Gallery Installations: The Challenges and How to Combat Them

For 3-D artists, certain challenges are always faced (well, of course all art seems to pose certain challenges and certain times). When working in three dimensions, the artist cannot create sketches that will be an exact replica of their final work; instead they must turn a 2-dimensional image into a 3-dimensions. This alone is a challenge, but for installation artist the complexity of creating pieces in a space must be considered when planning to install at a gallery.

I’ve gotten to work closely with two artists that focus on installations. Both have certain techniques and ways in which they can plan for a future gallery installation without necessarily being in the space. That way when the artist finally goes to install the work, they will be prepared for the project at hand.

 Here are some tips and ideas for artists attempting to create installations:

  • Try sketching some ideas, 2-D may not be an accurate portrayal, however it can form a foundation for your work.
  • Create miniatures: build a small scale of the gallery in which you will be designing your installation, this will allow a more realistic plan for the artist allowing them to be better prepared for entering the gallery.
  • Be FLEXIBLE. Be willing to adjust your installation once in the gallery. The lighting, curve of the wall, color of the walls, ceiling or floor, may not interact with your piece as you wish. Don’t be afraid to adjust your piece.

So for all the installations artist out there, good luck! Interact with your piece, change it: allow it to grow, captivate, change, or modify the space; then you will create pieces that you love. This love will translate to the viewer, and your piece will be a wonderful installation. 

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