Confused about Art?

Confused about Art?

Are you confused about Art? Do you know what you like or where to find it? Is the work any good or is someone just trying to sell you something? And how are you expected to decipher those dense wall texts?  Even Google translate is stumped. But there are some simple guidelines to unlocking these mysteries and they can make a big difference to finding and enjoying art.

Different kinds of Galleries

Exhibition spaces vary widely in their aims and in what they show. You wouldn’t go to MacDonald’s if you felt like French cuisine. Although they don’t put the menu in the window, knowing the five types of art gallery can make navigating art a lot easier. 

  • Public Galleries
  • Artist Run Initiatives
  • Commercial Galleries
  • Artist Studios
  • Privately Funded Museums
cartoon about visiting art galleries
David Hockney Exhibition NGV
David Hockney Exhibition, NGV

Art Gallery Expectations

 A great deal of what we experience is fuelled by our expectations. What do you expect to see when you enter an art gallery? Perhaps you want quiet grace and beauty – you might be in need of restoration and sympathy. Or maybe you are ready to be shocked, amazed or confounded; a break from tedium and dull routine. Do you want the familiar or the strange? And what about your concentration level – do you have a couple of hours or are you more in search of a snack? We all need different things at different times.

Different kinds of Art

 Art comes in many varieties. A few types are:

    • Contemporary Art
    • Modern Art
    • Historical works
    • Folk Art
    • Themed exhibitions e.g “The Impressionists”
    • Retrospectives of a particular artist eg. “Picasso”
    • New Media
    • Knowing where to find each type is a great aid to enjoying a gallery visit. 

Art Words

Of course once you get inside a gallery, it’s not always smooth sailing. Why do they write in such a cryptic manner?  What is the difference between contemporary, modern and new? How do you make sense of those wall texts and artist statements which lurch from the obvious to the obscure in one sentence?

Help is at hand

Given that art is such a broad field, some navigational aids are helpful. If you have you ever wondered where to find the kind of art you’d like to see, or been baffled by work so dense it sinks your enthusiasm like a stone, The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Art Galleries is for you. I have written this free ebook to help you confidently enjoy art.

Example of obscure art terminology

What an artist is trying to do for people is bring them closer to something, because of course art is about sharing. You wouldn't be an artist unless you wanted to share an experience, a thought.

With loads of insider’s information on the five kinds of art exhibition space and an outline of what sorts of work to expect in each, this ebook covers National Galleries to artist studios. And of course there’s some help on those wall texts.

Cutting through the nonsense, this resource is your personal guide to your path of finding the art you love, and perhaps even loving the art you find.

Enjoy the journey!

The Ultimate Guide to Visiting Art Galleries

Download your copy here

You may also like my ebook Don’t Buy Junk: An Insider’s Guide to Finding Great Art

Don’t feel like reading? Browse all our artists here.

Alexandra Sasse is a painter, writer and gallery director based in Melbourne, Australia. She has a Masters in Fine Art from Monash University and a Postgraduate Diploma in Visual art from the Victorian College of the Arts, but she can still speak English.