To paint or not to paint, that is the question. Should contemporary gallery and museum walls be painted any color other than white? Should the 'white cube' as its known be abolished for good? It's a long running debate in the art world and has been addressed by many artists, myself included. In fact for my senior thesis show I painted the gallery walls bright pink and added big painted flowers, but that was the work, not the back drop and was a direct statement on the white cube. Another student made a white cube piñata and as a performance piece beat it until colorful confetti came spilling out all over the gallery floor. Fabulous piece. Seriously great work by Rocio Mendoza.
There are some museums that are opting for colored walls, mostly for historic works and for specific shows that fit the mood and feeling of the work itself. But in the contemporary art world, white is still widely acknolowdged to be the best choice. There are some art critics such as Jonathan Jones who argue that anything but white is distracting and compromises the work itself and the only colors we should be focusing on are the colors in the artwork.
I happen to agree. I love me a crisp white wall to hang my work. I don't want anything pulling the eye away or changing the feeling of the piece. White is bright and cheerful yet goes unnoticed in a gallery setting. If walls are painted in any other color it is inevitable that this will somehow become a focus, mostly because it's not the norm and anyone who frequents art shows will be interested in the the chosen color and how and if it effects the work ultimately leading the discussion away from the art.
When it comes to interior design my ideas are very different and while I still love a crisp white room with bright colorful furniture and pops of color I also love colored walls. My bedroom is chocolate brown and my kitchen is dark red. Which, by the way I later found out was the worst possible choice I could make since red is know to increase appetite. We now eat in the white living room.