January 31, 2014

Hanging the Exhibition of Small Works

My exhibition, “Small Works,” has been hung and is now ready for viewing. The show was hung by Lee Malerich and her husband, Glenn. I was truly grateful to these two for taking the time to hang this exhibition. It was still not physically possible for me to hang an exhibition - unless of course I could have taken about a half hour a day every day for a week or more. But I did have enough strength to help with hanging one half of one wall. I was happy to have made that small contribution.


But preserving myself from bodily injury was just one benefit of having someone else hang my exhibition. Lee had exceptionally great vision about how to hang the exhibition - how to cluster art works in the right way. She found arrangements of pieces to make smaller themes within the general context that I would not have thought of. Lee kept pieces that became pivotal within the group that I may not have even included - like the relief sculpture of the gilded shaman figure in the center of small paintings of troll dolls. In a strange way it worked to unify the entourage.

I had envisioned placing the paintings of snuff bottles with messages in them all in one group. Glenn and Lee filled one long wall with them, yet saved a few others to judiciously place in other spots. During the hanging process, Lee would often interject, “You’re the boss.” I know better, though. I just made the work. Better minds organized it and rightly so. During the creating process, it was easy to get caught up with time lines, choice of medium, and subject matter. The temptation, therefore, would be to hang everything in that order rather than mix and match to create a story line for each wall of works. Kudos to the hangers.

The image above is from my series of oil paintings of old store fronts. These were hung at the entrance of the exhibition, just above the stairwell. As a group they became a statement. They established a sense of time and place, as if to say, “This is the where the artist works and what she sees every day.” Then the very next wall exhibited works of vision turning inward. What followed was an interesting mix of art from the observed object, art transformed from the observed object, and art of inner vision. The small sculptural objects were interspersed between the paintings. I liked that because it reminded me of the way medieval locks and hinges were hung between paintings at the Barnes Foundation before it was transferred to Philadelphia.

Some work still remains to be done. The good thing about hanging an exhibition a few days prior to the official opening is that small glitches can be worked out - missing labels, prices not marked etc. I may still be adding one group of small paintings (they are all connected so it will only require one nail). The final touch will be to paint some paper backgrounds in light colors so that the dark pieces will show up against the brown rug on the wall. Lee had suggested that. Another good idea.

1 comment:

Lee Malerich said...

i appreciate your appreciation!