An Art Exhibition
An art exhibition is an event or a space where a collection of works of art is displayed. These works can include painting, sculpture, photography, design, graphic works, artistic constructions, and other art disciplines. Displaying works and objects whose purpose is to communicate with the audience, express a concept, convey a message or an interpretation of reality. Exhibitions are a way to connect artists with the world. Most artists display their most complex emotions in their best works. They can now share these feelings with the world through an exhibition. There are times when these works of art provide a powerful platform to highlight injustices in our world. If not, expressing emotions on canvas is more effective. Either way, exhibitions are an effective way to communicate with interested audiences.
An art exhibition is any space where works of art are displayed for the audience to see. As with many things in the art world, this term can be difficult to define because it means different things to different people. Generally, art fairs are filled with tangible art displays such as painting, drawing, photography, sculpture, performance, and video.
Art fairs have been important in the new art market since the 18th and 19th centuries.
The art exhibition is a cultural-economic-educational intermediary that has historical missions and at the same time, the exhibition is a cultural-economic-educational intermediary that has historical missions. An exhibition includes a significant number of people and tasks. The concept of any exhibition must be well expressed and conveyed.
Based on these goals, missions, and concepts, art exhibitions can be held in a private, public, or institutional manner. Private art exhibitions are usually presented by an art gallery or museum, while public art exhibitions are usually organized by a government or non-government organization to appeal to a specific audience.
Among the goals of an art exhibition, the following can be seen more prominently:
– Share the work with the wider world
– Increasing audience and communication network
– Understanding how to present art
– Motivate people
– Learning new things
The formation of art exhibitions
In the last decade, art exhibitions that were once the social history of art have gained a certain independence. The history of exhibitions is more determinedly devoted to public formations of art, in symposia and exchange in institutions around the world, a series of publications, the recovery of historically important exhibitions, new academic and extra-academic journals, and more recently a series of theses that instead of art and artists, have considered exhibitions and supervision as their main focus.
The reasons for the explosion of art exhibitions can be analyzed from various dimensions. Among other things, we will mention the growing importance of curators in art and the innovations they produced in the exhibition format during the 1990s and early 2000s. In the same way, we refer to the geographical and larger scope of art worlds after 1989. Attending exhibitions, rather than monographic studies of artists, allows historians to address this multiplicity directly. However, another effect has followed: the widespread association with art collections seems to have weakened or even disappeared our trust in the ontology of individual works of art.
In 1737, Paris opened art shows to the public and became a factor in the fame of artists and the prosperity of their art market. In 1769, the Royal Academy in London followed this pattern and dominated the art market. In 1805, the aristocrats spent a fortune at the exhibition of the British Institute of Modern Art, and this caused the world of critics to react—critics such as Nice Diderot and John Ruskin.
Before the Second World War, exhibitions of contemporary artists in England and France were required by exhibition societies. In Paris, there were no longer salons with permanent patrons, but annual exhibitions were held for artists. In England, members of the Royal College had summer exhibitions, just like today.
The Art Treasure Exhibition, Manchester 1857, and the National Portrait Exhibition in London, in what is now the Victoria and Albert Museum, in three stages in 1866-1868, are considered the first exhibitions in the modern sense.
In 1863, in Paris, which pursued academic art more seriously, an exhibition known as the Salon des Refusés (“Rejections”) was held. With the presentation of Edouard Manet’s Lunch on the Grass (Le déjeuner sur l’herbe), an era began that directly exposed people to artistic developments, or modern art.
Salon des Refusés (Rejections Hall)
Important exhibitions of this type were the Armory Exhibition in New York City in 1913 and the International Surrealist Exhibition in London in 1936.
Based on the above article is a comprehensive list of artists whose works were exhibited at early 18th-century British exhibition societies, including each maker’s name, each object exhibited, and exhibition dates.
Along with paintings, engravings, architectural models, and miniatures were shown. Next to male artists, we find women who are accompanied by professors, artisans, and amateurs. The volume also contains a selection of anecdotes and minutes collected by one Edward Edwards, a member of the society during the years 1766-1772, as well as other items detailing discussions about what should be shown. During these times, disagreements were fierce and despite the long historical distance, some familiar concerns remain for today’s situation. On one side were the Democrats who argued for equality for artists and free entry for the public. On the other hand, as the architect John Gwin recounts, there was an elite disgusted by the “obscenity of the polite arts” and watching “their works criticized or approved by kitchen servants and stable boys.” Eventually, the group later became the Royal Academy of Arts.
After the 19th century, the role of these private exhibitions and art dealers’ galleries became more prominent in the promotion of modern art (such as Gruner Gallery in London and Duran Roel Gallery in Paris). Meanwhile, London galleries were more progressive, influential, and independent and were managed by artists and critics.
The 20th century was the beginning of large international exhibitions, art fairs, and biennials (the Venice Biennale was founded in 1895), and modernist attitudes were allowed to emerge.
In England, the most important institution that displayed contemporary art after the war was the Arts Council of Great Britain in 1945, which aimed to promote the fine arts and improve access to them. After the war, national institutions such as the Tate Gallery, and the National Museum of Wales and Scotland, etc. started collecting and displaying many collections of contemporary works of art. Since 1968, with the opening of the Hayward Gallery, and in 1966, London’s Signals Gallery has gained a larger space for holding exhibitions with a new and avant-garde spirit in more innovative locations. Art Labs in 1967-1968 was a short-term, experimental, multimedia, and riotous exhibition that gave a significant leap to the promotion of experimentalism in the arts.
In 1976, Floss Gallery, under the direction of Elias Floss, in Washington, DC, held the first for-sale art exhibition in America, the “Wash Art International Exhibition” or “Wash Art”. This American exhibition faced strong opposition from galleries that were interested in preserving the prosperity of European works of art. The Washington Fair introduced the European idea of dealer fairs to art dealers throughout the United States. After the emergence of Wash Art, many exhibitions developed throughout the United States.
After that, England still has a kind of contemporary exhibition “culture” so that at the moment, Time Out magazine announces at least 90 contemporary art exhibitions in London at the end of every week – major institutions such as the Tate Gallery, Hayward National Portrait Gallery and Barbican, Payt Chapel, Serpentine, and ICA,… which are leading and influential in the world of art exhibitions.
To read more about the history of art exhibitions or their formative studies, the following articles are suggested as sources:
1- Ian Dunlop, The Shock of the New: Seven Historic Exhibitions of Modern Art (London: Weidenfeld and Nicolson, 1972)
2- Katherine Dreier, George Heard Hamilton, Marcel Duchamp, Alexander Dorner, et al., Collection of the Société Anonyme: Museum of Modern Art, 1920 (New Haven: Yale University Press, 1950)
3-Alexander Dorner, The Way Beyond “Art” (New York: Wittenborn, Schultz, 1947)
4-Jermayne MacAgy: A Life Illustrated by an Exhibition (Houston: University of St. Thomas, 1968)
5-Margaret Hall, On Display: A Design Grammar for Museum Exhibitions (London: Lund Humphries, 1987)
6-Brian O’Doherty, Inside the White Cube: The Ideology of the Gallery Space (Berkeley and Los Angeles: the University of California Press, 1976)
7- AA Bronson and Peggy Gale, eds., Museums by Artists, ext. cat. (Toronto: Art Metropole, 1983)
8- Rasheed Araeen, “Our Bauhaus, Others’ Mudhouse,” Third Text 6, Spring 1989 (Abingdon, UK: Taylor and Francis)