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What is a gallery



introduction to case study on Public art:

introduction to case study on Public art:



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  • The Musee du Louvre was founded in Paris by the leaders of the new Republic, a year after the fall of the monarchy in the French Revolution. The museum was a deliberate symbol of a new nation state where ‘enlightenment’ through education was to be available to the public not just the privileged few.

What is a gallery What is a gallery Presentation Transcript

  • Case Study 1: - Inside Out -
    Art Outside the Gallery
  • What is a gallery?
    A cultural institution
    A way of displaying and exhibiting art
    It frames our experience of art – shaped by the architecture, design of the exhibition, curators and curatorial text.
    A place of commercial transaction for art
    A place that assigns value to art, either monetary or cultural value
  • However,
    there is a strong socio-economic bias that the visitors to galleries are financially better off
    some are concerned that the marketing associated with galleries takes the focus away form the art
    There are ‘superbrand’ museums such as the Tate and the Guggenheim. The Guggenheim has a franchise approach to it’s growing global network of museums.
  • Galleries have not always existed……
    So how, when and why did they come about?
  • Art for the Aristocracy
    Artistocracyhave a long tradition of assembling private collections of painting and sculptures.
    These were not for public viewing but may have been available for viewing by connoisseurs, collectors, artists and scholars.
    TENIERS, David the Younger
    (b. 1610, Antwerpen, d. 1690, Bruxelles)
    The Art Collection of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm in Brussels (c 1651)Oil on canvas, 123 x 165 cmKunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna
  • The Enlightenment Museum
    During the Enlightenment (18th century Europe),the belief in knowledge as a challenge to religious dogma, led to the idea that artistic, scientific and natural artefacts and objects could and should be held in trust as national collections.
    It was considered that these collections would of interest and value to everyone, not just the elite.
    Museums at this time were thought of as ‘enshrining knowledge’.
  • ‘Cabinets of Curiosities’
    The tradition of the ‘cabinets of curiosity’ was popular at this time, where collections of artefacts such as scientific instruments, natural history specimens as well as paintings and sculptures were displayed in special rooms or cabinets.
    At this time art was not seen as a separate form of cultural production.
  • This 17th-century trompe-l’oeil painting of a cabinet of curiosities by DomenicoRemps further blurs the boundary between nature and art, between real and fictitious spaces.
  • The Musee du Louvre was founded in Paris by the leaders of the new Republic, a year after the fall of the monarchy in the French Revolution.
    The museum was a deliberate symbol of a new nation state where ‘enlightenment’ through education was to be available to the public not just the privileged few.
  • The 19th Century
    In the 19th century the museum became a place to house and view painting and sculpture.
    In England many public museums were established by philanthropic industrialists from the north.
    At this time the ruling class and intellectuals of the day thought that there was moral value in the public encountering art.
    Enjoyment was one aspect of viewing art, but art as a way of ‘self improving’ or being instructive.
    • These galleries were places where different social classes could mix freely.
    • Such exhibitions were a means of demonstrating the industrial might of the British empire, but were also a means of democratising art.
    • By the end of the 19th century the concept of the public museum was firmly established.
    The Great London Exhibition (1851) in the Crystal Palace
  • The 20th century Gallery
    Into the 20th century the USA led with way with developments, probably due to the impact of the wars in Europe.
    With modern art taking on importance in the art world, questions began to be asked about how to house and display new kinds of artwork
    The Guggenheim Museum, New York
    Architect: Frank Lloyd Wright
  • The Postmodern Gallery
    Architects experimented with new ways to house artworks by designing museums that increasingly reflected the innovation of the works they housed.
    Frank Gehry – Guggenheim Bilbao
    • At the same time they invited audiences to engage in artworks in different ways.
    • Today this innovation in architecture has developed to the extent that criticism has been directed at the galleries upstaging the artworks.
  • More changes…..
    In the late 1960’s changes such as mass tourism and challenges to traditional authority such as student revolutions, resulted in intense scrutiny of all forms of power, including cultural institutions such as public art museums.
