Something nice for the walls
August 3, 2009 9:03 AM   Subscribe

Any suggestions for large-size, office appropriate wall art? The walls in question are that institutional cream-colored cinder block. Can't be too girly or too grim. Online and budget-conscious a must.

I know Blick art stores sell those nice poster-size prints and patterns but I can't seem to find them online. I'm also trolling through Etsy but that is a needle-haystack situation and could take forever. I could use a few pointers in the right direction..
posted by amethysts to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
AllPosters has every type of wall decor you could ever imagine.
posted by That takes balls. at 9:20 AM on August 3, 2009

I love love love these posters...
posted by ian1977 at 9:27 AM on August 3, 2009

I'm a fan of the fabric hanging rails and fabric panel as large art offered by CB2. They sell a different Marimekko fabric panel every season, and you can find their current offering here. You can buy the hanging rails separately and use any 58-inch wide fabric you'd like in any length that works for your wall. As Marimekko fabrics can be expensive finding a fabric some other place might work better for keeping on a budget. The rails hang on two small nails which don't harm the wall to much.

I have the HetkiƤ/Moments panel hanging in my house and it adds depth to a wall over a staircase that would otherwise just loom. The total size of this panel is 5 feet wide and 7 feet tall so it's quite dramatic.
posted by Miss Matheson at 9:29 AM on August 3, 2009 [2 favorites]

This artist does beautiful, large works which are neither girly nor grim. I have no connection to her except having bought one for my apartment when i was looking to fill the large empty wall over my couch.
posted by drjimmy11 at 9:35 AM on August 3, 2009

Some local libraries lend artworks. In Chicago, the Mars Gallery and some other local services rent/lease artwork, for those particularly high impact areas, like executive offices, reception areas, and conference rooms, where the authenticity of original work lends an upscale touch. Also, many area art schools can put you in touch with recent grads and alums who would appreciate even a small commercial commission, particularly in these trying economic times. Your corporate decoration dollar hasn't gone so far, in 30 years!
posted by paulsc at 9:35 AM on August 3, 2009 [1 favorite]

The Rasterbator is the DIY option. Some great examples in the gallery.
posted by eamondaly at 9:47 AM on August 3, 2009

Response by poster: Good suggestions so far. We just don't want it to look like a dentist's office. And I'm kind of afraid of the homey DIY look of the Rasterbator and the work involved in putting up fabric (although I do love that idea)..
posted by amethysts at 9:49 AM on August 3, 2009

You can buy these black and white prints of Chicago city scenes up to 40" x 40" - they would look good on the kind of wall you have.
posted by extrabox at 9:51 AM on August 3, 2009

Check out the Stendig Calendar. I think they're sold out for 2009 from this site, but you should be able to find them elsewhere online.
posted by sleeping bear at 9:54 AM on August 3, 2009

I like They have prints of everything from da Vinci to abstract painters to photography.
posted by Aleen at 11:31 AM on August 3, 2009

I realize you have mentioned a budget, but just in case I will submit prints from the MFA. There is a lot of choice and I know the work they out put is very high quality.
posted by fluffycreature at 11:58 AM on August 3, 2009

Lisa Hunter blogs about some fantastic photographers who do wall-sized art at The Intrepid Art Collector. Emphasis on affordable ($5,000 not $5,000,000) art.
posted by musofire at 12:30 PM on August 3, 2009

The vast multinational megacorp I work for has South American folk art on the walls -- like this and this. It's beyond great.
posted by Methylviolet at 1:04 PM on August 3, 2009

Oh, please think about getting original art. If you are in fact in Chicago as your profile indicates, check out student art exhibits at the Art Institute of Chicago; unfortunately the wonderful Contemporary Art Workshop has closed, but there are many many small galleries that sell the marvelous work of unknown and "emerging" artists for a song. Give Around The Coyote a call-- their big event is in October, but the organization functions all year and they'll be able to direct you to a lot of good small galleries and studios.
posted by nax at 3:32 PM on August 3, 2009

We had a similar quandary at the law firm I used to work for. Our solution was to solicit works of art from employees, friends and third cousins of anyone that we could contact. We ended up with a collection of various pieces from about 15 different local artists, some of it was AWESOME.

This was, of course, an incredibly involved process that took several weeks/months to organize, but we did come to find out that many many artists were more than happy to display their art for free (with a price tag on the placard, of course). We had the work up for 3 months at a time and then we had a rotation period and had new works up for the next 3 months.
posted by ThaBombShelterSmith at 6:57 PM on August 3, 2009

Response by poster: Thanks for your help, everyone. As a follow up, we decided to go with a few sheets of these wrapping papers, as they were funky, unique, bold, colorful, large, and most importantly: CHEAP. At $3/each we could afford to buy some nice frames. Very exciting.
posted by amethysts at 12:04 PM on August 7, 2009

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