How to Visit an Exhibition?


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This post is dedicated to all those people who have asked me how to visit an art exhibition. My goal is to bring people closer to art by reading my blog. I like to think of myself as a bridge between art and those people who are interested in entering this world, but don’t quite know how to do so.

The Art and the Beach

During the presentation of his book, Criteria on the History of Art, in Ivorypress, Kosme de Barañano used a metaphor that I thought was very accurate. He said that just visiting a museum has already value; the load of knowledge that each one of us extracts from it depends on how deep into art you want to go.

Art is like going to the beach, Kosme Barañano said, some people like to walk by the shore and feel the wind, some only get their feet wet, others bathe in the sea, and there are those who swim, those who dive, and even those who like to get a tank and descend to 80 feet.

From my point of view, the way each one of us approaches art is equally valid. Therefore, there are many ways to visit an exhibition; I will tell you how I do it.


Soak Up Information

To try and get to understand an artist’s work, I think it’s important to previously investigate about him (his life circumstances, his teachers, his trips, etc.), to place him in history, and to have a look at the time in which he lived and developed his work.

An artist is not isolated; an artist learns from the steps taken by other predecessor or contemporary artists. The artist usually links to them to such an extent of even becoming the creator of a movement born from experimentation and research.

Starting a Dialogue with the Work

Personally, when visiting an artist’s exhibition, I try to awaken a special observation and appreciation sensitivity. Having already investigated about the artist’s life is how I get in touch with the work when I visit an exhibition. Through a personal connection is how I begin to get closer to the artist and start to, intimately reading and listening to the picture.

When I try to put myself in the author’s place, his work has always something to tell me. My goal is to carry out some sort of forensic investigation to detect the artist’s purpose, the way he pursued what he was looking for, and how he expressed what he was carrying inside.

Go to the Exhibition Accompanied to Generate a Dialogue

I like to go accompanied to art exhibitions because then I can share impressions with like-minded people: my father, my friends, my daughters, etc. This dialogue, besides being an acquisition by contagion, allows me to express with words what I perceive and to compare my opinions with others. Talking about art and interacting this way is part of the search; it initiates a process of perceiving, penetrating, and assimilating all the aspects –even emotional, subliminal, etc.– of the expression of tracing, color, texture, movement, composition, etc., and I drag all of this towards my own experimentation, towards my drawings and paintings, and, of course, towards my way of dressing.

Museum Visits that I Will Never Forget

Of course, visiting the main museums of the most important cities of the world is on the top of my list. My favorite museums are the Reina Sofia National Art Center Museum, the MoMA, in New York, the Tate Modern, in London, the Louvre, in Paris, the Guggenheim, in Bilbao and the Prado Museum, in Madrid. But in addition to these, I keep a special place in my memory for the Kunstnernes Hus, in Oslo, which I visited last Holy Week. This museum has a modern and very interesting concept that allows you to deepen into what the artist wants to communicate with his work and his way of working.

I visited the work of the Norwegian artist, Kjell Varvin. When I bought the ticket, they told me not to throw it away because I could go back to the museum with the same ticket to see the evolution of the artist’s work. Kjell Varvin, while he was exhibiting his art, was actually still working on it. This system is an easier way to detect the artist’s purpose and how he managed to express what’s inside him. Going back to the museum to see the work’s development, for me, was like waking up on Christmas to see what Santa had brought me; I felt like if I were discovering a gift when I got to see the artist’s progress while the Museum was closed to the public by night.

Carolina Verd

Which are your favorite museums? Do you remember any special exhibition that caught your attention? This week I will go to Daniel Canogar’s exhibition in La Sala 31, Madrid, and in next week’s blog post I will tell you everything I saw and caught my attention.

Photography: Oscar Rivilla.
Styling and conceptual design: Carolina Verd.
Make up and hair: Carolina Verd.
Fashion by Pez (Madrid):
Coat by Masscob.
Pistachio-green angora jersey by Roberto Colina.
             Striped trousers by Local.
Necklace by To be continued.
Bracelet by Beatriz Palacios.
Black and white shoes by Carmina.

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