Hanging Art is an Art in Itself
Hanging art is an art in itself.
Last month my brother asked me to come to his house and help him reinstall some of his new and old art. I walked into his house and yawned. All of his current art was hung in a linear fashion almost mimicking the minimalistic aura of a Soho gallery. His art is eclectic and tasteful and the wide range of sizes all complement one another in a mist artistic way. We decided to group the art in clusters. Each painting came alive and interacted with one another. His home took on a new charm. Not to mention, I felt like I was in a museum in Paris rather than a white walled gallery downtown.
I suggested he hang it salon style — better known in the current home decor magazines as a gallery wall.
The term salon style is derived from the regular exhibition of the French Royal Academy which began in the 1600s in Paris.
Many years ago when I was setting up my studio, I installed all of my smaller works to resemble a salon-style wall or gallery wall. As a former art student, reenacting any form of art in its historical context is exhilarating and so I always try to bring old masters into my humble studio. Over the years, I sold many of those small works that gallery/ salon style wall. And in time I paint a work that can complement the wall, it’s hung immediately.
There’s a science in how one can go about making it perfect and I have recently read about the frames and prints and black and white photos that one should compile for this wall— but on the contrary, I’d say to just go with it! While it should be pleasing to the eye, it doesn’t have to be pristine nor should it be.
The art can surely vary in size and the mediums can be photography, drawings, paintings and any 2D art pieces in between. Lastly, mismatched frames add to the charm in a big way. From black metals to ornate, traditional gold frames to wooden frames with matting and without.
I will say there is something quite gorgeous about frames matching from the wood color to the matting color and the liners as well. But that’s just not how the French intended it!
There are always extremes in art and that goes for the manner in which we adorn our walls as well. These walls are the new craze now, but I always wonder what the gallery directors think. In my heart I know they are the experts.
While speaking to Mr. Elbogen of The Bo Gallery in Brooklyn NY about this topic, he smiled and said “It’s called a gallery wall right? I love those.” He simplified the answer with excitement of the popular way of wall art hanging!
Don’t get me wrong, certain residential spaces with modern futuristic vibes most definitely need to adorn less on their walls. I get that spaces vary in their decorative needs. But I’m loving that so many are catching onto this trend and taking it to the next level.
I recently asked Jeff Beja of Central Galleries, a well known gallery owner, framer and talented installer, if he preferred minimal art on walls or art clustered together? And he answered “We love more art on walls, a good arrangement can certainly enhance a space.” Jeff happens to have a great eye for installation and has installed my art for many of my clients.
We often go with the notion that less is more. And when I install my art at an art show, it’s important for each work to shine so that a potential collector can focus. Lots of white space around the art is critical.
But when it comes to the art in our homes, I’d like to see more parings, more groupings and much more French inspired installations.
Photo in my studio of a salon- style installation
Visualizing a salon- style gallery wall/ art by Peshi Haas
A rendering of what a salon style looked like in the around the 1700s in Paris. Displaying the works of artist in the French Academy.
An actual museum with a gallery wall.