(John Singer Sargent)
What happens when a materpiece of art is displayed in a strange place?
We don’t often have the luxury of exploring whether “great” art is great within a “great” context… or if it is “great” anywhere. We tend to see art in rarified spaces: galleries, museums, private estates, universities. We rarely see a prized collection in a less-than-dazzling home. Or a bathroom. Or a laundromat.
I once heard a memorable lecture by Richard Serra, the great creator of monumental sculpture in metal. LACMA had just installed a massive piece of his. One of the first things he said, standing in the theater just beside the exhibit, was: “The space is all wrong for this piece.”
It was funny for a multitude of reasons, namely how brazen it was. But, also, it raised a question I hadn’t stopped to ask quite enough: Is art only great when displayed in a great space? And then another: Can masterpieces elevate a terrible room to extraordinary?
Great Art In Ugly Rooms is a Tumblr by Paul Kremer that explores the greatness of historically profound work when hung in ugly spaces. Here are a few of my favorites! I’m so curious to know what you think…
Is art only great when displayed in a great space?
Can masterpieces elevate a terrible room to extraordinary?
(Monet, Manet, Renoir)
So, this final one… I think its actually probably better in the context.
I do believe the art lifts each space dramatically. Whether or not the context infringes upom the art… Some I actually find to be more of a clever conversation in this new way of viewing.
What about you!?
You can view more at Great Art In Ugly Rooms. xoxo Dana
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