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The latest volume of Art & Home is here! This month, Iyna Bort Caruso details how outdoor sculpture installments can boost a home’s appeal and soothe the senses.
From her Oak Park, Ill studio, artist Margot McMahon sketches designs for sculptures that have been commissioned for private residential gardens. A single sculpture can take months, sometimes a year or more to complete. McMahon takes the long view knowing that once installed it could be there for generations to experience into the next century.
Place a sculpture in a garden and everything changes. Connecting the emotional power of art with the rhythms of nature creates a four-season focal point, a point of view–and a point of departure where the imagination can wander.
“When art is in a backyard, you can look out from your window and it changes your life for a moment. It calms you down, and you think a little more poetically,” McMahon says. Her sculptures are in private gardens in the United States, United Kingdom and Japan as well as in public venues like parks, university campuses and libraries.
Artists see acreage as platforms for creative expression that allows nature and sculpture to play off one another. They take their inspiration from the home’s architecture, the homeowner’s tastes and the environment. One piece could serve as a yard’s centerpiece. Twenty can combine to tell a story.
These open-air galleries have the power to ratchet up a home’s curb appeal. “It’s the first impression when you come to a property. It sets it apart and can ultimately influence the sales aspect as well,” says Beate Moore of Sotheby’s International Realty in Bridgehampton NY. Although not typically part of the deal–“People don’t throw sculptures in with the sale,” Moore says–the art be what makes a buyer fall in love with a residence and see its possibilities.
According to Charles L. Moffett, head of Afternoon Sales at Sotheby’s, location plays a big role in what a collector is able to house and showcase. “If you have the land you can be a bit more ambitious versus somebody who may be more limited with a rooftop patio or terrace.”