It’s time to abandon the old cliché, ‘buy a painting to match the sofa.’ Why not turn that around: Buy a statement work of art and choose furniture to complement it? That’s the way to give contemporary art its due and achieve a room that makes a truly personal statement.
Several months ago, “KC Studio” took this idea to Steve Maturo, co-owner of Museo, 3021 Main St., Kansas City’s premier source for cutting-edge furniture by top international designers. “It makes perfect sense to me,” Maturo said.
“I have never purchased art because I needed something on the wall above the fireplace or on a blank wall in the bedroom,” he added. “I have always bought art because I am drawn to it. I am compelled to take a second look, to study it, to appreciate it, and ultimately to possess it.”
He agreed to curate a series of six art/furniture pairings.
Maturo began by choosing works by six leading Kansas City artists. He then selected tables, sofas, chairs and other items from Museo’s inventory to create a dynamic ensemble around each work of art.
An eye for contrast and repetition guided his selections, depending on the formal complexity, materials and palette of each artwork. Concepts — “Quiet Drama,” “Fire and Ice,” “Domination” — also played a role, endowing each grouping with a unifying theme.
Over the course of a week, “KC Studio” photographer Jim Barcus photographed the six tableaux, assembled inside the store with assistance from Kyle Phillips, Showroom Manager, Tim Roy, Operations Assistant, and “KC Studio” Art Director, Carrie Brophy.
The images reproduced in this month’s Artist Pages reveal how Maturo seeks a balance in the art/furniture relationship. His concept statements stress the importance of avoiding competition and distraction in favor of finding the “perfect foil” or complement.
“Neither art or furniture is subservient to the other,” he said. “Both are of equal importance within a space. . . the key is that the art and furniture should live harmoniously within the same space. As long as art and furniture speak to who their owner is, then I am convinced that they will work together, and your space will reflect who you truly are.”
Susan White, “Shadow Sink” (2018), honey locust thorns, unique steel links, 122 x 44 x 40 inches
Shown with: Moooi – Smoke armchair, $5,290; Moooi – Eden Queen rug, $2,795
Collections: Hallmark Art Collection, Shook, Hardy & Bacon, LLC, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, H&R Block, Arrowhead Stadium
“Autonomous Bodies,” Studios Inc, 2018
“Ephemera,” Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, 2017
“Kindred Virtuosities,” The Daum Museum, 2015
Resident artist at Studios, Inc.
For Information and prices: Contact the artist, 816.686.5103; email email@example.com
Don Kottmann, “Revolution” (2010), from the “Neo-ABX” series, acrylic on raw canvas,
71 x 73 inches
Shown with: Cassina – 202 “8” Sofa, $9,915; Cassina – Mexique table, $2,600
Collections: Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Alberta Art Foundation, Canada Council, NOVA Corporation, General Motors
“Everything Nothing Something,” Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, 2016-2017 “Symphony,” Masters Gallery, Calgary, Alberta, Canada, 2015
“Primary Matters,” Todd Weiner Gallery, Kansas City, 2015
Professor Emeritus, Alberta College of Art & Design, painting & drawing faculty (1974-2018)
For more information and prices: Contact Janet Rose, 913.940.8915; email firstname.lastname@example.org
Mary Wessel, Untitled (2010), from the “Worldscapes Series,” photogram, 49 x 57 inches (framed)
Shown with: Fritz Hansen – Egg lounge chair, $8579; Cassina 194 – “9” table, $1,185
Collections: American Century Mutual Funds, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Sprint Corporation
“Kansas City Flatfile”, H&R Block Artspace, 2018
“Phenomena: The Material Image,” The Epsten Gallery, 2014 -15
“Abstract Kansas City,” Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, 2012
Adjunct Professor of Photography, Johnson County Community College
For more information and prices: Contact the artist, 816.223.0184; email email@example.com
James Brinsfield, “Sail On” (2017), oil, enamel, pencil on canvas, 76 x 62 inches
Shown with: Fritz Hansen – Drop chair, $459; Cassina – LC6 Table, $6,065; Kartell – Shibuya vase, $185
Collections: Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art
“Unexpected Encounters,” Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, 2018
“Anxious Abstraction,” Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, 2018
“James Brinsfield: A 20 Year Retrospective,” Joseph Nease Gallery, 2018
Lecturer, Painting Department, the Kansas City Art Institute, 1998-2016
For more information and prices: Contact Joseph Nease Gallery, Duluth, Minnesota, www.josephneasegallery.com
May Tveit, “The Road” (2017), corrugate, 68 x 29.5 x 4 inches
Shown with: Sossego – Gisele lounge chair and ottoman, $3,410; Flos – Glo-Ball Basic 2, $795
Collections: Hallmark Art Collection, Barkley, Fishnet Security, National Center for Drug Free Sport, Capital Federal Hall
“Universal Boxes,” Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, 2017-18
Associate Professor of Industrial Design, University of Kansas
For more information and prices: Contact the artist, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rashawn Griffin, Untitled (2017), monotype with collage, puff balls, and google eyes, 20.75 x 26.5 inches (irregular)
Shown with: B&B Italia – Grande Papilio armchair, $4,431; B&B Italia – Husk table, $1,422
Collections: Hallmark Art Collection, Marianna Kistler Beach Museum of Art, The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Ulrich Museum of Art, Santa Barbara Museum of Art
Open Spaces, Kansas City, 2018
“Minimal Baroque: Post-Minimalism and Contemporary Art,” Rønnebæksholm, Næstved, Denmark, 2014
“Rashawn Griffin • a hole-in-the-wall country,” Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art, 2012
Inaugural artist-in-residence and exhibiting artist, Crossroads Hotel, Fall 2018
For more information and prices: Contact Bedrock Art Editions, 2024 Broadway Street, Kansas City, Missouri. 816.492.9603:, www.bedrockarteditions.com
–photos by Jim Barcus