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Galleries, June 2014

WORKPLACE ART
Art in the Office

Andy Cheese 'The Lightness of Being’ resin bronze at 100 Leman Street EC1 until the beginning of July 2014. Photo courtesy of Artful

Most painters will sympathise with my joy at liberating space in my studio when Penny Macfarlane, of Oil and Water Gallery, asked me to show 20 works for 3 months at Wedlake Bell, a firm of solicitors in London. After a little research, I noticed a thriving symbiosis between corporations, galleries and new services to exhibit rotating artwork in office spaces.

Katie Henry who started Art in Offices 2 years ago to help companies fill empty office walls, already has a range of venture capitalists, hedge funders and lawyers on her books. She can change the art every 3 to 12 months to keep the walls fresh and the workspace dynamic, providing contemporary art at affordable prices. Abstract landscapes with a hint of a tree or something recognisable seem to be most popular, she says.

By contrast, since 2009 Mikhail Zaitsev of Hay Hill Gallery has successfully shown very large sculptures which cannot fit into his gallery in big prestigious London business centres; he has 3 sculptures 4 metres high on display at present in the heart of Mayfair at Berkeley Square House. He says he has sold many such huge sculptures over the years, one being recently shipped to Latvia.

Mikhail also encouraged Elena Polycarpou to start her own business a few years ago. ARTful sources work from galleries (and artists) installing them in public corporate spaces such as atria and reception areas.

She rotates the art every 6 months to keep the space refreshed. Flowers are regularly changed she says, so how much more important to enhance the reception of your business by changing the art.

A harmonious stimulating office maximises creativity, productivity and well-being. The best artists are inventors, explorers and paradigm-shifters. What better way to keep ahead of the times than to be surrounded by new visions.

RC

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