At Bourlet, we try never to stray from the principle that the frame is there to enhance the work. In framing contemporary art, free from historical precedent and assumptions of what is “correct”, many more influences come into play, starting with our client’s own ideas. Today, minimalism seems to have been overtaken by a modern eclecticism, mixing the old with the new, as fairs such as Frieze Masters brilliantly demonstrate.
Our clients often love to experiment, hanging an old master in a tabernacle frame in the same room as a contemporary oil in a perspex box. A single artist triggers many different responses; in the last year, we have framed Damien Hirsts in box frames, swept rococo frames and slim reverse-gilded frames. And we have found that you can create a period frame with the most arresting contemporary finish; the work can be floated, slips painted and the gold never aged.
The initial consultation in the gallery, where the work stands alone on the easel, starts the adventure as together we begin pulling profiles and samples, building an impression of might work. Often we learn from our collectors, many of whom have terrific flair. Some might insist on absolute consistency, a “house style” in their own homes. Many change their minds over time as their tastes and collections evolve.
One of our regular artist clients began framing his canvases in Italian cassettas, moved into plain 19th century French mouldings and now loves the pared-down elegance of a 2cm box frame, floated and raised. There is no limit to imagination or materials used; we have covered box frames in ancient leather (for a tribal textile), fur and diamante.
Come in and we’ll play.
With a traditional gilded frame, we are working with just one colour, manipulating it to suit the painting. But with a painted Modern British fine art frame, we have to find the colours and tones which best work with the work itself.