Ric Swenson on fri 14 aug 09
I was told this long ago....by one of my first sculpture teachers....George=
Roskos=3D2C in Tacoma Washington. He taught me my first throwing class....=
though he was really not good at throwing.....(but good at sculpture of the=
figure.) He dabbled in photography and used photos to help sell his work.=
He promoted the use of neutral backgrounds and no FRU-FRU stuff in the ph=
oto to detract from the shape=3D2C form=3D2C or color of the work. Same wi=
he photo of a painting....do not emphasize the god-damn FRAME. What are you=
selling? Paintings?....or frames?
Use the photo to emphasize that aspect you think will help you sell. Spend =
time doing the photography right. Angles=3D2C no other shit in the back-gr=
Some of my work was once shown on the cover of BON APPITITE magazine....but=
they put FOOD on my black -on -slate glazed plate.... in the photo. Sold =
the magazine=3D2C but not my plates!
Live and learn.
Shock value can work in a gallery..black walls?.....oh...so unusual.....eh?=
Only works if people BUY 'the work'...not the black wall.
So.....variety can be useful....so I guess=3D2C just keep an open mind.....=
nd your eyes on the prize.
just my 2cents....
"...then fiery expedition be my wing=3D2C ..."=3D20
-Wm. Shakespeare=3D2C RICHARD III=3D2C Act IV Scene III=3D20
Richard H. ("Ric") Swenson=3D2C Teacher=3D2C=3D20
Office of International Cooperation and Exchange of Jingdezhen Ceramic Inst=
TaoYang Road=3D2C Eastern Suburb=3D2C Jingdezhen City.
JiangXi Province=3D2C P.R. of China.=3D20
Postal code 333001.=3D20
Mobile/cellular phone : 86 13767818872=3D20
> Date: Fri=3D2C 14 Aug 2009 08:29:24 +1000
> From: djhoward@HWY.COM.AU
> Subject: Re: Gallery wall colors
> To: Clayart@LSV.CERAMICS.ORG
> I agree=3D2C we're potters=3D2C not florists or restaurants.
> Some people insist on displaying pots with things
> stuffed in them. We don't! Even though our work
> is made with function as the main raison d'etre=3D2C
> the choosing of 'stuffings' are left up to
> the purchaser.
> Ric Swenson wrote:
> > stay neutral...to let the work speak...
> > kinda like ....NOT photographing your pottery
> > with FLOWERS in the vase=3D2C=3D2C=3D2C=3D2Cwhat to see?
> > the god damn flowers...or the vase?......
> > the face of the model....or the dress? ADVERTISING!
> Des & Jan Howard
> Lue Pottery
> Lue NSW
> 02 6373 6419
> -32.656072 149.840624
Drag n=3D92 drop=3D97Get easy photo sharing with Windows Live=3D99 Photos.
Snail Scott on fri 14 aug 09
On Aug 13, 2009, at 11:06 AM, Evonne Smulders wrote:
> Who made that rule of white mat anyway? Does anyone know, please share!
1. It allows many works to be shown together
without clashing, or any one work dominating.
Not relevant for home decor, but important for
museums and sales galleries alike. As a result,
even for home decor a white matted piece says,
"This is worthy of being in a museum".
2. For a long time, white and off-white were the
only colors that were truly archival-grade board.
That's still the case for most matboard. Acid-free
is NOT the same thing! Of course, this may be
somewhat circular: if only white is archival, then
all archival work is done with white, and if all
archival work is done in white, then only white
will be manufactured to be archival...
3. Colors come and go in style. Remember the
80's and all those pink mats? Or the orange and
yellow ones of the '70's? White is less subject to
fashion changes. White, being somewhat 'outside
of fashion' conveys a sense of timelessness rather
than trendiness. A white mat also will go with
many home color schemes, so the framer does
not need to worry what a potential customer's
decor looks like. I suspect no one ever lost a
sale for having a white mat, but if it's done in the
'wrong color', people will walk away. They could
get it rematted, but few would even think of that.
For all these reasons, colored mats continue to
be associated with 'decorator art', while white
is for 'fine art'.
Evonne Smulders on fri 14 aug 09
I guess Ric didn't refer to crafty, sorry Ric
this one is for you Snail!
" as for being crafty maybe so, I have also been called witty and
On 13-Aug-09, at 9:28 AM, Snail Scott wrote:
> On Aug 12, 2009, at 1:00 PM, Logan Johnson wrote:
>> I was just wondering what others thought of black & or dark gray
>> walls in a gallery. Have you ever gone into a gallery that had
>> dark walls like that ?
