Three Time Tested Ways to Arrange Art in Galleries

fImages from Krzysztof Kowalik on Unsplash

Earlier this week, we brought you Five Resources to Master the Art of Storytelling through Curation, looking at how you can give your own galleries the same wow factor as what you’d see in a museum.

Today we’re going even more basic with clear examples of three time tested ways to arrange art on walls. First we’ll look at a few common arrangements that are proven to work. Then we’ll look at some of the elements in your photographs or artwork that help you decide what goes where.

I suppose that maybe this doesn’t need to be repeated, but remember that if you really want to make an impression, you have to get good at editing and only show off your best work, not everything.

Common Arrangements for Art and Photos

There are a two very practical reasons that galleries seldom hang artwork in clusters, preferring instead for linear layouts.

A linear layout in D Emptyspace. Single, diptych and triptych.

First, when galleries are crowded, a linear layout allows visitors to walk though and enjoy each piece of art equally. Second, it means each work can be at approximately eye level. (Gallery height is 57 inches or 145 cm “on center”. This isn’t something you’ll need to worry about though in a virtual gallery like D Emptyspace.)

The Single

Thanks to what I’ve dubbed the “Instagram Effect”, most of us consume and showcase our art and photography in singles, or one-off images. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing in a gallery, but it does get monotonous, so you’ll want to break things up with other arrangements as well.

A “single” featured in a D Emptyspace Gallery.

When singles work: Use singles for high impact images that need to be large to be fully appreciated, or images that tell a self-contained story.

The Diptych

From Greek and meaning “two fold” the diptych originated as an artwork in two parts. The earliest diptychs were actually painted on hinged wooden panels that allowed them to be folded, but, as with most things, they’ve evolved. Generally the two images in diptychs are the same size or very close to it.

Though their origins are ancient, diptychs are still used regularly in modern art. Take, for example, Andy Warhol’s famous Marilyn Diptych, a silk screen work from 1962.

A diptych featured in a D Emptyspace Gallery.

When diptychs work: Use diptychs to show the relationship (or juxtaposition) between two artworks, or to split one artwork across two panels.

The Triptych

I first came across the word triptych in a university art appreciation course. Like the diptych, the term comes from Greek and this time means “tri-fold.” It emerged in the early Christian church and in many cases the three images represented the trinity. While traditional triptychs had a near 2:1 aspect ratio, this is art, so there are no rules!

The Garden of Earthly Delights by Hieronymus Bosch, circa 1500. (Public Domain)

Perhaps the most famous and influential triptych is The Garden of Earthly Delights a very trippy piece by Hieronymus Bosch, pictured above.

A triptych featured in a D Emptyspace Gallery.

When triptychs work: Use triptychs to tell a story with clear sections, or to draw the eye across the wall. (Or as one article suggests, use triptychs to maximize wall coverage!)

D Emptyspace

D Emptyspace is available now for iPhone. It’s an app that allows you to create and explore inspiring virtual art galleries on your phone. More than just photo sharing, it’s a way to tell stories with your artwork.

Whether you want to curate an offline gallery and test the placement of your images first, send a specific arrangement to a curator, or create online galleries to share with your friends, D Emptyspace makes everything free and easy.

Download the app on iOS:

Android version coming soon!

Follow D Emptyspace for more company updates and art-curated content!

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New Features: Add and Customize Galleries, Improved Sharing, Featured Galleries

New Features: Add and Customize Galleries, Improved Sharing, Featured Galleries

Photo by You X Ventures on Unsplash

You asked and we listened! Since we launched D Emptyspace about three weeks ago, artists, photographers, and art lovers have sent us dozens of messages.

Two things are clear: You’re excited about D Emptyspace and you want it to be even better.

So this week we’ve rolled out several new updates to the app that address the top three things you asked for: The ability to customize your galleries, improvements to sharing galleries and featured galleries to help you discover new artists.

Add, Delete, and Customize Your Galleries

When D Emptyspace launched, everyone got three galleries with three walls. We got so many emails from people asking for more galleries or different configurations that we knew we had to move this to the top of our to-do list.

Here’s what we’ve changed. New members will get one default gallery (white with 3 walls). You can add two more galleries, for a total of three. You can select the number of walls in your new galleries (3, 5, or 8), along with the color of the space (minimalist white, neutral beige or dramatic dark).

