All too often an artist’s passion for their work wanes with its completion. Most artists are more interested in creating artwork then they are in displaying it which can lead to the poor showing of a beautiful piece of art.
While there are many subtle and complex nuances in displaying two-dimensional artwork, there are a few basic principals that can make all the difference. When we accept 2-D artwork at Art Central for one of our shows, we have several primary requirements:
– Clean, scratch-free glass –
Watercolors, prints, ink works, and dry medium drawings are traditionally framed behind glass to protect and display the work. Make sure the glass you use is free of scratches or smudges that can rob the artwork of the viewer’s full attention. Plexiglas is available as a more lightweight substitute but be aware that it is much more easily scratched than traditional glass.
– Unblemished frames –
While the modern practice of not framing oil and acrylic works is a possibility (these pieces should, however, have painted, clean sides for a finished appearance), the right frame can greatly influence the visual presence and impact of an art piece upon a wall. Make sure your frame is clean and free of dents and scratches. Many dings and dents occur while transporting a framed work to its showing; remember to transport your work in a way that prevents the frame from rubbing or hitting hard surfaces.
– Well cut, precise matboard –
Make sure your matboard is smudge-free and cut properly. Matting can not only add flair to artwork, but it also serves to keep the art from touching the glass in the frame. Matting prints or smaller pieces and putting them in clear bags for display in print bins is also popular. (Make sure your clear bags – called sleeves – are clean and unwrinkled.) At Art Central we do not want artwork in sleeves to have the price on the front. A small neat pricing sticker on the back of the sleeve is the norm.
– Work is ready to hang –
Depending on where you are going to be displaying work, a specific kind of hanger may be required. Research beforehand so you can have your work ready upon arrival. Art Central requires the use of D-Rings; a versatile and simple hanging method. D-Rings are attached by screws directly into the back of wooden frame (or the stretcher bars of a canvas), then hanging wire is strung between them.
Of course there is a plethora of insights and opinions on the subject. Check out these links, and seek out other references, to better make decisions on how to display your artwork.