There are two types of abstract modern art that I absolutely love - flat and textured. Larry Zox, a contemporary of Mark Rothko and who exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art along side other such greats such as Sol le Witt, Jasper Johns, and De Kooning was a master of the taped painting. Zox cared little for the textured medium of the oil paint and in fact did what he could to ansolutely deny texture by thinning his paints in order to saturate the canvas with liquid not the medium.
A bright contemporary artist, Ron Ehrlich does quite the opposite - he loads his spatula up with so much paint that it nearly falls off the canvas. He builds up layer after layer of paint so that the paint starts to read almost like a collage. He is a master of color - conquering it with the powerful and bold thundering strokes of a Nordic god.
When selecting modern abstract art there are 2 rules one must adhere to. The first is how will the art contrast or compliment its surroundings. The second is exactly what emotions does it evoke - does it remind you of calm, violence, serenity or chaos? Often times designers will specifically contrast a traditional interior with a modern piece of art. Other times a clean contemporary space can be enhanced by yet another clean painting that is even more reductionist in its nature. In the end however, the most important thing is to see if the piece speaks to you on several levels. More than just an investment - the power of a painting is its ability to make you stop and think. It is to make you remember that life it the sum of its parts - not just the goal or endgame, but part of the journey in itself.
Both of these masterly painters works can be seen at the Gallery of Stephen Haller, on W. 26th Street in Chelsea.