hang modern art

Follow these insider tips to learn about the perfect way to hang modern art.

A full e-guide on “The Art of Hanging Art” (with images) is available FREE by clicking here.


Whether hanging several paintings or just one piece of modern art, the proper placement is critical. The most important considerations for placement of artwork are the scale of the room and the art itself. Always follow the general rule of big art in big spaces, small art in small spaces. And always hang modern art with the centre of the picture at eye level which is between 155-170cm from the floor.


Large artworks look good when placed over pieces of furniture or a fireplace. But make sure that the art is NOT wider than the furniture. It should be about 2/3 to 3/4 of the width of the object over which it hangs.

Never leave more than 30cm of wall space between the base of your paintings and the object over which they hang. Otherwise the eye will focus on the wall rather than your art.


Try to group small pieces of modern art where possible; using professional art layouts as described in our article ‘Grouping Contemporary Art’. If you have a small painting and it is not possible to group it with others then either hang it on a small or narrow wallspace or anchor it visually by hanging it low and close to furniture so it doesn’t appear to be floating on the wall.


1. Decide how many picture hooks you need. 1 for paintings with a width less than 75cm otherwise 2 picture hooks.

2. Determine the size of hook to use. Check the weight of your paintings and buy the appropriate size hook.

3. Mark the horizontal position for the hook on the wall as follows: Cut out full-size replicas of your modern art from newspaper and position on your wall using low tack masking tape. Make a short horizontal pencil line across the top and then a short vertical line down at the centre so that you have made an upside down ‘T’ at the top of the newspaper. If the painting is over 75cm wide then you need to make 2 more marks at 1/3rd and 2/3rds across the width.

4. Mark the vertical position for the hook on the wall as follows: If the painting has a string then find the centre and measure the distance from the string, when taut, to the top of the painting. If the painting has a ‘saw tooth’ canvas hanger then measure the distance from the bottom edge of the hanger to the top of the painting. Now measure vertically down by this distance from the first upside down ‘T’ to make another, lower upside down ‘T’

5. Hammer in your hook by placing the bottom of the hook at the intersection point of the lowest of the 2 upside down ‘T’s.

6. You can now hang your art with confidence, knowing it is perfectly positioned.

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