The Art of the Online Exhibition

By Emily Poole

As the world goes online, the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic are sure to hit the art world hard. With self-employed artists struggling to make ends meet and museums and galleries closing their doors to the public, how is it possible to continue exploring art in a community that thrives off interaction, collaboration and seeing the work up close? It is the advantage of our digital age that may provide a temporary solution to this problem. If you, like many of us, are keen to experience art and feel at a lose end during isolation, we may be able amuse to your art world cravings. Whether it is to reconnect, find creative inspiration or just generally find a way out of any dip of boredom you may find yourself in, from every corner of the industry you can find an temporary solution to this new normal.


As many institutions go virtual, you can still catch a glimpse of all the exhibitions you wanted to see, if you click the right buttons. The Andy Warhol exhibition tour is now available to view via the Tate YouTube channel, providing a chat with the curators that wouldn’t usually be so widely broadcasted. You might even find that the in-depth talks gives you a greater insight into the work of the artists than the hustle and bustle of a popular exhibition would allow. But the online content doesn’t stop there. If you haven’t checked out the highly popular TateTalks which boast conversations with the likes of Tracey Emin and Turner Prize winners Lubaina Himid and Rachel Whiteread, then an insight into the lives and work of some of the most famous British female artists is definitely worth a watch. If long conversations aren’t your thing, then you could try TateShots, a series that gives you a quick master class into topics such as ‘How to paint like Kandinsky’, which could inspire your inner artist.


While this is all well and good, you may be thinking that a mere sneak peak of an exhibition really doesn't cut it. However, when the likes of the Hong Kong Art Basel was brought to an abrupt halt, the choice to launch the exhibition online in their Online Viewing Rooms gave not only the inner circle a digital viewing experience but a wider, more global audience that didn’t have to travel 6,000 miles and across two continents for the privilege. With anyone able to view such an exclusive collection of art, some curators say that Art Basel’s innovative approach has “paved the way for what is to come” in our technological age. After attracting 250,000 visitors to their digital exhibition, the institution has certainly encouraged a more modern approach that isn’t so confined to the world’s elite and offers a more inclusive experience of art. Yet, Art Basel is not alone in their methods, The Metropolitan Museum of Art has gained over 11 million viewers for it’s The Met 360 Project, the immersive virtual experience that gives you a guided tour through the some of the galleries most beautiful architectural spaces and project rooms.


But if you’re more interested in learning about the art itself and not just a quick browse, The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) is offering free online courses via Coursera with specialisations including: ‘Fashion as Design’, ‘Postwar Abstract Painting’ and lots more. They are also launching their own virtual exhibitions called Virtual Views on 9th April, with exciting shows such as an exhibition from world-renowned minimalist sculptor Donald Judd. And of course, like the pathways of the industry leaders, a unique experience showcasing art and music will form Lippy’s very own Euphoria Pre Print Party and virtual exhibition on 27th April. Displaying beautiful, uplifting artworks from our immensely talented team, our celebration of artistic talent is sure to spread positivity and is definitely not one to be missed.

While the impact the coronavirus has had on our social calendars has been disappointing for us all, I hope this is some reassurance that whilst museums and galleries close their doors, art is very much still open for viewing, but from the safety and comfort of our own homes. And if there is a silver lining within this crisis, for the art community it is hopefully a step towards increased inclusivity. It is a privilege given to us by the forced digitalisation of the art world, meaning that art fairs, biennales and galleries across the world which are usually financially and geographically out of reach, are now closer to us than they ever have been before.



Important dates to note


MoMA Virtual Views launch – 9th April

Grayson Perry’s Art Club – due to air on Channel Four on 16th April at 8pm

Donald Judd Virtual Exhibition (MoMA) – 23rd April

Lippy Euphoria Issue Virtual Pre Print Party – 27th April at 7pm


Useful links


MoMA online courses - https://www.coursera.org/moma

The Met 360 Project - https://www.metmuseum.org/art/online-features/met-360-project


Image credit: TRISTAN FEWINGS—GETTY IMAGES/SOTHEBY'S

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