How are art galleries structured?

How are art galleries structured?

The Most Recognized Art Gallery

Galleries not only display art but promote their artists and try to create a brand with their name and aesthetic style.

Many galleries were born from the passion of a collector. In this sense, one of the most famous of the Renaissance was the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, which today houses the art collection of the Medici family.

The taste for collecting art and the commissions of the patrons led to what is today the art market, which, in general terms, puts the artist in contact with the purchasing public, whether private or institutional.

Over the years, art has been modifying the relationships between the creative artist and the spectators, to the point that today, it is no longer a simple creative exercise, but can now be considered a profession capable of generating an economic exchange for works.

The galleries have been the spaces destined to house works of plastic and visual artists, to exhibit them and bring them closer to art consuming public. In the following video, we explain their function and the different types of galleries, so that you can learn to differentiate them.

How are art galleries structured?

Choose The Style That You Most Identify With.

Learn about different styles, techniques, artistic movements, and the new proposals of emerging artists. Once you have had an overview, you can rule out what you do and what you don’t like. Observe and understand the concepts of each artist and what they want to represent with their works. Remember that the work you choose is because you identified yourself and created a certain connection or emotion.


Consider the size of the space where you will place the work if you will have it at home or in your office since there are some works with which you will have to take into account certain recommendations such as light and temperature so that over time they are not damaged.

Contemporary Art Gallery

The name given to this type of gallery may show past authors and classic works. Many of these galleries are located in public spaces or private entities.

Generally, some of these visits are free. However, if there are classical works there is the possibility of having to pay to enter.

Within these spaces are permanent rooms, with works acquired by their owners. It is also normal to see a temporary space, dedicated to regular exhibitions, with works that may have been loaned.

In the same way, there are one-person exhibitions or, where appropriate, by different authors. It all depends on the purpose sought by the owners or directors of the same.

Commercial Art Gallery

These types of art galleries can be found at different points. Sometimes in fixed exhibition halls or, other times, in passing exhibitions. As its name suggests, there is a commercial objective. The sale of works of art is sought, either through a fixed or competitive price.

This space provides the juncture for anyone to get different works. This, in turn, allows a particular author to gain prestige, thus increasing the price of his future works.

Importance of Art Galleries

Importance of Art Galleries

It is difficult to define what makes art galleries the best in the world. Beyond commercial success, a large gallery is challenged to present the things that have been done in the past, either through the reinvention of what is done within the gallery walls or what is created outside. them, equally supporting the new, young, or political work and accepting the expansion of existing and new media.

Many of the people behind these galleries started out with the optimism that accompanies new chapters in the art world. Likewise, art is experiencing an incredible commercial boom right now, and many of the galleries on this list were founded in the ’80s and’ 90s. This means that they are not only relatively young and have also sought to adapt to this. the contemporary climate is always fertile. There is also room for more galleries to start today and discover the new generation of artists who will change culture forever.

Importance of Art Galleries

How To Sell Paintings And Works Of Art In Galleries?

If you are interested in selling works of art or paintings in popular galleries, you should follow some minimum requirements before submitting your project. You can find all this in our detailed article where we not only talk about your requirements but also aspects that must be taken into account before holding an exhibition.

Another important point that we will find is some tips for making contacts that will help us not only in our reputation as an artist but also as an ally in our cultural environment. Here you can see our guide on how to sell paintings and works of art in galleries.

There are always reasons why some artists and some types of the art end up in some art galleries, institutions, museums, and other established art spaces. Furthermore, art careers advance step by step, deliberately, gradually, and over long periods of time. Sure, an occasional art star suddenly appears out of nowhere, but this is far more the exception than the rule. Even these occasional anomalies are orderly and predictable once the surprise wears off.

People liked to go to a gallery, to meet an artist in person and experience a work of art up close. Now, with almost every image an artist makes available online, more people can view the work online and decide if it is interesting enough to get out of their house and visit the gallery, or attend the opening reception of the artist you like, or stay home and watch another night of reality TV. However, there is also the other side, the artist shows the work to a critical mass of Internet marketing that is beneficial to his career. Or perhaps it is the collector who would like to see work online first to get an idea of what they would like to purchase. 

Alternative art gallery models

Alternative art gallery models

New Exhibition Proposals

They are spaces in which the objective is to constantly reinvent themselves, experiment with the way of exhibiting without having a large budget and without the commercial pressure of a gallery.

The Juan Gallery, in Madrid, is the first space in Spain exclusively dedicated to a living art. They do not deny object art but they do seek that the work of artists begins and ends with the bodies and the relationships that they establish. 

