Art on walls, or in hands

What is the utility of hanging a drawing on a wall? How often do people change their wall decorations? Do people today continue to buy images to hang on their walls?

Should a drawing instead be viewed with one’s hands? Or referenced in a sketchbook.

The Art Institute of Chicago has an exhibit of drawings, “Rubens, Rembrandt, and Drawing in the Golden Age“.

I spent my lunch pondering this drawing, “Market near a Canal“, 1651 by Jan van Goyen

My photograph of "Market near a Canal", 1651 by Jan van Goyen

Actually, instead of pondering the drawing itself, I wondered the meaning of having artwork on a wall. Then the wall itself started to look interesting.

The espresso-painted walls of the Art Institute's Prints and Drawings Gallery 124A

The espresso-painted walls went nicely with the dark tints of the drawing.

Detail of "Market near a Canal", 1651 by Jan van Goyen

This particular drawing came from a sketchbook. It’s on paper. Paper that can be held with hands. Instead, I stand here separated from the drawing by a piece of glass.

These days, do people really buy lots of art to hang on their walls? I’m guessing the amount of art one sees, only a very very very small fraction gets put onto someone’s wall in their home. Yet, we artists continue to make art. Now, it’s viewed on screens. Which, ironically, that screen is often in a person’s hand.

Then I went to the Art Institute shop. This place is therapeutic for me. A room full of art that one can touch, pick up—even bring home with you. Art that can be used in every day life. You can put coffee into this art, you can put your coffee mug onto this art. I love seeing how high art from a museum can be translated into a medium for every day use.

I almost bought a book of 28 postcards.

Mark Rothko: A book of postcards

Postcards can be held. Although, postcards are mere reproductions. Not actual marks on paper. Perhaps I could draw on top of the art. Or scratch marks into the paper. (as expressed in my podcast, “Postcards as art“).

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