The Mid-Century Modern aesthetic didn’t just infiltrate architecture and furniture design; it also impacted fine art. With the creeping spread of suburbia came a new kind of decorative, mass-produced artwork that lent an instant air of sophistication to bland middle-class homes, schools, and offices. Companies popped up to manufacture art as multiples, like the metal wall sculptures of C. Jeré and the silkscreen prints of Marushka.
Expressionistic paintings of bridges, waterways, and urban skylines dotted the walls of swanky bars, while portraits of big-eyed children, clowns, and poodles hung in dens and living rooms. The trend also incorporated sculptural objects, like Sascha Brastoff’s painted ceramics or Lisa Larson’s stoneware sculptures.
Though Mid-Century art wasn’t all kitsch: The period also included the work of abstract expressionists like Mark Rothko’s color fields, the pop-culture commentary of Andy Warhol, and the abstract illusions of Victor Vasarely’s Op Art. Eventually, even many fine artists of the period had their work reproduced as decorative posters or wearable fashions.