Key Concept: Exhibition

A statue or an alter is not an exhibition. Exhibitions began in the 17th-late 18th century, as a way of regulating what was good art and what was not. The art market was one of the main purpose for the development of exhibitions.

The Salon du Louvre, Academie Royale 1785DP319874This is an early example of exhibitions in Paris. Art works were prioritises, some were places in ‘prime’ locations, while others were position in high places were they were not easily seen; otherwise known as ‘skying’.

Education was another key purpose for the exhibition.

The Great Exhibition, Crystal Palace c.1851 great-exhibition-03-gty-58b970ce5f9b58af5c47bea5.jpgThis exhibition was known for having plaster cast replicas of famous sculptures. These casts allowed people to study the sculptures form (as well as other aspects) even though the original was somewhere else in the world.


  • An exhibition is making public …

Maria Eichorn ‘ 5weeks, 25 days, 175 hours’ 2016Maria-Eichhorn-at-Chisenhale-Gallery_by-Andy-Keate_033-769x1024The exhibition was the closed gallery. But the fact the gallery was closed still needed an explanation. To be explained to the public.

  • … therefore it is a social ritual. 

There are expected behaviour associated to going to an exhibition. You are not to touch, keep the noise to a minimum, can you take photos?

  • … the viewer is part of the exhibition.

The work is displayed in such a way as to be seen by the viewer. Even if the views is not directly interacting with the work, their presence is required.

  • … therefore it is a form of theatre.

Even if it is not obvious, the viewer is directed around the gallery space. The work has been staged, so that is can be observed.


  • An exhibition is an argument …

An organised arrangement or works which causes associations.

  • … a set od claims 
  • …therefore  arrangement determine significance.

Ernst Wilhelm Nay at Documenta 3,  1964P000030487_E000034298The works were curated in an unusual way, on the ceiling, vastly changing the way in which you interacted with them.

  • …therefore objects are evidence.


How does an exhibition handle information?

  • Styles of exhibition
    • Dictionary – ordered & arranged
    • Map – dispersed, no distinguishable order, art works are not easily identifiable
    • Magazine – each room has its own style and arrangement


What is the relation between space, support and object?

  • Plinths
    • Are the plinths part of the gallery space or the art work?

Constantin Brancusi ‘Eileen Lane’ 1923, ‘Maiastra’ 1912, ‘The kiss column’ 1935

What is plinth and what is art?




Author: Crisiant Williams

I am a Fine Art student, studying at Cardiff School of Art and Design.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s