5 things I love about art exhibitions apart from the artwork itself
In the last two years I was super lucky to have enough free time and money to be able to visit some amazing European cities. In 2015 I spent an erasmus semester in Brussels and met a lot of really nice people from all over Europe. Knowing these people made it possible for me to be welcomed with a warm hug and a place to sleep in various countries. I used all of my trips to visit art galleries and museums. I saw a lot of inspiring exhibitions in Paris, London, Venice, Liverpool, Brussels, Wroclaw and Hamburg. Art exhibitions always had a distinct effect on me. That’s why I chose to study arts and learn more about the history of art, the different epochs and the flamboyant personalities within this field. Here are 5 things I love about art exhibitions apart from the artwork itself. And a huge collection of my favorite pictures I took at these exhibitions.
1. Architecture and spatiality
I love architecture and extensive rooms with various possibilities to arrange things. Art is often displayed in such rooms. Renowned old museums with high ceilings, walls painted in dark colors, the floor inlayed with fine stone or thick old rugs. Or the clean look and creative lightning installations in the premises of modern art galleries. I love both. The thing that fascinates me most is the convertibility of these places. The rooms themselves seem to be like canvases sometimes, which are redesigned by artists and curators and can leave a completely different impression for every new exhibition. The spatiality changes with the rearrangement of the artwork and shows how dynamic a building can be. The vastness of large halls filled with art makes me feel at ease, the reduction to a few objects in the rooms increases my concentration on the essential. Even when I have already left the exhibition. Art is my meditation.
2. Triggers emotions
Art exhibitions often have an therapeutic effect on me. They are the embodiment of „me time“, because most of my friends are absolute philistines. So I´m more than happy to go on my own. For me it is like diving into another world. A world without smartphones and external disturbances. Were I can stroll through the rooms, pause and watch if I want to and leave the places I´m not interested without paying attention to others. I can concentrate entirely on myself and intensively feel all the emotions coming up in the presence of the art. Feelings of happiness and love but also of disgust, grief or fear. All this is evoked by the artwork and can be left behind in the end, when leaving the exhibition. Art is my catharsis.
Art exhibitions are an experience for many senses. Especially the acoustics in the empty halls is often very unique and contributes greatly to the atmosphere I value in exhibition halls. The sounds are very different from what our ears are confronted with in everyday life. Traffic noises, chirping birds, snippets of conversations, as soon as I enter the world of art, all this remains outside. The silence creates an atmosphere in which I can direct all my senses to art. Dull steps behind set-up walls move away from me or towards me and remind me that I´m not the only one in the building. Audio fragments of video installations are playing over and over again in distant rooms, getting louder as I get closer and going silent as soon as I move away. All the people I meet are as deliberate as I am. The acoustic experience is reduced to a minimum. Everyone is requiring their eyes and rarely their ears. Art is my break.
4. Spiritual sophistication
Not very profound but true, visiting a gallery or a museum often makes me feel very sophisticated. For centuries the fine arts were reserved for the nobility and the rich. Spending time visiting art in the museums of this world still feels like a privilege. Art is my luxury.
5. Meet like-minded people
Almost non of my friends are interested in art. So diving into the world of art and observing other people who deliberately look at a piece of art or study the wall charts or brochures to get to the bottom of it shows me that others can also share my passion and be touched by art. Art is my connection.
Can you relate to what I feel while visiting art exhibitions? What is your favorite thing about them and which museum or gallery do you like most?