[Column] What is an art gallery? Easy guide for beginners

What is an art gallery?

I've started to get interested in art, but I don't really understand the difference between a gallery and a museum. If so, this article is perfect for you!


First of all, what is an art gallery?

Simply put, an art gallery is a place to "buy" works of art. It is run by professionals and its main purpose is to display and sell works.

+What kind of place is ART GALLERY?

Our gallery, located in Shibuya, Tokyo, exhibits a variety of works from emerging artists to well-known artists.


The role of art galleries

  • Displaying works of art : Displaying works while preserving their beauty.
  • Supporting and discovering artists : Identifying new talent and introducing them to the public.
  • Spreading art and culture : Spreading the joy of art through events.
  • International exchange : Connect with artists from all over the world and engage in cultural exchange through their works.

Which should you go to, a museum or an art gallery?

Art gallery or museum

Museums are for "seeing" and art galleries are for "buying." Choose depending on the purpose of your visit.

In recent years, there are many galleries that deal with "contemporary art"

This type of gallery, which features "contemporary art", has also had a huge impact on the art market and has been increasing in number in recent years.

Wait, what is "contemporary art"?

Contemporary art can be a little difficult to understand for beginners. Simply put, modern art is a general term for the art styles and methods that emerged after World War II. Contemporary art takes a variety of forms, including not only traditional "fine art" such as paintings and sculptures, but also videos, installations, performances, and digital media.

Why is contemporary art so diverse?

  1. Social and cultural influences : Contemporary art often emerges as a response to social, political, and cultural events and issues. For example, gender issues, racial discrimination, environmental issues, etc.
  2. Free expression : Contemporary art has an "anything goes" spirit. Artists freely express their own thoughts and feelings.
  3. Advances in technology : Digital technology and new materials and techniques are providing artists with more expressive options.

How to enjoy contemporary art

  1. Open to interpretation : There is often no "correct" interpretation of contemporary art. What you feel and think about the work is the "correct" interpretation of the work.
  2. Understand the artist's intentions : Knowing what the work is about and the artist's intentions and background can help you understand the work better.
  3. Have a conversation with yourself : One way is to enjoy having a conversation with yourself about what you feel and think when you look at the work.

There are various "entrances" to contemporary art, so it's a good idea to start exploring from the point that interests you. Even works that may seem bizarre at first glance often have a solid concept or meaning behind them. The process of exploring this is one of the joys of contemporary art.

Before modern art?

Before the "modern" art that we live in today, there are different names and ways of understanding it, depending on the changes in technology and values ​​of the times.

Major periods and schools of art (before modern art)
era Major features for example
prehistoric period Art was expressed in the form of murals, sculptures, and ceramics. Thematic nature, generally related to religion or mythology. Lascaux cave paintings
ancient civilization Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome etc. Art based on mythology, history, and religion. greek sculpture, egyptian pyramids
middle ages Art centered on Christianity, such as Gothic and Romanesque. notre dame cathedral
renaissance Development of naturalistic expressions, single point perspective, and human anatomy. Da Vinci's "Mona Lisa"
baroque A luxurious and emotional style. Features light and shadow effects. Caravaggio's works
Rococo Light and decorative style. Fragonard's "Swing"
neoclassicism A style that revives the ideals of ancient Greece and Rome. "The Sabine Women" by Jacques-Louis David
romanticism Characterized by personal feelings and praise of nature. Turner's "The Sailor's Farewell"
Impressionism Adopts a new painting method that emphasizes light and color. Monet's "Water Lilies"
post impressionism While influenced by Impressionism, he further developed it. Van Gogh's "Starry Night"
symbolism Art with themes of the inner world, dreams, and mythology. Gauguin's "Where Are You Going?"
modern times Until the beginning of the 20th century, various styles such as Fauvism, Cubism, Dadaism, and Surrealism appeared. Picasso's "Guernica"

After all, what are the characteristics of an art gallery?

There are various locations for art galleries, but we are conscious of the following.

  • Diverse works : We will exhibit works from various genres.
  • Expert Advice : Art professionals will explain the works and artists in detail, making it easy for even beginners to buy art.
  • Cultural experience : Gain new perspectives and emotions through art.


An art gallery is not just a place to sell things. It is a multifaceted place that connects art and people.


What did you think?

+ART is an online shopping site that sells contemporary art. We publish and sell works linked to special exhibitions at our own gallery, and also sell online-only products.

At +ART, we provide content from various angles so that as many people as possible can find the joy of purchasing and collecting art.

This is my first time purchasing art! I'm not sure if that's the case, so I'd like to consult with you! If so, please feel free to contact us!

(Plus Art Editorial Department)

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