Looking Inside: An Age-Old Fascination with Interior Paintings
Michael Solovyev (b. 1972), “Japan (from the Passenger series),” 2016, watercolor on paper, 10 x 14 in., collection of Michel Andersen

No matter how much we like being outdoors, most of us spend far more time inside buildings. Chances are we were born indoors, and we will probably die there, too. Much of life takes place inside: from the classroom where we learn to read, to the church where we marry, onward to the house where we raise our children. It’s no wonder that artists — especially those working in two-dimensional forms like painting, drawing, and printmaking — have focused their attention on interior spaces for centuries.

Looking Inside: An Age-Old Fascination with Interior Paintings
Neil MacCormack (b. 1958), “One Day at Rest: Untitled 13 (6:48 pm),” 2013, acrylic on board, 8 x 5 1/2 in., Bernarducci Gallery, New York City

Looking back, ilustrated in the March/April 2018 issue of Fine Art Connoisseur is an array of recent interior scenes reflecting this age-old fascination. Two are worth noting for different reasons. On July 2, 2011, the artist Neil MacCormack made a deal with his wife: in their home they switched on several surveillance cameras that proceeded to record 7,200 stills depicting the couple going about daily life: sleeping, showering, eating, making love, working, lounging. Referring to the resulting frames, MacCormack created a series of small paintings and drawings (one is shown above). This is life indoors at its most banal, and also at its most intimate.

Looking Inside: An Age-Old Fascination with Interior Paintings
Adam Miller (b. 1979), “Song of the Cosmos,” 2015, oil on canvas, 71 x 47 in., RJD Gallery, Bridgehampton, Long Island

The scenes here range from cheery to melancholy, because interior spaces truly have their own personalities. They reverberate with the people who occupy them, and often make us long to occupy them ourselves.

Jennifer Diehl (b. 1982), “Everything and the Kitchen Sink,” 2017, oil on canvas, 20 x 24 in., private collection

This article originally appeared in Fine Art Connoisseur magazine (subscribe here).

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