Three Time Tested Ways to Arrange Art in Galleries
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.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
When diptychs work: Use diptychs to show the relationship (or juxtaposition) between two artworks, or to split one artwork across two panels.
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!
Perhaps the most famous and influential triptych is The Garden of Earthly Delights a very trippy piece by Hieronymus Bosch, pictured above.
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 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: https://apple.co/2MhsxCs
Android version coming soon!
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