Frank Lloyd’s blog

Art, architecture and the people that I know.

Physical Galleries in the Digital Age

with 5 comments

I have recently read that the online art marketplace has grown so much that it has taken over the traditional gallery market. In an increasingly digital age, it is argued, how can a physical gallery compete with the low overhead costs and international reach of an internet source? The answer, of course, is by going digital ourselves.

The Frank Lloyd Gallery website attracts an average of 95,000 hits and 17,000 unique visitors each month, from 99 countries. An artist like Gustavo Pérez, for example, might receive over 500 individual hits in a single month. We offer online catalogs, video walk-throughs of exhibits, and high-quality images of artworks, while maintaining a Facebook and blog presence. The gallery may be physically located in Santa Monica, but it has a truly global reach thanks to our online efforts. Students, collectors, curators, and artists around the world have free access to a wealth of resources.

The beauty of the arrangement though, is that this online and international presence complements our more traditional gallery operations. Brick and mortar galleries are important, because their exhibition programs promote artists and foster their careers, rather than focusing on secondary sales. A physical exhibition, supported with publications and promotional materials accomplishes more than just sales – it attracts the critical and curatorial attention an artist needs to flourish.

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Written by Frank Lloyd

September 22, 2012 at 10:38 pm

5 Responses

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  1. You are one very astute young fellow!!

    Alan Mandell

    September 22, 2012 at 10:50 pm

  2. It’s interesting to watch our daughter study art history at school and see the Google Images approach to research, which although a useful skill to learn, requires a lot of looking at physical artworks to benefit from fully. As the digital world expands I find the need to see physical works increases. I remember going to a Dore Ashton lecture at The Ruskin in Oxford, pre-internet, and even then she had to remind the audience that the Rothko slides she was showing were not artworks – but at least they approximated the scale of the actual paintings. l think your online presence as a gallery is exemplary, but I still wished I lived a few thousand miles nearer as it’s always such a pleasure to see the real thing – gallery, art and gallery owner.

    Jake Tilson

    September 23, 2012 at 10:10 am

  3. The gallery’s web presence continues to grow. Yesterday we posted a video of Larry Bell’s commentary on Ken Price’s work. Within a period of two hours, the video had 90 viiews. It’s also gratifying to see that newpapers and journalists link to the biographies of artists that are posted on our website. In the last year a couple of examples were the New York Times (a link to John Mason’s biography, in the obituary for Ken Price by Roberta Smith) and Tyler Green (premier art blogger linked to Larry Bell on our site). Perhaps it’s worth mentioning that art professors tell me that they refer students to our website, as well as the blog.

    But there’s absolutely no substitute for the experience of viewing art in person. In my studies, I sat through hindreds of slide lectures for art history. Perhaps they prepared me for the overwhelingly powerful experience of taking in the sensual pleasure of Italian fresco paintings in Italy, or a major Abstract Expressionist painting like Jackson Pollock’s “Autumn Rhythm” in New York. But the slides gave none of the spine-tingling rush!

    Frank Lloyd

    September 23, 2012 at 3:18 pm

  4. You’re so right Frank. Being in the actual presence of art is sensory and primal. Websites are essential now, but online experiences are greatly enriched by the habit of viewing the real thing.
    As you say, there is no substitute.

    Cathy Zar

    September 26, 2012 at 6:12 am

  5. I remember seeing art history through slide presentations, as well. The great painters were represented by glowing images in a darkened room, and art history professors used the side-by-side comparison. One could see the Velazquez “Las Meninas” alongside the Picasso version, for instance. Slide presentations in art history could be used to teach a lot of things about art, and the medium was quite impressive in scale and luminosity. But nothing could prepare me for seeing the great works in European museums. Painting–and most all forms of art–have a physical presence that is enduring and powerful. As for the long distance from London, I wish I could be closer, too.

    Frank Lloyd

    June 2, 2013 at 12:23 am


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