Alternative art gallery models

The Gallery Is Divided Into Four Types Of Activities: 

Training, with an educational program to promote knowledge of living art; Carta Blanca, based on a constant schedule with at least one weekly opening; Barrio, a weekly radio program on Onda Verde (Lavapiés local radio); and Cycles and festivals organized every four to attract a new audience and meet new artists. Half house, in Barcelona,   is a fusion of home and space for artistic exchange and communication. They actively participate in the artistic reality of the city, welcoming projects and inviting the artistic community to feel the space as their own, prioritizing direct work with artists, support for production, and critical development of the programming.

Domestic Spaces

The house as an exhibition space to turn intimate and personal into something public and social is the objective of different spaces that operate from every day, the closest to us. The guest room is a project that started in 2015 and is located in a house in the Lavapiés neighborhood of Madrid. There, everything that happens around contemporary art is of interest and not art itself.

Artist-Managed Spaces

These are the artists’ own workspaces, their studios, and workshops, which are now open to different audiences and with different activities to create synergies, save resources and make the cultural fabric of cities win. Malafama Estudios, for example, is the workspace of eight artists and one of the hottest meeting points in the capital. In this space, experiences are shared between the different cultural agents with the aim of expanding the sense of creation, exhibition, and promotion of the vibrant art scene that develops today from Madrid.

Sharing Spaces

Having a permanent exhibition and production space is almost impossible today. For this reason, and although it is still not very common, initiatives are beginning to emerge in which institutions share their space with galleries or artists so that they can show their work temporarily. This is the case of Casa de Indias, in Puerto de Santa María, a small town on the Cadiz coast. 

Training Centers And Shops

In many cases, one of the options to maintain an open exhibition space is to have a store at affordable prices. In Madrid’s art galleries, La Causa stands out as an art gallery that promotes and encourages emerging national and international artistic creation and is divided into two areas: modular exhibition space and a graphic work store. Also from Swinton Gallery, which was born in 2014 with the aim of showing the talent of national and international artists with a base of influence on urban art and more independent art and which also has a specialized library on the upper floor.

Types Of Galleries

Types Of Galleries

The current model of art galleries has not changed in almost a century and a half. Today, as yesterday, the gallery owner does something as fundamental as promoting and selling the work of his artists, helping them in the creation and production of their works, and influencing their international recognition. But in a world like the current one, so changing and fast, the debate arises with increasing force about whether this model is still the most appropriate. For this reason, new working methods and alternatives are appearing that seek to redefine the role of the gallery in the 21st century.

One of the main problems facing a gallery today is the enormous expenses it has to face: rent, electricity, water, telephone, salaries, assemblies, transportation, warehouses, production or insurance are just some of the annual expenses it generates. In addition, the behavior of the public has changed, and fewer and fewer people are attending the galleries. Why does this happen, if the entrance is free and the one to the museums, for example, is not? Even today, and despite the efforts made by many galleries to open up and approach new audiences, these spaces are still perceived as elitist and closed centers for a public that may be able to buy a work of art but that does not belong to the world of art. 

Types Of Galleries

It also happens that collectors, those who do belong to the art world, have become accustomed to making their purchases at fairs, which is a few days concentrating an abundant supply of gallery proposals. But for medium-sized galleries participating in the most important fairs is not so easy because the prices are tremendously high and the fair model basically consists of attracting attention among hundreds of proposals, which is difficult when you have another gallery next to you that can allow a 100 square meter booth full of super productions by the best-known artists.

Types Of Galleries

There are many types of galleries and it is difficult to make a general classification in which they can be grouped by their activity or location.

Depending On Your Business Model, They Can Be:

  • For representing exclusively contemporary artists
  • OS (primary market).
  • For working with well-known firms and with resale work (secondary market)
  • By alternating both markets (primary and secondary).
  • For working with emerging artists.

They Can Also Be Classified By The Field In Which They Carry Out Their Work:

Local Galleries: 

They carry out a work to promote emerging artists or artists of medium history. They promote the closest collecting. Its mediation is important because it is the first link where the emerging artist and the collector converge in their beginnings.

National Galleries: 

They are first-line rooms in the country and with an international projection. They work with established artists, important collectors and collaborate closely with museums, foundations, and similar institutions.

International Galleries: 

These are highly prestigious galleries that are consolidated worldwide. With a portfolio of elite collectors and with access to the main museums. Their prestige is usually ahead of the artists they represent. His work is developed both in the living artists market and with first-rate works from the secondary market. His level of business is high, speculative with artists, and aggressive with collectors.

Commercial Galleries: 

Newly created galleries whose assets are emerging artists and with a young clientele.

Galleries For Rent:

That sells decorative and more handmade than artistic work. They usually charge rent for exhibiting and do not carry out any representation or promotion of the artist.

