How both physical gallery exhibitions and online exhibitions build into the experience of art

“You have different kinds of responses from the public to a gallery and to an exhibition, a large portion of the public feel intimidated by a gallery because there is often a great deal of mystery around the title of an artwork, what is the artist trying to say and indeed what  the intention of an art gallery is.”  Karen Cullinan

In a world of visual overload with instant global access online to artists and art exhibitions and an infinite number of images, do we need to go out to see artworks in a physical gallery?

There was a time when art galleries were influential social spots and exhibitions social events In the 18th and 19th centuries art exhibitions were an important part of European high society.  For example, the Paris Salon and the Royal Academy in London played a part in building artists careers and establishing artistic taste.

But that was in the past, where artists and art lovers congregated together to enjoy art and share their thoughts. That was before the 4th industrial revolution, where the digital platform has become ingrained in our everyday lives, including how we access art, artists and online gallery spaces which significantly questions weather art galleries and exhibitions in physical spaces are still relevant today? Do we need to engage with physical artworks, or can we simply experience images online?

There are many different types of galleries which exhibit different types of work. There are public galleries which are made up of collections reflecting a country’s greatest artists: past and present. There are also a variety of commercial galleries which promote both well-known collectable artists and new up and coming artists, which encourage the public to invest in art by owning an artwork or developing a collection. An art gallery is a space that educates the viewer about previous artists as well as promotes new talent, designed to allow you to engage with the stories behind the artworks, which in turn inspires collectors, creators, and dreamers.

“What we are trying to do at the gallery is to put together exhibitions where the story telling is quite strong and relevant.” Karen Cullinan

Art galleries promote art and artists through a variety of platforms which are both physical and digital. The hybridity created by maximising digital platforms for ongoing marketing and engagement, extends the reach of the gallery globally. However, experiencing art in a physical space allows a deeper engagement with the viewer, the narrative behind the artwork far more accessible through the experience of the artwork. Art can shift the viewer quickly through the visual engagement and the presence of the image. Through technique, style and subject matter artists offer a great variety of ideas and feelings for the viewer to engage with. Art can be a means to confront social issues or to find a place for peace and contemplation. Artworks often enable you to see the world from a different perspective.

When visiting a gallery, you will find that gallerists, and gallery consultants are insightful about the artwork and the artists in their gallery, another way to engage with an artwork is to attend a walk-about given by the artists. The impact of a well thought out exhibition, can be a deeply personal and a memorable experience.

Why not visit our gallery to find out more about our artists and their artworks on the “Streams of Dreams” exhibition at the Artyli Gallery, Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton. We are open every day from 9am until 6pm.

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Streams of Dreams group exhibition runs until 28 February 2023,

featuring Andrew Ntshabele, Mariapaola Mcgurk, Anton Smit and many more. 

                                                                               We are closed 25 December and 1 January 2023