How will our experience of art change in a post-pandemic world?

In conversation with curators Charlotte Call and Julia Lucero

Over lockdown we heard some incredible stories of how our art industry insider friends were adapting to a digital art world. One international art advisor even told us stories of bidding on multi-million dollar paintings at a Chinese auction over Zoom!

Most informative was a conversation we had with Charlotte Call and Julia Lucero, curators at Nahmad Projects Mayfair, who gave us their perspective on the future of art in the digital age…


Exhibition Catalogue for Metafisca Da Giardino
Metafisca Da Giardino at Nahmad Projects

Our conversation began with Charlotte speculating on whether people are in fact beginning to appreciate the in-person experience of art even more. She hopes that this could even result in more daring exhibitions.

It remains to be seen what the impact of digitalisation will be for the art market. Charlotte believes that one of its most interesting impacts could be on mobility, which has come to the fore during the pandemic. She wonders whether the art world could in fact become more global and connected. Although this is perhaps a more of a long-term effect that will gather pace as more people become adapted to doing their jobs remotely. She envisages that whilst physical exhibitions will still be in specific locations, for artists and other people working in the art world, you could be anywhere, which could be very exciting and could bring a lot of new voices. Julia adds that there is also more of an eagerness for collaboration and partnerships. 

Exhibition Catalogue for Bliss
Bliss at Nahmad Projects

As a book-making atelier, the conversation naturally moves on to how digitalisation could affect the art book industry. Like paintings in a gallery, our books are all about tactility that can not be seen or felt in a PDF version.

Julia believes that printed publications are a natural fit for galleries as they are objects in which an exhibition can be immortalised and shared long after the paintings are removed from the gallery walls. Therefore in a time of mass digitalisation, experiencing art in person alongside an exquisitely printed art book could become ever more of a true luxury.

Charlotte adds that art books not only give permanence to a full collection, but also contribute towards a sense of prestige and heritage for the artist and their work.

Opulent end papers from Metafisca Da Giardino

We ultimately conclude that, despite the widespread gallery closures during the pandemic and art lovers being forced to move online, we can not imagine a digitised art world in which physical galleries are obsolete and art is experienced only through screens.

Odilon Redon once mused that ‘true art lies in a reality that is felt’. The internet is filled with snaps and replications of the Mona Lisa, and yet approximately 8 million people visit the Louvre every year to see it in person. Most art-lovers will tell you that nothing beats the feeling of walking into a gallery and standing in front of an artwork you have longed to see, to meet in person. 

Words by Hurtwood Press.