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.
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