Select the number of walls in your new gallery.
Set the color theme for your new gallery.

Want to delete one of your old galleries and make a new one with a different number of walls or a different color? For now, you’ll find delete button on the gallery statement page. We’ll find a more convenient spot for it soon.

We know that some of you want more than three galleries. Hold tight! We’ll have something for you soon.

Improved Sharing

We thought we had the perfect solution for sharing. Let people take a screenshot of a gallery, automatically generate an invitation link, and let people share it using the phone’s own sharing menu. As it turns out, we created a totally hidden feature that only about 10% of our members found on their own!

With our latest update, we’ve done something radical and added an actual share button!

From any gallery, just tap the statement button to enter the gallery statement page.

You’ll find the share button conveniently located right there!

For fans of the screenshot method of sharing, don’t despair. That one still works too!

Featured Galleries

Randomly finding new artists with the shuffle button or searching for specific usernames are good ways to find new people on D Emptyspace, but what about the artwork that really stands out?

Now, when you tap the search button (magnifying glass) in the tap bar at the bottom of the screen, you’ll see a series of featured galleries curated by our team.

Tap any of them to be amazed. (If you want to see more from the same artist, tap their handle at the top of the screen to visit their profile.)

Download D Emptyspace for iOS:

Android version coming soon!

Follow D Emptyspace for more company updates and art-curated content!

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What the Ratio 1:1.61 Has to Do With Hanging an Incredible Exhibition

What the Ratio 1:1.61 Has to Do With Hanging an Incredible Exhibition

“Here’s where you’ll curate your art for the exhibition.”

You’ve been so focused on creating art, you probably haven’t thought about how you’ll show it.

Staring up at that blank slate, wondering what to put where can be paralyzing. Especially if your work is different in size and style.

Do you feel confused about hanging an exhibition? Here’s a quick guide to beating the fear and laying out your first exhibition.

Using Grid-based Layouts

Grid-based layouts are easy to implement and plan out. The key is to leave equal spaces between artworks and keep things looking uniform.

The golden ratio helps you plan compositions that are pleasing to the eye.

The golden ratio is the mathematical ratio of 1:1.61. It’s been used by great artists, architects, and more for over 4000 years. Some people even argue that it was used in the construction of the pyramids! Here’s what the golden ratio looks like:

In practice, you can use it to create a gallery layout that looks something like this:

The golden ratio is an exceptionally powerful system to use if you’re struggling to get things to just ‘look right’. Follow the flow of the spiral and compose your work as one cohesive whole rather than individual pieces. This works best for series and multi-paneled works.

The perfect viewing height

Here’s where things get really interesting.

When people first put their artwork on D Emptyspace, they get pretty excited about increasing the scale of their work. We’ve seen artworks take over full walls — and we love it!

However, these big works might look great on the app, but blowing your work up too big in real life has some significant downsides. Before you decide to go 8 foot high with your prints, think about how far away from your viewer will be from your work.

Will they be able to appreciate your art in its entirety? Or will they have to put their neck out trying to see what’s happening near the ceiling?

Conventional wisdom tells us that the perfect viewing and hanging height for artwork is eye level. (If you want to get really specific, 58-inches from the floor to your painting’s centerline is the exact height you should aim for.)

If you’re attaching the artwork to the wall (not hanging it from wires), remember to add ½ the height of your painting to the recommended 58 inches to figure out the position to hang from.

The viewing height rule doesn’t apply to digital spaces, so have some fun!

When you’re curating a digital art gallery, you can cover as much or as little of the gallery wall as you like. Because your viewer will be looking at your gallery from their device, they’ll be able to view the full range of your work no matter how much space on the screen it takes up. When in doubt, just try filling the entire wall.

This is where you can really start to play with scale. In a digital space, a wall transforms into a canvas for you to ‘paint’ with your art.

A final note on breathing room

Just like you create drama in your art pieces with silhouettes and shapes, don’t forget to do the same thing when curating your gallery wall.

Juxtapose complex works by giving them plenty of breathing room and neutral space. This simple trick will take your exhibit from cluttered and amateur to sleek and professional.

Download D Emptyspace for iOS:

Android version coming soon!

Follow D Emptyspace for more company updates and art-curated content!

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Download