the viewer a unique perspective.

When creating one of his most famous paintings, Guernica, Picasso exclusively used a palette of gray, black, and white to speak to the viewer and make a political statement about the war. His revolutionary spirit has gone on to inspire the next generation of artists, encouraging them to think outside of the box and experiment with their artistic style.

Picasso’s art is often broken into distinct periods that specify his stylistic inspirations at that time. For example, one of his earliest periods, The Blue Period, is marked by cool tones and somber subjects. During this period he created some of his most striking pieces, like The Blue Room and La Miséreuse accroupie. Sift through Picasso’s famous periods for one that fits the color scheme and desired style of your office.

Pablo Picasso La Miséreuse accroupie

Pablo Picasso, La Miséreuse accroupie, 1902, Art Gallery of Ontario, © Succession Picasso 2018


#1: Timeless Elegance with Van Gogh

While Vincent van Gogh did not receive critical acclaim during his lifetime, he has since left a profound legacy. His most famous works, such as The Starry Night and Sunflowers, have become legendary both in and outside of the art world.

Van Gogh Sunflowers

Vincent Van Gogh, Sunflowers, Jan. 1889, Van Gogh Museum

His work went on to influence the development of other prominent artistic styles, such as Fauvism and Modernism. He suffered from anxiety and depression, and his internal struggles are often seen in his art. His unique and attractive style caused his paintings to remain incredibly popular into the 21st century. The juxtaposition of Van Gogh’s tragic life alongside his beautiful and evocative paintings makes them a great piece to add to your collection. While his art career only lasted ten years, he created nearly 900 paintings. Whether you choose something bright like Sunflowers or something with a complex emotional story like The Starry Night, your office space will be uniquely complemented by a Van Gogh painting.

Searching for the perfect piece to refresh your office space? Browse our curated collection of paintings by Classic Artists here>>

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