> Not with dark walls, but I have shown in galleries with
> brick walls. It's good for craftwork - a nice homey
> atmosphere - but it makes it harder to really see
> the work. I have also shown in a gallery with no
> windows and no ambient lighting; just spotlights
> on the work. The wall look dark, even though they
> are not. It's very dramatic, but also not optimum; the
> light never seems to be quite where you want it for
> seeing clearly. A pale gallery (light grey is popular,
> and one near here is pale green) reflects more light
> onto the work from every direction, eliminating the
> heavy shadows that can result from spotlighting,
> and requiring less ambient electrical lighting.
> The tradition of the white box is very much a
> Modernist thing - a completely neutral backdrop (in
> theory) to show the art without any other element:
> the Autonomous Art Object. Most gallery art of the
> last 100 years is made with at least an assumption
> that it will be shown against white, and when that's
> not the case, it means that the artist is essentially
> working within an 'installation' mindset, designing
> the whole exhibition space. When I do wall work,
> I consider the silhouette very strongly, and the
> contrast of the color/value of the piece with a white
> wall in mind, especially since most buyers' walls
> are also white.
> Some art, especially historical stuff, is not made with
> this in mind. When I was a student in London, they
> has just opened the new wing of the Tate Gallery,
> and filled it with lots and lots of paintings by Turner.
> I recall thinking they were a bit muddy and drear.
> When I went to the National Gallery across town
> and saw their Turner collection, I was stunned by
> the difference. The National Gallery in Britain still
> has a number of rooms covered in brightly colored
> damask fabric, as a fashionable house might have
> had 150 years ago, and the paintings absolutely
> glowed against the red and green walls, as Turner
> no doubt intended.
> My work, which is very much part of the contemporary
> art idiom, is made for white walls (or outdoors), but
> I believe that craftwork can be successfully shown in
> a wider variety of settings, and well-chosen colored
> backdrops can enliven a display at a craft fair. Most
> galleries, however, convey a sense of 'upscale'
> sophistication by adhering to the pale wall standard,
> and galleries that don't are generally seen as down-
> market or 'crafty'. That's not necessarily a bad thing,
> but you need to know your market.
Evonne Smulders on fri 14 aug 09
> "I think neutral colors will compliment your work....museums usually
> know what the f,,, they are doing.."
All this discussion has sent me on a search for some reasoning behind
this belief. Man... this is a tough thing to find any answers on.
When did the white rule start?
Yes, museums usually do know what the F..... they are doing , but
who wants their gallery looking like a museum.
Hey! maybe then I could start charging admission, some days I would
make more money!!!! And another Hey! maybe I could get myself a big
I decided to start an informal survey with both artists and clients.
What color are your walls at home. and should we change the gallery to
white or some shade of?
I will report my findings later on.
I also pulled out my huge stack of past American Style mags from 2000
on. Not too many white walls there, even in the gallery shots.
Maybe white walls really do belong in museums, along with old
"It's ok to change" the butterfly said to the caterpillar
Ric, and as for being crafty maybe so, I have also been called witty
On 13-Aug-09, at 8:04 AM, Ric Swenson wrote:
Vince Pitelka on fri 14 aug 09
Sorry if I am repeating something already said. I am still traveling out
West and have not been following Clayart very closely.
I think the important consideration here is that colors used on gallery
walls, pedestals, and picture frames should never compete with the art. If
you try to make an overall aesthetic statement with colors that supposedly
"work" with the colors in the art, then the picture frame or the pedestal
essentially becomes part of the piece, detracting from the artist's intent
(except in cases where a pedestal-like component was designed into the
piece, as in much of the work of sculptor Constantin Brancusi).
When a frame shop takes a piece of artwork and mounts it using multiple
overlapping matts, picking colors out of the artwork for the matboard, it
shows how little they really understand about displaying artwork, how much
they want to show off their matt-cutting skills, and how much they want to
charge you more money for the framing job. If your attention is drawn to
the frame or matt, then it is drawn away from the painting, drawing, or
photograph. If your attention is drawn to the pedestal, then it is drawn
away from the pot or sculpture. If your attention is drawn to the colors o=
the walls, then it is drawn away from everything else in the room, and the
impact of the works of art being displayed is necessarily diminished.
When you walk into one of the dynamic, contemporary art museum buildings
designed by Frank Gehry, I.M. Pei, or others, you have been affected (one
way or another) by the unconventional form of the building exterior, and
initially the interior gallery spaces can seem bland and unexciting. But
that's the way a gallery or museum space is suppose to be, and pretty soon
you find yourself concentrating only on the artwork. I am not saying that =
gallery or museum interior cannot be architecturally interesting, but if yo=
really try to make a strong aesthetic statement with the colors and interio=
form (remember that architecture is just the sculptural enclosure of space)=
then you detract from the artwork, and the space becomes about the
architect/designer rather than about the artists/artworks being displayed.
Appalachian Center for Craft
Tennessee Tech University