Beyond Blueprints: Artists Redefining Architecture Through Captivating Canvases

Discover how artists incorporate architectural elements into their aesthetic visions.

By Rowynn Dumont

The intersection of architecture and art has long fascinated creatives, inspiring them to explore new dimensions of artistic expression. In this article, we embark on a captivating journey where architecture and art converge, discovering how artists incorporate architectural elements into their aesthetic visions. Join us as we delve into the unique perspectives of three exceptional artists—Michele Simonetti, Olga Barrier, and Marcos Joven—and witness how they redefine the relationship between architecture and artistic exploration, creating captivating canvases that enthrall art collectors and enthusiasts alike.

Michele Simonetti
Agora artist Michele Simonetti at his studio

Art Movements + Architecture Historically

The intricate intertwinement of art movements and architecture throughout history is evident in notable examples such as the Bauhaus and Minimalist movements. These influential movements highlight the deep connection and cross-pollination between art and architecture, showcasing how they have informed and inspired one another.

Born in Germany in 1919, the Bauhaus movement sought to unify art, craftsmanship, and architecture under a single creative vision. Led by pioneering figures like Walter Gropius, the Bauhaus School challenged traditional boundaries, emphasizing the integration of functionality and aesthetics. This approach permeated various art forms, including architecture, design, and visual arts. 

The Bauhaus movement’s emphasis on clean lines, geometric forms, and the use of primary colors revolutionized architectural design and set the stage for the Modernist movement. Similarly, the Minimalist movement emerged in the mid-20th century and further exemplified the harmonious relationship between art and architecture. Minimalism sought to strip away excess and focus on essential elements, favoring simplicity and precision. 

Bauhaus movement
Photo courtesy of My Modern Met

Architects and artists embraced the minimalist ethos, creating spaces and artworks emphasizing clean lines, open spaces, and a sense of order. Minimalist architecture prioritized functionality, while minimalist art eliminated unnecessary details, leaving only the essential components.

These movements serve as a testament to the rich dialogue and exchange between art and architecture. They demonstrate how architectural principles and concepts have influenced artistic expressions and vice versa. The Bauhaus and Minimalist movements inspire contemporary artists and architects, who draw upon their legacies to shape their creative endeavors. Through their shared exploration of form, space, and materials, artists and architects continually blur the lines between these disciplines, generating new possibilities and pushing the boundaries of creativity.

As we examine the historical connections between art movements and architecture, it becomes evident that they are symbiotic, each influencing and informing the other in a constant cycle of inspiration and innovation. The ongoing interplay between art and architecture continues to shape the landscape of creative expression, enabling artists and architects to redefine and reimagine the built environment. Agora artists Michele Simonetti, Olga Barrier, and Marcos Joven showcase this interplay.

Michele Simonetti: Abstract Minimalism Evoking Memories

Michele Simonetti
Untitled [Orange and Deep Blue], 2021, acrylic on canvas, 36″ x 24″
Living in New York City, my inspiration comes from my immediate surroundings: the corner of a townhouse, the curved edge of a rooftop, the silhouette of a skyscraper.”

Michele Simonetti, an accomplished Italian artist, and architect in Brooklyn, New York, delves into abstract minimalism. Drawing inspiration from his immediate urban surroundings, Simonetti masterfully captures the essence of architectural elements through his brushstrokes. Focusing on sharp lines and high-contrast color fields, he distills the urban landscape into compositions of minimal purity and spatial tension. 

Simonetti intentionally strips his artwork of specific features, allowing for universal interpretations that resonate deeply with viewers. His compositions become a visual language, evoking personal and collective memories. Through the skillful use of negative space and striking chromatic contrasts, Simonetti invites viewers to engage their imagination, encouraging them to fill the voids within his artwork with their narratives, creating an intimate connection with each piece.

Olga Barrier: Mediterranean Architecture as Refined Simplicity

I am fascinated by the details, colors, and textures of Mediterranean architecture: the Sevillan patios and azulejos, the predominant white of small Andalusian villages, the run-down facades of old buildings.”

Olga Barrier
Albero #3, 2022, acrylic and additives on canvas and foamboard, 13″ x 12″

Olga Barrier, a talented Spanish painter, and architect, finds inspiration in Mediterranean architecture’s captivating details, colors, and textures. Her artwork beautifully translates the complexity of architectural structures into refined and minimalist geometries. Playing with contrasts of tones, materials, light, and shadows, Barrier masterfully reflects the influence of the Bauhaus movement and Russian Constructivism in her work.

Her vibrant palette and fundamental geometric forms create harmonious compositions. Incorporating traditional materials like albero, the golden sand of Seville, and pumice stone, Barrier’s paintings transcend aesthetics, carrying profound cultural and historical significance. Her artwork symbolizes the colors embedded in the Mediterranean region, where each hue holds a story. Barrier invites viewers to explore the interconnectedness of architectural forms and the human experience, bridging the gap between functionality and artistic expression.

Marcos Joven: Mapping Landscapes Through Minimalist Vision

Drawing inspiration from cartography, topography, and landscapes, my compositions stem from the direct interpretation of a map.”

Marcos Joven Aliaga, an architect from Spain currently based in Southampton, UK, combines his architectural background with a deep artistic vision. His two-dimensional minimalist paintings offer a unique perspective on the fusion of urbanism, topography, and landscapes. 

Marcos Joven
Long Island – Eco, 2021, acrylic on canvas, 39.5″ x 39.5″

Joven Aliaga’s compositions take inspiration from maps, using actual plans of selected cities as the foundation for his artwork. He skillfully highlights the boundaries between land and sea, nature and artificiality through meticulous treatment and texture differentiation. His deliberate use of stark lines, geometric forms, and a restricted color palette brings a sense of order and structure to his art, providing viewers with a fresh lens through which to view the built environment. 

By eliminating unnecessary details and focusing on the outer edges of the land, Joven Aliaga unveils hidden aspects of the world that often go unnoticed. His artwork serves as a window into the unseen, enabling viewers to understand our surroundings and place within them better.


The fusion of architecture and art yields remarkable creations that challenge conventional boundaries and inspire profound contemplation. Michele Simonetti, Olga Barrier, and Marcos Joven redefine the relationship between architecture and artistic expression, forging new paths of exploration. Simonetti’s minimalist abstractions engage memories and imagination, while Barrier’s refined simplicity captures the essence of Mediterranean architecture. Joven Aliaga’s map-inspired artworks offer a fresh perspective on landscapes and urbanism. Together, these artists contribute to the ongoing dialogue surrounding the interplay between architecture and art, enriching the art world with their captivating canvases.


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