Thinking Outside the Wall Part One: Dynamic Domesticity

Whether your space is at a premium or you have simply filled your walls with art already, it may seem like there’s no room left in your home or office to add to your collection. The truth is, there are surfaces, rooms, nooks, and crannies everywhere that can accommodate lovely pieces, if you can make the leap to think beyond two-dimensional, framed work. As you can tell by this selection of artist books, ceramics, textiles, jewelry, and architectural commissions on view in this article, PADA galleries are full of objects that elevate the comforts of home with conceptual twists. Read on for even more inspiration!

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Book Arts

The art of the book may be ancient, but contemporary iterations have opened up the medium to ends that are experimental, poetic, sculptural, narrative, and unmistakably captivating. The act of independent and personal publishing is itself an act of gentle subversion- a handmade version of something that is so commonly mass-produced. Artist books are an affordable way to bring an interactive object into your home without taking up an enormous amount of weight or space. With so many materials, binding techniques, and aesthetics to choose from, a book can be appreciated and displayed in a myriad of ways.

Images courtesy of the artists and 23 Sandy Gallery‘s Book Arts collection 


Like an artist book, ceramics riff on the functional. On the spectrum from serving vessel to sculpture, there are endless options for collecting, as great ceramic art can be just as at home on a dining room table as a conference table, fireplace mantle, or even a bathroom. From whimsical to zen to rustic, there is a ceramic tradition to suit every taste. There is a comforting quality to ceramic, no matter what form it takes, that comes out of the earth from which it was made, and which graces any environment with that familiar and warm charm.

Images courtesy of the artists and Butters Gallery, Ltd‘s Ceramics collection 

Fiber Arts

Admittedly, fiber arts might be a slight cheat when it comes to thinking outside the wall, since many fiber works are made to hang.  But if you think you know quilts, or needlepoint, or weavings, think again. Textiles that blur the boundaries of two-dimensional work abound in a contemporary context, merging the conceptual and domestic to gorgeous and texturally rich ends. These may not be works to fold and place at the foot of the bed, but they are definitely in a different vein than the typical wall piece.
Images courtesy of the artists and Elizabeth Leach Gallery 

Wearable Art

There’s nothing like a work of art that you can carry around with you, one that augments your style even when you are out and about in the world. Jewelry, pins, money clips, and other accessories transcend mere decoration when they are crafted with gorgeous, rare materials and an extraordinarily skilled hand. If you have a love for small treasures that make huge statements, consider sourcing out pieces that compliment your aesthetics with one-of-a-kind details.
Images courtesy Quintana Galleries‘ Jewelry and Wearable Art collection

Architectural Commissions

You might have seen this post, in which Jamie Truppi of Bullseye Gallery explains some of the possibilities for architectural commissions arranged through a gallery. A commission is the ultimate way to think outside the wall: why worry about artwork that fits in your home when you can build it right in? As this clip shows, an artist can bring a very real impact to even the most everyday objects and settings.


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