A number of artists working on paper run into the dilemma of presentation. How do you display a large drawing or painting?
If you’re drawn to working on paper, you’re probably somewhat attracted to the inherent qualities of that medium. There’s a simplicity to scrolls, sheets, large lightweight expanses of paper that can be easily collapsed under the wrong circumstances. Sometimes putting large paperworks under glass in a frame cheats them in a way, transforming them into aquariums that glare and reflect very unlike a raw drawing would. So how do you safely display something that errs towards delicate?
On a visit to the Houston Museum of Fine Arts, I wandered accidentally into the Glassell School of Art and into an array of non-traditional hanging methods:
The listed hanging methods for large, non-sturdy works are not the only means. If you have seen Leon Golub’s large canvas paintings, you’ll note that he uses eyelets, as used in signs/banners or boat sails. A lot of shows will require pieces to be matted, framed, and wired for hanging – this is often standard and ensures better protection for the artwork as well as installation ease. The aesthetic of ‘non-traditional’ hanging for works on paper allows the viewer to experience exposed art but may risk the safety of it. In the end the presentation is a balance between what is suitable for the piece and the space it is displayed in.
Although the security guard kept following me closely for the longest time, he finally asked why i wasn’t taking pictures of the artwork, so i was able to explain myself (guard: *laughter*). If i can make people laugh, then that’s ok with me.