How Do I Look Like I Know What I’m Doing in an Art Gallery?

In each room, begin with the wall text. You want more clues, not fewer. (That said, galleries aren’t doing themselves any favours with the room-sized essay written in academic English. Just remember: incomprehension is not your failure. The best curators strive to make artwork accessible to everyone.) Spend as much or as little time with each piece as you like. Ask yourself: how was it made, what was happening in the world when it was made, what does it remind me of, and what does it tell me about the present moment? Know that you won’t like everything, and that’s perfectly okay. For a gentler experience, rent the audio guide or join a group tour — more of a lazy river ride through art history.