If you've been tasked with managing the interior design for a Michelin star restaurant, then you might be looking for a nice wall painting. You want to choose a nice piece of artwork, not some cheap poster. The patrons of an expensive Michelin star restaurant want an elegant and tasteful decor, and an investment in a nice and impressive piece of art will go a long way in creating the desired effect. If the restaurant backers have made it clear they want an authentic piece of artwork, and given you leeway on the artist and subject, then you have lots of choices. So, here are four suggestions.
Modern Abstract Painters: Pollack and Rothko
If your restaurant is serving a minimal or experimental style cuisine (something along the lines of Grant Achatz or Massimo Bottura), then you might like a modern abstract painting. These paintings are focused on colors, textures, and shape. The painters are not restricted by form, and instead take inspiration from the colors and how the composition creates an emotion. The painting might not have a real life cognate, but rather be composed of abstract lines, splatters, or forms. Pollack, for instance, created drip paintings. The result is a huge, abstract array of swirls. Rothko also created large, beautiful abstract paintings. Unlike Pollack, his paintings were not made of splatters and drips, but were made up of large geometric shapes. Both painters used color and form to create an image. This would work well with a restaurant where the chef has created a menu that is more experimental.
Realist Painters: Hopper and Tooker
If you are choosing the decor for a restaurant that serves a more classic style (ala Heston Blumenthal) then you might like a modern realist painter. These painters created images that featured recognizable people and situations. For a high end restaurant, you might like a painting that it not necessarily a "pretty" painting, but instead one that is intersting and creates discussion. Two painters whose work accomplish this are George Tooker and Edward Hopper. They both excelled at depicting modern society through a somewhat melancholy view. Tooker painted scenes of lunchrooms, waiting rooms, train stations, and beaches. The paintings are all slightly somber and reflective in mood, which makes them perfect for a quite restaurant. Likewise, Hopper created scenes of modern environment (including many restaurant scenes). His colors were muted, but not dull, and he was a master at depicting light and shadow.
For more ideas, visit places like Tlynn Art Gallery.