View Full Version : Printing for Exhibitions/Gallery shows

29-Jun-2016, 13:05
In a seperate thread on favourite papers both Bob Carnie and I posted about consistent eexhibition sets.

This was Bob's comment:

[QUOTE=bob carnie;1337175I have always tried to do a gallery show with consistent print to print so that it hangs together as one body of work.[/QUOTE]

How much importance do others place on print consistency. In my case all my exhibition prints are made on the same paper and I've balanced sizes so that images shot on different formats work well together. I shoot/print to format and that means images from 6x6, 5x4, 10x8 and 6x17 negatives, I'm also shooting with a tripod and LF (5x4) hand held, I find it's the comsistency of printing that really helps pull a body of work together giving an overall coherence despite different films & formats.

I think what really made me more aware of this was seeing an exhibition that was truly awful, individual images were OK but each print used differening techniques/toners and it was an incoherent mess it just wasn't a pleasure to view.


29-Jun-2016, 15:18
On the other extreme, I have a friend who is puts up group shows regularily, as well as 1,2 and 3 person shows. It is pleasure to see him bring a show together on the walls...to turn that incoherent mess into a show.

I have also seen a show of identically sized, matted, framed and selenium-toned prints...toned to that purple that can happen when some papers are heavily toned. The consistency was over-whelming in a unpleasant way. (It did not help that I don't care for that particular purple with landscape). Can not remember any of the images -- just the purple.

I matted the work of a photographer (brother of a famous actor) a long while back...for a show in a nearby small town he had just moved to. Street photography, all matted and then framed the same. Very consistant, but far too many prints for the space. I think his ego would not let any of his prints be unseen. As a result it was hard to see any of them as singular images.

All this to say that consistency between work shown is just one of many factors that go into a good show. I tend to design a show wall by wall. Using a group of consistently printed and presented work per wall. I like it when I can get a wall to use as a transition between two walls with very different work on them.

Drew Wiley
29-Jun-2016, 16:23
The only rule is that there are no rules. But you do need a sense of balance in some fashion or another.

Greg Davis
29-Jun-2016, 16:48
When I show work it is of only one particular series at a time. Each series is printed and presented in a singular fashion to keep out any unnecessary distractions. I once went to a show where the photographer used black mats. That's all anyone at the show could talk about. If people are talking about your presentation choices rather than the photographs, then those choices need to be reconsidered.