Installation art and sculpture are the two art forms that people often get mixed up. Indeed, both share certain characteristics that make them different from any other art form, putting them in an entirely different category. However, installation art and sculptures should not be confused with each other because they are two distinct forms of artwork. The thing is, installations are usually much more space- and context-specific than sculptures. In addition, installation art commonly extends past visual perception and aims to create an immersive environment.
These are the distinctions that the audience and art curators make. But what about those who make sure artwork gets to the exhibition safely? Art handlers know the difference between installation art and sculpture on a more technical level. After all, they are the ones who need to figure out the logistics of transporting a sculpture or a piece of installation art to a gallery or museum. Let’s talk about some of the key differences between handling a sculpture and an art installation.
Installation Art and Sculpture from an Art Handler’s Point of View
No one can deny that sculptures can be very tricky to transport. After all, a three-dimensional item requires a bit more protection during transport than a flat one. For one, the fewer corners and bumps a work of art has, the easier it is to pack and ship. In addition, sculptures can be made from fragile materials such as glass or ceramic, which makes the task of their transportation even more challenging.
However, installation art is an entirely different story. While some techniques used to ship sculptures (for example, crating) can be applied to moving installation art, it is not always as easy. Installation artwork can be extremely complex in structure or made up of several pieces, meaning art handlers need to safely pack and ship not one but multiple items. In addition, installations can be massive and even have moving elements, which makes them more susceptible to damage. Art movers must consider all these nuances when transporting an art installation.
It is arguably more complicated to transport an installation than a sculpture. However, the best and safest way to ship both installation art and sculpture is by hiring seasoned professionals who know exactly how to deal with all kinds of artwork.