As an artist, there are many aspects to consider when preparing your work for exhibition. Once your artworks are prepped and ready, you’ll need to hang them aesthetically to make the most of your big exhibition. It takes more than just a hammer and a nail to ensure your pictures are hung well. Keep reading to learn more about where to place your art and what fixings you’ll need to achieve the finish you want.
Placement of Artwork in Gallery
The placement of your artworks is key to drawing viewers’ eyes at your exhibition. While some galleries may have hanging specifications, it is good to be a part of the process to ensure your artistic vision comes across. As a rule of thumb, artworks should be hung at eye level, approx. 150cm from the floor. This makes the works comfortable to see for the average viewer.
Level Artwork on Wall
Your level is your best friend when it comes to hanging your artwork. Nothing says unprofessional like a wonky picture. Therefore, it is worth investing in an optical level. Using lasers and digital pinpoint accuracy, optical lasers will help to ensure that all of your artworks are even and spaced just how you want them.
How to Fix Artwork to a Wall?
Are you looking for your work to float off the wall or sit flush against it? Maybe something in-between? Fixing are key to how your finished artwork will hang on the wall. Discover the different fixing styles to learn which is best for your artwork.
D-Rings & Cord
D-rings are the most popular option for hanging mounted or framed works on a wall. Two d-rings are attached to the back of the frame or mount with a cord or wire tied between. D-ring framed or mounted works can be hung with either a nail or screw. We recommend this fixing method for works in sizes up to A2.
Straphangers work similarly to d-rings but are used for larger, heavier frames. Two straphangers are attached to the back of the frame, one-quarter to one-third of the way down, and joined with a heavy cord or wire.
Mirror plate fittings are ideal for hanging works flush to the wall. However, this is a more permanent solution as art hung with mirror plates are difficult to remove without a screwdriver. To hang artwork with mirror plates, first, hold it in the desired position on the wall, then level, and mark with a pencil through the mirror plate holes. Next, drill the wall where marked and fill it with raw plugs. Finally, hold the artwork in place and screw through the mirror plates to hang the piece. We recommend this fixing method for works in sizes up to A0.
Sawtooth fixings are an ideal alternative to traditional D-ring fixtures. Perfect for lighter frames, Sawtooth fixings are fitted at the top of the artwork and hung with a single nail or screw head. Because of the design of this fixing, works with sawtooth fixings will lean slightly away from the wall. Therefore, we recommend this fixing method for works in sizes up to A1 in light frames.
Velcro is a fantastic option if you’re looking for a fixing style that won’t leave any holes in the wall. Ideal for lighter frames or mounted works, Velcro is affixed to the back of your artwork as well as the wall. Run the Velcro around the edges of the artwork, making sure to stay 1-2cm from the edge. For A2 and larger works, we recommended adding additional Velcro along the centre to keep it flat against the wall. Velcro is best suited on smooth painted walls. Make sure to test your walls before hanging your artwork, as Velcro may take paint with it when removed.
Split battens provide a hanging option that sits flush to the wall but is easier to remove than mirror plate fixings. Two split battens are attached to the back of the artwork, acting as spacers to hold the piece equidistance from the wall as well as to hang it. A third batten is screwed into the wall allowing the artwork to float a centimetre away from the wall. We recommend split batten fixings for mounted works with a minimum print size of A4.
Subframes work similarly to split battens but are made of metal for heavier, more significant works that require additional reinforcement. An extra loose batten will need to be levelled and attached to the wall for the subframe to hang on. Because of their larger size, works with subframe fixings will float approx 2 cm from the wall.