View Full Version : Gallery ThemesXX

11-29-2011, 04:37 PM
Question for you guys who show your work.........or don't.
A small gallery that I like to show in, is going more and more in the direction of "themes". One of the themes was a painting in four colors only. Another was local vegetables, Art with words etc. So what do the local artists do?They paint for the show! It is like a high school or college assignment. I need your views on this. It seems unprofessional to me.
:( Derek

11-30-2011, 12:06 AM
Sounds like something that is more suited to art-classes or painting-get-togethers, not for work for sale. Its very restrictive, but can also be very inspirational. Many artist's shows have a theme, but then its self-inflicted ... as it should be.

Yes, questionable move by the gallery but they hold the ruler ;-)

11-30-2011, 01:40 AM
Yes, I have the same sentiments concerning an place near me (also in NJ). On the one hand, I'm not too impressed with the move to make that month's entire member show theme-based for those very reasons that you've stated. On the other hand, it might be a fun challenge to find a way to paint the theme and make it fit logically into the rest of my work. But fun challenge or not, I still maintain my reservations about such things. Then again, they are trying to attract different parts of the public, so this might be a good move for them in that respect.

Yes, I'm torn. I guess they can conduct their business as they will, and I will work on my own business and promotions alone until they're done with their "bowl of fruit" theme or whatever.

11-30-2011, 09:08 AM
But will this maybe not help/force the members to try other subjects? Maybe they discover something they like and change their style.

11-30-2011, 09:08 AM
I've only done this a couple times and really enjoyed it, but it was for a special occassion and a solo set of work. I definitely wouldn't do it regularly and only do it if it's something already in my range.

For example, some years ago I did landscapes based on films for our local cinema's first anniversary. That was really fun! And this past year my main gallery asked if I'd like to do work for a themed Venice show (something they do each year). I was reluctant but we discussed it and it turned out to be work that really pushed me and gave me new fresh direction. It was still my style, my kind of work (ie. abstract) and the gallery was open to whatever spin I put on the theme.

But those are rare things. I do know one central London gallery that works on themes but really what they do is build a show and then ask the appropriate artists. The artists don't do work for the themes - that's already their thing.

I'd go with it if it's a theme that already suits your work, and skip it while they do other things. Carry on making what you make. :D


11-30-2011, 09:22 AM
I'd do this if the idea/theme appealed to me - could be fun, could be a good way to stretch yourself a bit - but if it doesn't float your boat then I wouldn't force yourself except out of economic necessity.


11-30-2011, 10:09 AM
Thanks very much All, for your feedback. I don't think you will find themes at the really prestigious galleries.
Times are tough though, economically and many of us need to sell......theme or not eh?


chammi kaiser
11-30-2011, 10:26 AM
Depends on the theme. I certainly would not be up for figurative work with model as I am not comfortable enough with the genre. (or should I rather be honest and say, I don't consider myself GOOD enough). However, if the theme attracts you, it is not a bad idea. Helps with the discipline or sticking to something. I would imagine it would also be good to get one motivated if one is in a bit of a rut. Up to you Derek, as you say, things are tough. Let us know what you will be doing. I am curious.

11-30-2011, 05:04 PM
I don't think you will find themes at the really prestigious galleries.
I wouldn't have thought so either, but I just remembered that I have heard of shows at highbrow places where the pieces were thematically linked, which isn't much different to this except perhaps in scope or timeframe - the contributing artists may have been given months or a year or more.


11-30-2011, 06:30 PM
Chammi: I will wait to see what the next "theme" will be and if it fits my style and subject? who knows.
I remember going to some group shows in Soho that seemed to have a certain related flavor. Again though....very broad based such as cityscapes, photorealism, the nude etc.