Musings: Gallery Layout Tips

The gallery layout with art for the
Love Letter show in place, a total
of 48 paintings.
Recently I watched the documentary Gerhard Richter Painting, and found myself impressed with the detail he and his assistants go to in planning for an exhibit. They make little architectural 3-dimensional models with foam core and miniature prints of the artwork, each with sticky backs, so they can arrange the work to their liking. They are like art gallery doll houses.

Now, if I had a show at the Tate Modern this would be a good idea! I'm not going quite that far for the Community Creative Center show, but I did do a paper version to see everything in place. While not necessary, I know how exhausting the installation of a show can be, and I only have two days to do the entire thing. I want to have most decisions made in advance.

Drawing a wall template for arranging
small art.
Another time-saving tip is to make templates for small arrangements of artwork. It is much easier to lay out a grid with marks for nail holes on paper than to measure out a grid on a wall. Then you just tape it in place on the gallery wall and start nailing.

It makes even more sense to do a template when you have a random arrangement. You can play with the elements until you have the layout that works best, then just trace the shapes and mark the holes. I have the artwork and templates numbered so I know what goes where. It takes less than 15 minutes to hang a group of 25 little pieces, and they end up exactly where I want them. This makes installing a show much more fun!

August - September, 2016
Community Creative Center, Fort Collins