I’ve always viewed a completed painting, framed and all, as a complete “art object.” I never feel a work is truly finished and/or ready to be viewed until the right frame has been added.
There are always exceptions to these perspectives. Especially with “contemporary” works which look fantastic un-framed. I suppose it does depend on the desired effect one is aiming for and as with most aspects of the art world, there is a considerable portion of personal preference at play. When it comes to representational painting, I certainly feel the frame plays a pivotal role.
One can always harken back to the very beginning of why frames came into existence and what that role was. Frames were meant to protect the painting. As art progressed and many brilliant craftsman came to light, the frames they were building which were hand carved and gilded became immensely beautiful. From a practical function the frame has developed into an aspect of the final painting that is often times as important as any other aspect of the work. For me, framing a piece is the icing on the cake. It only enhances the work and will continue to do so for its unknown and generally very long future.
– Derek Harrison