    Radical changes in some artmaking practice was a result of this scrutiny of the gallery system.
    From this time on museums have become increasingly democratic, self aware and open to criticism.
  • Artists started the make artworks that deliberately challenged and rejected the gallery system such as performance art and earth art.
  • Jill Orr (Australia)
    Bleeding Trees (1979)
    Southern Cross –
    To Bear and Behold (2007)
  • Robert Smithson – Spiral Jetty (1979)
  • Other art outside of the Gallery
    Art made for the Public
  • Monumental Sculpture
    Commissioned by the NSW Government. Woolner represents Cook at the moment of discovering Australia.
    When it was unveiled in Sydney there were between 90,000 and 100,000 people present.
    Captain Cook (1874-9)
    By Thomas Woolner (1825-92)
    Bronze Height 3m
    Hyde Park, Sydney
  • Commemorative –Sydney War Memorial
    Designed by C. Bruce Dellit (1934) in the Art Deco style
    Sculptures by Raynor Hoff
    This was the main commemorative military monument in Sydney of WWI.
  • The Archibald Fountain Sculptor – Francois Sicard (French)
    Bequethedby Jules Francois Archibald to commemorate Australia’s association with France during WWI. (Apollo (at the top) is the Greek god of healing and prophecy
  • Other art outside of the Gallery
    Controversial Public Sculptures
  • The Artwork
    Tilted Arc (1981) by Richard Serra
    Commissioned as part of the Art in-Architecture programme in New York.
    Installed in 1981 and removed in 1989 after much public debate.
  • The Artist
    Serra said about his intention for the sculpture, "The viewer becomes aware of himself and of his movement through the plaza. As he moves, the sculpture changes. Contraction and expansion of the sculpture result from the viewer's movement. Step by step the perception not only of the sculpture but of the entire environment changes."
  • The Public
    Many people, prominently Chief Judge Edward D. Re, opposed the sculpture. Reasons included its cost ($175,000 for a solid block of steel); the fact that many people found it an eyesore; and the inconvenience to those who had to walk around the massive sculpture as they crossed the plaza. It also attracted graffiti and, according to some.
    A public hearing was held on the subject of the sculpture in March 1985, with 122 people testifying in favor of keeping the piece, and 58 in favor of removing it. A jury of five voted 4–1 to remove the sculpture. The decision was appealed by Serra, leading to several years of litigation in the courts, but the sculpture was dismantled by federal workers on March 15, 1989.
  • The ArtworkStones in the Sky by Ken Unsworth
    An original plan for the sculpture to be sited among straight-trunked trees did not eventuate. It is still currently installed in Kings Cross.
  • The Audience
    Unveiled in 1998 to howls of outrage, ‘Stones Against the Sky’ quickly earned the alternative title ‘Poo On Sticks’.
    In a 2007 web commentary, a fan wrote:
    ‘…not too long ago it was clandestinely, and, I believe, with no consultation with the artist, given a drab coat of slate-grey paint (admittedly this does have the effect of removing the resemblance to big lumps of excrement, the boulders having been originally painted a shade of turd brown, but it does absolutely nothing to ameliorate the hideousness).
    The moral to this story – when creating works for public display first ask yourself this question: “On a scale of 1 to 10, how close is my work to the physical resemblance of bodily waste?”
    If you’re pushing 6, start again.’
  • The ArtworkVault by Ron Robertson-Swannaka Yellow Peril
    Selected in 1978
    Installed in 1980
    Removed in July 1981
    Reinstalled in 2001
  • Controversially, Vault was removed from City Square and ceremoniously ‘dumped’ in Batman Park which was not yet complete in 1981.
    In 2002 Vault was again moved, this time to Southbank on the banks of the Yarra.
  • The Audience
  • ‘a great piece of contemporary abstract sculpture’ say the experts.
    ‘But some of our city fathers (councillors) think it looks more like agricultural machinery. Or a piece of air conditioning. A children’s playground toy. Even a broken barbeque’. ‘Can’t we have a nice fountain?’
    The architects of Melbourne’s City Square chose the design from a model.
    While Melbourne councillors were shocked the majority of them were convinced by the architects and art experts that this sculpture was what the newly created City Square needed.
    Professor of Fine Arts at Monash University said: ‘It’s something which gives a sense of focus and dramatic action’.
    One of the square architects said the public would be able to walk in and out of the work and shelter inside.
    The Lord Mayor said, it would be ‘jolly good’ to have people talking about what is happening in the City
  • The Artist
  • The Artwork now
    In 2004 the director of the National Gallery, Eric Rowlison said: ‘In contemporary art, it inevitably takes 20 years for public acceptance to catch up with the vision of artists’