Wall Art Trends for 2020-2021
There’s no better feeling than finding that perfect piece of wall art. The right print can add new energy and uplift your room. It can bring new life to your décor, and make your home feel like a reflection of you. With Autumn here, it’s the perfect time to give your home a refresh with a pop of colour and fun to your walls. If you’re looking for inspiration, then keep reading as we discuss the latest in design and art trends from 2020-2021, to help you choose the right print for you.
Digital technology has opened the arena for a new range of exciting artistic trends. Here we explore just a few that have exploded in 2021.
An intersection of math and art, geometric art is an exploration of 2D and 3D shapes through repeating lines and patterns. The line work is often created via technological means, but man-made geometric shapes, such as repeating triangles, squares and circles are also common. Designs can be simple, or complex and layered with fine lines that add depth and movement to the piece, such as this Solstice Print. 2021 has seen geometric art move into something more fine and sinewy, but variations also focus on repetition to create form, we love the figurative, line & geometric work of Payablo.
We love it because it’s sleek, modern and imbued with an ethereal, futuristic detail – hinting at infinite possibility. It adds interest and colour to minimalist spaces without overpowering the aesthetic.
Generative (Code) Art
It was only a matter of time before artists embraced the power of technology and code to help them visualise their ideas, right? And this is what Generative Art (aka Code Art) is all about. It’s the process of using algorithms and code to play with aesthetics of forms, shapes, colours and patterns – within a set of constraints. Artists like Casey Reas and Ben Fry have developed their own processing code language – specifically for artists to empower them to learn how to use code within their practice. It’s clear that there are lots of geometric influences within many of the designs. As seen in the work of Jessica In. While artists like Refik Anadol draw inspiration from aerial landscapes and architecture. Pair with a brushed aluminium frame, for your industrial chic space. It’s the epitome of modern design and art in 2021.
Illustrative Designer Art
Fun, vibrant patterns, bold lettering and block colours have featured heavily in the work of illustrative design art this year. We’re seeing the return of nostalgic colour palettes such as these 80’s inspired luminous, neon colours, combined with more geometric shapes. Continuing this nostalgic vibe in their abstract patterns and bold, vividly coloured shapes is Barcelona based Hey Studio. While Alja Horvat’s detailed, everyday inspired art manages to unite the vivid 60’s, the earthy colour palette of the 70’s and 80’s pastels in a way that pops.
And there’s no one who catches your attention like Malika Favre. With designs that make classy use of positive and negative space, combined with bold primary colours and a minimal style that conveys her message through striking symbolism. Her designs brighten up any room.
Maybe it’s just that 2021 has forced us to experience the world from our lounge-rooms, but we’re seeing more urban, street art – like Hijack Art’s anti-authoritarian, political satire – move from public walls to private rooms. The urge to rebel and break free is personified in prints and murals. inspiring us to flout convention. And who does this better than Banksy himself? Throughout the pandemic, Banksy has used his art to convey political messages and provide support to healthcare workers. These artistic stunts, as they’re often labelled, only serve to make him more popular than ever.
Contemporary and Abstract Art
From bright colours and patterns, to minimalist designs – 2021 has it all. Influenced by minimalist interior design trends and the lithographs and simple forms of Henri Matisse we’ve seen an emergence of soft, feminine line work of Quib's and curvy abstracts from Atelier CPH. Then going one step further, we see how chaos can become order in work like Theory II, and and Satellite.
Female figures are featuring heavily in art this year, such as in the art of David Bromley. Combining demure imagery of attractive women, overlaid with bold tones and floral patterns, his work is provocative and commanding. While Jai Vasicek’s female forms are portrayed in muted pastel tones, using patterns and textures to give them a tribal, ethereal feel. Appealing to our inner vagabond, Jai’s forms inspire a reverence in his subjects. They often feature halos, perhaps in reference the spiritual side of ourselves. They’re a compelling addition to any room.
But contemporary art wouldn’t be contemporary if it wasn’t pushing boundaries in some way. We’ve seen this loud and clear in the wake of the black lives matter movement. Culture and race became central themes for many artists like Nikkolas Smith, Laci and Vakseen.
Contemporary nature art has stepped away from sweeping landscapes and artwork of trees, using digital tools to collage natural elements with other subject matter. In these prints, we see partial portraits of women, overlaid with flower arrangements and botanical foliage, and complemented by shapes and bold coloured backgrounds. With everything that’s happened this year, it’s not surprising that artists are exploring environmental changes, bushfires, and themes surrounding the zoonotic pandemic through their art. Zoe Keller is one such artist who creates detailed graphite illustrations combining flora and fauna in an almost scientific way. This scientific, botanical representation of plants and animals, reminiscent of the work of John James Audubon, that is widely regarded. The work often features earthy tones without embellishment, allowing us to bring the outside in, and give us a new appreciation of the natural world around us.
Reflection on our way of life, the way we treat each other and our recent history has influenced photography trends in 2021. We’re seeing a fascination with historical photographs. Then as if to rebel against some of this bizarre work (and the perfection of social media), photographers like Steve Mccurry are bringing narrative photography to the forefront, sharing the inequities of life and capturing it with authenticity. Likewise, travel photography has moved away from contrived, posed images with the emergence of drones and a move into aerial photography. Photographers like Chris Burkard & Adam Senatori use aerial shots to capture landscapes and architecture that force us to bury our egos, and focus on the bigger picture.
The 2020 Black Lives Matter Movement has done wonders for the creative Indigenous community as well, as support for our First Nations people soars. And the focus this year is on ethical Aboriginal art that is, art that is obtained at fair prices. After all, artists like Dorothy Napangardi, don’t just benefit – but when a fair price is paid for their work, their communities benefit too. We love the earthy tones of Goompi Ugerabah, an upcoming artist who grew up in the Ngnarangwal and Minjungbal tribal areas (Gold Coast and Tweed Heads).
In contrast, Jeanie Napangardi Lewis uses high contrasting colours to tell Dreaming stories and those of her country in Mina Mina. Jukurrpa (Dreaming) comes from Mina Mina, a very important women’s Dreaming site far to the west of Yuendumu near Lake Mackay and the Western Australian border.
Mina Mina Jukurrpa:
We expect this is just the beginning of an ongoing trend towards a want for greater understanding of Aboriginal culture – with artwork being one of the primary mediums for them to communicate their cultural histories and stories.
My designs can be soft and calming like my infinite print, with its outer rim of circles that burst from the centre point, like light refracting on water. They’re vibrant and soothing like my Ningaloo Print, inspired by the diversity of the world heritage-listed marine park off the Coral Coast of Australia called Ningaloo.
And they pop, like my print 12’ Inch featuring repeating designs of circles using gestalt design principles (colour, contrast, size, position, focus) to create visual interest. The circles are inspired by the 45 rpm, 12 inch records of the previous century, giving a sense of movement along with understanding the evolution of music technology during the past century.
For more tips on how to select, frame and look after your artwork, check out my previous blog: The Extensive Online Art Prints Guide. I've enjoyed uncovering these wall art trends that have emerged in 2020-2021. I hope you’ve been inspired!