Nature in Abstraction – the art of Tom Leifer
With his key visuals, art director, designer and artist Tom Leifer ensures that the values of Walter Knoll are immediately apparent on the covers of our publications – even without words.
Tom Leifer has been a partner of Walter Knoll for many years now. The Hamburg-based artist talks here about the creation process behind his new key visuals, which can currently be found on the covers of our Home Selection 2022 and Legends of Carpets brochures. The journey starts in Nature.
Tom Leifer on Nature in Abstraction:
Nature as a source of inspiration
Nature in Abstraction
Art and cultural history as the source of inspiration
The iconic magazine Arts & Architecture
One source of inspiration for my design process is the magazine Arts & Architecture, founded in 1929, which played a central role in the cultivation of modern design in California right up to the 1960s, making the local architects known on the international stage. At the same time, the magazine increased the demand for products in contemporary aesthetics, lighting and furniture for example.
The cover design of the magazine was inspired by the Californian landscape, the light, color and the formal language of Nature. It also presented links between architecture and Nature. I am a great fan of the publication and proud owner of a collection comprising almost every issue.
Nature and Abstraction in the
Whitney Museum of American Art
The inspiration for the title “Nature in Abstraction” was an exhibition of the same name at the Whitney Museum of American Art in 1958. It investigated the relationship of abstract painting and sculpture to Nature in twentieth-century American art.
It featured, for example, exhibits from American abstract expressionist artists such as Helen Frankenthaler, Kyle Morris and John Helicker. Its approach of mirroring Nature and form, almost playing them off against each other, has impressed and shaped me artistically.
Watercoloring, drawing, cutting, weaving
– the creation process behind the key visuals