© 2019 Ian A. Ryan

How's it Hanging?

May 1, 2016

During many exhibition visits over the years I have always taken special note in how paintings have been displayed and considered the pros and cons of various configurations in relation to what they are showing. and the ability for certain hanging

styles to enhance the work on show. 

This point is best illustrated by this work that Martin Creed showed at his 2014 exhibition at the Hayward Gallery. This is a relatively simple Idea (cutting a broccoli in half and using it to make prints) but it has become something else due to the way it is displayed. I have no idea if there is any conceptual reason for the work to be displayed as illustrated above but it was quite suprising the impact several hundred broccoli prints have on the viewer. I saw this work at Martins show and loved it immediately. It was silly, irreverent yet oddly meaningful. I suppose it was ambiguous which I find a lot of his work to be and something i try to emulate in my own. This idea of taking one small, simple thing and replicating it many times over and displaying all together was something I loved and wanted to do myself.

 

 

 When I made the small watercolour sketches last semester I certainly had one eye on the Martin Creed work and thought my work would benefit from being displayed in a similar way to his. I tried a few configurations of the small sketches as can be seen above and I think they both worked quite well. I had thought about continuing to make many many of these and at the time I prpbably could have gone on indefinetly making them but I didnt want this task to be the focus of my studies. It really felt like something I could do anytime I liked so I can go back to it at a later date. Either way it was a recent experiment in the pros and cons of different ways of displaying art work.

 

 The above photo was taken at Slade art school last summer and shows a collection of paintings by one artists. I love the way these relatively simple works have been shown and it really adds interest. These contemporary ways of showing small works is something that really appeals to me but I am not sure if it is something that I could utilise for our end of year shows. Slade school has the benefit of having lots of display spaces and normally each student is given their own space that they curate themselves. Our end of year shows tend to be quite different. Space is of a premium and there is a lot of work to display in such a small place. Our show is curated by tutors and although students have an input it is ultimately down to the tutors how work is displayed. 

 

The restrictions of space and the need for all the individual works to flow together is not something that really needs to be considered at shows at the london schools. Anyway, this ad hoc scatter hang is something that really appeals to me and I could see lots of my smaller paintings being displayed in a similar way maybe at freerange if not the college. 

 

 The above photo shows a neglected corner at freerange that I would like to use to show some of my smaller works. This space is a kind of nothing space and no-one particularly seems to want it as it is so near the fire exit that it could only show wall based work. This would be an ideal spot for me to display a small group of paintings and that way I can still have an area to display my bigger works when they are made. 

 

 Another interesting hang style I have seen is the one above. This is from the Marmite Painting prize several years ago (I did not attend). It shows all the paintings hung using the ceiling as the common line where the top of all the paintings sit. This is a really interesting hang and it actually works quite well, or at least in this image. This is a good example of the fact there are many different ways to hang paintings and they all have there pros and cons depending onthe work in question and the venue.

 

 

 

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