Stair Art for Sale
From Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase to M.C. Escher's House of Stairs, stair-themed art conveys ascension and descension, transformation and novelty. Stairs in art invite viewers to think about space and movement. Explore our curators' selection of stair art, and find the perfect piece of art for the walls of your home!
Stair Art: Beyond Up and Down
The cultural motif of ascension is a crucial theme in iconography, going back thousands of years. From the Tower of Babel, to Persian Ziggurats, to the Mayan Temples, stairs and their functionalities inspired early civilizations to represent and at times test the boundaries of heaven and earth.
Beginning in the Early Modern period, the architectural phenomenon of stairs was increasingly incorporated into visual artworks. Portico staircases were often sites of idyllic repose for mythical, religious, and classical figures.
In the modern period, stairs have been of major interest to sculpture artists. Sculptors working in traditions from Surrealism to the Bauhaus have treated stairs as an integral intersection of artistic design and utilitarian functionality. Frank Lloyd Wright's Guggenheim Museum is structured as a staircase which is nearly continous. Modern films, like the Battleship Potemkin or Rocky, feature staircases as sites of epic contestation, where heroes are made or struck down.
The theme of the continuous staircase is an instance of the "impossible object". In visual art, M.C. Escher is most famous for treating this theme. Escher's turn to a more abstract interpretation of geometric art was first stimulated by a visit to the Alhambra Palace in Granada. Inspired by graphic artist Oscar Reutersvärd, Escher began to expirement with the prospect of an impossible staircase. His lithographs were in turn stimulated by academic work from a father-son scientist-mathematician duo, whose name is carried on in the eponymous phrase "Penrose stairs".
The concept of an unending staircase upwards - signifying unending toil, and incarnating a revolt against basic representation - is embodied in famous Escher prints like House of Stairs and Ascending and Descending.
Stair Art in a Home Decor Concept
Stairs as an artistic motif bring the familiar effects of stairs in art: of ascending and descending, of architectural features and geometrical patterns.
It is important in selecting an artwork to take account of the movement and momentum of the color and subject matter of an artwork. In the case of stair artworks, consider the tone and genre of a piece, as well as whether the stairs are seen from the point of view of a person traversing them, or from across a room or from an "inhuman" angle.
Art featuring staircases is an intriguing choice for any interior design concept. Alone, they have the effect of concept art, standing out as a statement piece which sends a message about an inhabitant's artistic and design tastes. In context of other artworks, wall decor, or design objects, staircase artworks make a fascinating addition to a gallery wall.
In a home decor concept, staircase artworks are well-featured in a living room, where they can introduce interesting architectural associations.
Inspiration: Decorating Your Staircase Walls With Art
Designing the wallspace around your stairs can be particularly tricky. It is often a space which is only visible to a viewer in transit. Artworks hung on a staircase wall are only visible at eye level when the viewer is ascending or descending the stairs.
Round artworks solve this problem through proportions which are never at odds with the position of the viewer, but instead seem to float above the stairs, turning empty, blank wallspace above into an open, almost skylike canvas. Diagonally shaped artworks by Larry Yust tilt in the direction of the staircase wall, making for an extremely viewer-friendly experience which utilizes the given space to wonderful effect.
Works by Sven Fenemma, at once "flat" and featuring the open air, are well-matched to stairwell landings, where they can make a big impression in a small space, and without being disorienting.
For more tips on turning your stairway into a gallery wall, explore our entire collection of art for your home.