How to get maximum educational benefits from an art gallery?

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  05 May 2005
Arrow How to get maximum educational benefits from an art gallery?

Well, I'm off on a trip soon (not sure where) and I want to spend plenty of time in the art galleries-- how can I make sure I learn as much as possible? What should I spend my time doing? What should I look out for?
  05 May 2005
well i think that you should look at what kind of colours they use and why. that is what colours they use in shadowed areas and in areas exposed to light. you should also look at how they use lights. and what techniques they use to simplify things and how they simplify them. well im new myself to this stuff and that's only what i think and what i try to learn when looking at artworks.

  05 May 2005
If you see paintings with many characters, look attentively how they're presented and why they're presented like this...who is lighten and who's in the shadows part...??

Genrally, What is the meaning of a piece, i think the background of an art piece is really important, that's what i learn actually in Art University...

Tecnically marcheen has well resumed it, colors, light/shadows, technical process etc...
  05 May 2005
Hi Paperclip!

I think there are at least two types of experience to be had in a gallery (I am sure there are more). Artists might go to galleries whih a different agenda in mind that a 'regular' museum goer.

The two major types of museum experiences I have had are the following:

a) revelation
b) sustained learning

example of a:

When I first went to New York, back in 1974, I had never seen a major Matisse before. I had seen a couple of his minor works, and lots of reproductions (good ones and bad ones). I didn't know what the fuss was about - I sure didn't see any genius.

When I walked into the room in MOMA, which housed Matisses' Red Studio, and The Piano Lesson, I practically fell flat on my back! Here I was - perhaps 5 feet from these masterpeices - now I knew what all of the fuss was about - these works were true genius, and the only way to understand that was by standing right in front of these paintings - nothing else can substitute.

a quick aside:
Now I had been awake for about 80 hours prior to getting to New York (nasty insommnia) and I felt like I was going to drop over dead, but I thought to myself - 'if I am going to die it might as well be here in front of these paintings - at least I will die happy!'

example of b:

Going back to a particular painting and studying it in depth. I mean making a point of getting in front of that painting whenever possible. I did this with Van Goghs 'iris' which is in the National Gallery of Canada. I often spent 4-6 hrs at a time in front of this little gem. The fact that I could do so and not get tired of the painting speaks volumes! below is a reproductin of 'Iris' - but remember - the magic of this painting, like any great painting can only be seen "in the flesh".

There is also a third type of experience that I have had:
A hybrid of the first two experiences I have already mentioned. The National Gallery of Canada was on the intinerary of Alberto Giacommettis' retrospective, which was organized by MOMA. When this exhibition came to town (1972 I think), I was in grade 11. I finished school at 3:00pm - the gallery closed at around 5:00pm. I rushed downtown to the gallery almost every day for the duration of the exhibition (I think the security guards got tiered of kicking me out at closing time. I have rarely felt so alive in my entire life, and that sustained expierience, is still one of the most signifigant in my entire life.


ps: aren't musicians/ composers etc lucky - they can just plag their headphones into a good sound system. and "be there". sigh...
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  05 May 2005
It will help to know what you expect to gain from the museum visits. Do you want to see art from a certain time period or part of the world? Do you only want to see paintings or are you open to studying sculpture, furniture, pottery and even mummies? Some museums are small enough that you can see everything at a leisurely pace and be out in 2 or 3 hours. Others are big and require planning and map reading otherwise you'll find yourself in a museum wing full of 18th century chamber pots. Or you might discover some amazing contemporary art that changes your whole attitude about color. The great thing about art museums is you're exploring the history of the world and how different people expressed themselves.

If you're exploring a large museum and you've got more than one day to do it, take the first day to see as much of the collections as you can. On the second day, focus on the periods that really caught your eye. If you're like me you'll have little idea beforehand what's going to inspire you.
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  05 May 2005
I get a visual overdose if I look at art for more than an hour, then its off to the canteen for a coffee and a sig, close the eyes, and then hop back into it.

When my Mum comes to visit me in Europe she's an absolute terror. We'll be in an art gallery (my mother drew quite well as a young girl) there will be a wall of maybe 50 small paintings stretched out in a long row, she will stand 2 meters away and check out the painting at leisure, then walk back about 8 meters and then zoom in close so her nose is only inches from the work. She does this with evey single painting! She doesn't say much and is totally absorbed. She can keep this up all day long. It drives me nuts.

Its been said but I can't stress it enough,... ask yourself why you love or hate the things you see, look at everything from traditional to contemporary art and keep an open mind.

You should have alot of fun .
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  05 May 2005
Oh I bet to differ with the musician part.

As much as I love recordings...and very specially applied to classic music orchestras...the energy isn't the same. There is a magic about live music. It's the energy and soul that they are putting out there in that moment...the emotions they convey is just superv, no recording can ever mimic that perfectly. While I love my hundreds of cds- they are 'stiff' music, repetitive...The first time you hear a song has that special power, but once you have heard the cd kinda dissappears a bit. With live music it's always special. ^_^

And live performances are very useful for knowing who is good and who isn't :P hahaa, in the case of more popular music, like rock, pop, etc.

I totally agree on the go to look at the real piece. It's never the same. It has that glamour sparkle all over...magical!

  05 May 2005
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