Itinerant Galleries: 

These are those that do not have their own premises and organize exhibitions in specific locations, such as cultural centers, foundations, hotel establishments, etc. Each gallery works in a specific market segment and in which they specialize based on their clientele.

Art Galleries As A Business

Art galleries as a business

The art gallery serves a cultural function, but it must be run like a business.

The gallery owner has to know how to correctly combine both concepts (culture and business) to make the company viable.

A large majority of professionals start their activity from a more artistic than commercial perspective and this means that many initiatives fail in the first years of activity.

The relationship with the artist, as the gallery’s sustenance, is essential and will mark its exhibition hallmark, because for the gallery owner his passion for art and direct contact with the work of creators is one of the reasons that professionally inspires his vocation.

The exhibitions are free and open access, thereby providing a relevant cultural activity from which the entire society benefits.

With regard to the art market, the personality of the gallery owner and his professionalism is a guarantee of the work on display and the artists it represents.

At the head of leading galleries is usually a professional with entrepreneurial capacity, with the intuition to bet on new values and excellent public relations.

Necessary qualities so that both the artists it represents and the collectors that make up its client portfolio trust in its work.

Being a gallery owner is a vocation rather than a profession, because only with enthusiasm and a capacity for risk can it be assumed. There is no specific regulated training, although in recent years specialized courses and masters have been proliferating.

How To Make A Virtual Art Gallery?

From my point of view, a virtual art gallery is a legitimate means of promotion for emerging art talents who want to expose their works to the world for subsequent commercialization. Taking into account new technologies and new artistic movements such as pixel art and urban-art, which are recent disciplines that originated as another alternative to modern art. We may think that all artistic expressions are not yet exploited and that new movements may emerge that generate a cultural contribution to our society.

Art is a means through which people can create their own parallel reality, it is a therapy that tests creativity, aesthetics, beauty and that is not capable of being produced only with a ‘machine’ since it would lose the human value that the artist provides to his works.

I consider it important that the government and companies encourage young people to interact with art and create content as an alternative and a means of escape from the problems that afflict modern societies. It is important to note that not everything is art, although many creations have artistic influences, and that each person who considers himself an artist, to be recognized as such, must go through a stage of exploration, investigation, and interpretation of the context in which he is located. to later translate his work.

Anyone can be an artist, it is not necessary to study at university, although it might be easier for you to become one; But the most important thing when creating a work is to feel it, invest time, effort and dedication and in this way, it will give it a value that no collector or museum could afford, the value of one’s own creation.

Purpose Of Art Gallery

Purpose Of Art Gallery

The name of the art gallery is applied to those establishments whose main objective is the public arrangement and exhibition of different works of art, usually visual arts such as painting or sculpture. Art galleries are establishments in most cases private, so one cannot enter them freely as with museums. In addition, the art galleries are in charge of exhibiting the works with which it has the ultimate aim of selling them, unlike what happens with museums that exhibit them publicly. Art galleries can be very varied, with some very large with huge collections and others very small dedicated to a few artists.

In art galleries, one can find endless possibilities as each gallery specializes in a particular type of art: classic, modern, avant-garde, etc. Usually, the prices of the works of art that are owned are very high and that is why art galleries are always attended by people with money who are dedicated to the selection of works of art. Many times, galleries sell their works to private collections, but other times they can also sell them to museums, making these works part of their permanent and non-itinerant collection.

The gallery owner is a professional who has academic training in humanistic sciences related to art and cultural management. He usually receives proposals from artists which is a great motivation, from which promises will emerge from new figures whom he will help to consecrate.

Purpose Of Art Gallery

Main Functions Of The Gallery Owner

  • Search for works among collectors and museums
  • Management of the transport logistics of the works
  • You agree with the client’s transport conditions, safety, thermal insulation system anti-humidity, and temperature fire detection or claims.
  • Check the insurance contract before transporting them
  • Carry out import and export procedures, customs formalities, and transfer requirements for cultural property according to current legislation.
  • Monitoring of the works and constant information to the client
  • It takes care of the organization and filing of the documentation after the service
  • Coordinate the assembly of the exhibition with the designer
  • Manages the drafting and editing of the catalog for the exhibition

Galleries have their detractors, but they are essential pieces to regulate the art market and for the artist to channel the dissemination of his work through them.

Every day more, you have the means and tools to directly manage all the stages through which your work has to pass until it reaches the final audience, but it is the gallery that guarantees the credibility of your real price in a complex market and with a wide and varied offer.

The art gallery is the physical space that summons and brings together the agents involved in the various sections through which artistic production has to pass until it is immersed in the supply and demand of collecting.

The art critic goes to the gallery, who is the one who has to translate the work on display at an aesthetic and conceptual level. For the collector, the figure of the gallery owner is an endorsement because he receives information, investor orientation, and purchase guarantee.