Art Gallery vs Art Exhibition: The Key Differences

Many people use the terms ‘art gallery’ and ‘art exhibition’ interchangeably – and although they are both common words in the world of art, they have two different meanings.

But what exactly is an art gallery, and what is an art exhibition? And more importantly, what are the key differences between the two?

That’s what we’ll be exploring in this blog post. Read on to learn more about exhibitions and galleries, and to find out more about our very own Grove Gallery.


What is an Art Gallery?

At its core, an art gallery is a place that displays artwork. You can find art galleries of all sizes, from small one-room galleries to large, multi-storey galleries.

Likewise, they can come in a wide range of styles. Tate Modern in Central London, for example, has a modern, open-plan style, whereas the Dulwich Picture Gallery in London has a more traditional style.

There are several reasons why people may visit an art gallery – for example:

  • To learn more about the art world
  • To view art from certain artists
  • To browse art to invest in
  • To get advice on art investment
  • To gain inspiration from art
  • To create memories
  • To meet artists
  • To view famous pieces of art (blue-chip art or Old Masters)

Art galleries display art for a multitude of reasons, from education and aesthetic purposes to the preservation of artwork. Typically, art galleries also display artwork for marketing purposes. They will promote pieces of art to allow visitors to invest in them.

Not all art galleries are the same. Some art galleries will display works of art from the primary market, by contemporary artists that are still alive and producing artwork.

Others may display artwork on the secondary market, owned by collectors or estates. Some will only sell Old Masters, whereas others will display contemporary art.

Some will display all kinds of art, from Old Masters oil paintings to modern sculptures. You can also find art galleries that display artwork from just one artist.

For example, the Van Gogh Museum displays works of art created by Vincent van Gogh – it displays more than 200 paintings, 500 drawings and 700 letters created by the iconic artist.

Some art galleries are public whereas others are private. Likewise, some will require customers to pay to enter, whereas others will be free to enter. The terms ‘art gallery’ and ‘art museum’ are used interchangeably – they both refer to the same thing.

Ultimately, art galleries facilitate a connection between art collectors, artists, and works of art. They play an integral role in the art world, keeping artwork in the public eye.


What is an Art Exhibition?

Now you understand what an art gallery is and the reasons people may visit a gallery, let’s explore what exactly an exhibition is.

First and foremost, an exhibition is the public display of items of interest, including art. They are usually held in art galleries or museums, but can also take place in other public places such as parks, fairs, libraries and exhibition centres.

They can display a wide range of items and involve a range of genres – for example:

  • Sculptures
  • Artefacts and antiques
  • Paintings
  • Illustrations
  • Modern art prints
  • Interactive art
  • Live performances
  • An immersive experience

There are several types of exhibitions in the art world. One of the main types of exhibition is a solo exhibition – this refers to the display of artwork from a single artist, usually the most famous pieces by this artist.

Another type of exhibition is a collective exhibition, which displays the work of several artists. This type of exhibition will usually link the artists with a theme or artistic movement, whether it be contemporary African photography or contemporary street art.

Some art exhibitions will only take place online – known as either online exhibitions or digital art exhibitions. You can view any major exhibition at Grove Gallery online via a virtual tour. This makes artwork much more accessible to the public, allowing wider audiences to view the artwork.

Many art exhibitions will only be available for a brief period – whether it be a couple of days or several months. Some exhibitions have only been live for one single evening.


The Key Differences Between Galleries and Exhibitions

An art gallery is a place used to display works of art, whereas an exhibition refers to the display of certain pieces of art that typically takes place in the art gallery. Ultimately, a gallery is a place, whereas an exhibition is an event.

Exhibitions will usually be temporary – they will typically be held for several weeks or months, available throughout a certain timeframe. Art galleries, however, will have pieces of art available indefinitely.

Exhibitions aren’t limited to art galleries – they can also be held in museums such as the British Museum or the Natural History Museum.

Usually, an exhibition explores a certain theme or the work of a certain artist or group of artists. It refers to the public display of artworks, whether it be sculptures, paintings or art prints. An art gallery also displays pieces of art but also facilitates the sale of artwork too.


Explore Grove Gallery and Our Exhibitions Today

At Grove Gallery, you can view or invest in iconic works of art created by prominent artists such as Banksy, Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso and many more.

With a unique blend of digital and physical exhibitions, we offer a year-round programme of talks, events and exhibitions. Our artist-led exhibition schedule celebrates artists and artwork from around the world.

We are an established art gallery that offers both established and inexperienced collectors an avenue to explore and invest in art.

We understand that the art market can be difficult to navigate, especially if you’re new to the art world. This is why we are home to an excellent art advisory service. We can help you generate between 8% and 12% profit from art investment per year, starting from as little as £3,000.

Visit our London art gallery today, or visit our art investment page to begin your art investment journey.

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