“A Nature Grid” gets its design from Filippo Brunelleschi.

A Nature Grid, installed. BL Companies, Meriden, CT.

“A Nature Grid” plays off the historical perference for using square grids in interior design, the perfect concept for this architectural firm’s conference room. The fifteen 20 x 20 x2 inch square painting “tiles” are made with a mixed media of beaten abaca pulp, light fast (non-fading) pigment, and acrylic paint, and are mounted on Gator Board. The firm, which specializes in commercial design and engineering, appreciated how the colorful squares referenced everything from the square grids on the mosaic floor of the Pantheon to the square grids used by Filippo Brunelleschi (1377-1446) in the interior of the church of San Lorenzo. Brunelleschi loved using square grids in his designs, believing they referenced God the geometer, a popular belief at the time that God created the world based on geometric forms, including circles and squares.

Filippo Brunelleschi, Interior of San Lorenzo, Florence, Italy, c. 1419. Right: floor of the Pantheon, c. 125 CE.

“A Nature Grid” was installed in the conference room of the architecture firm. Conferences require focus and attention; viewing nature in a gridded format evokes the colorful world for which the ultimate designed work will live and breath. The firm works with both the built and environmental environments. Combining squares, in reference to the shape often used historically in architecture, with nature as a subject, evoking the environmental practices of the firm, made sense as a subject for the square paintings.

As an art and architecture history professor, using historical references, in this case the square shape in a gridded pattern, delighted me as it evoked one of my favorite architects, Filippo Brunelleschi, the creator of the blue-print. Brunelleschi loved to work with squares and grids, as he did so famously in the church of San Lorenzo. By making a nod to this great architect who invented the blue-print, which would be used often in an architects conference room, I hoped to continue the conversation about art, nature, and geometry, for this eager group of architects.

detail, A Nature Grid.

Do you have a room that needs colorful art? An art historical reference? A nod to your favorite architect? Please contact me for a consultation.