London — Want to visit an artist’s studio? French people are good at this kind of thing. Try the left bank of Paris. There you can hob knob with the lively ghosts of Brancusi, Zadokine and Delacroix. All studios are within walking distance. However, there is one problem that all of these spaces share. They are all old artist studios and can be described as reconstructed spaces. For example, they are silent. Everything that might have happened is already happening. We see the fruits of their work and perhaps the tools they worked on, and even the chairs they collapsed, sighing in a pleasant tiredness at the end of the day (often behind the glass). ). They are regular, carefully selected spaces — tidy, odorless, and a little numb. This sensory issue is very important because the studio of a living artist is not an inactive background. Encouraging such an experience is a misrepresentation of what a studio idea really means.
This brings us to a new show at the Whitechapel Gallery in London’s East End. This is under pressure for the bright red prosperity of the financial district of the city. Century of artist studio An overview of what the studio idea meant to a large number of artists between 1920 and 2020. Examining studio ideas as the subject of art. And tours of different types of spaces that the word “studio” can embrace. There is also a “studio corner” that is a reconstruction of a part of the actual studio. Spend some time with the blast of Henry Moore’s photos. For example, put some of his work behind him, or have a much more decent clinical experience at Dieter Roth’s desk. In short, this exhibition is about working on the fluid and ever-changing ideas of today’s and recent studios. Paintings, sculptures, installations, movies, still alive.
This is the main point of the show’s discussion: the studio is not what it once was. It is not only the physical space in which the artist lives (though it does not have to be), but also the spiritual composition. It is a place of self-mirroring, self-ghosting, a space that portrays the everyday reality of fantasy that an artist is an artist. As I walk around, one sound dominates the gallery downstairs. It’s a foot tap-tap-tap sound. When you reach the movie that accompanies it, you’ll find a young Bruce Nauman dancing around the canvas. This is a work of art, this is my experience in Bruce Nauman’s studio and a filmed record of an active artist.
Of course, the studio can be clean, dirty, cluttered or harsh. Some artists who are masters of silence in the past deliberately avoid turning the studio into a place of luxury self-exhibition. Howard Hodgkin turned all the canvas against the wall as he prepared the visitor. Why show your heart to a nosy stranger? The studio was as cool and clinical as the operating rooms of other hospitals. Other artists actively enjoy and enthusiastically feed self-exposed dramas that always include mountain scenes of confusing images. It is the need to see the material that guides them towards the final consistency of what is made. Considerable time and space in one of the upstairs galleries (out of a total of seven galleries) is dedicated to Francis Bacon’s last studio, which was recreated after his death at the Dublin gallery. What a bomb scene! In a 1984 photo, Bruce Bernard shows him sitting in his studio.
Some of the show’s most interesting works reflect the experience of making art in an environment that includes something that every artist always has at his disposal. Otherwise, there will be nothing to show off to the waiting world. All of this finds itself dragged into the story. Jasper Johns shows off the bristles of a brush packed in a can of Savarin in a lithograph in the late 1970s. Their energy and prosperity are well-punished things that made them look like victorious weapons and allowed him to win almost impossible odds. Phyllida Barlow’s black paint stick (reproduced in bronze respect) gives a similar message, but with a big difference. They lie flat, as if made by all efforts to keep pace with the artist’s uncontrollable madness. Antony Gormley stands upright and ghosts in his shadow on the wall, even if not trapped. A recent painting by Lisa Bryce is an artist who is not behind her cruciform stretcher, as if she were trying to take on the burden of crucifixion by her art and for her art. Will be revealed. Looking at Louise Bourgeois’s “Cel IX” (1999), a marble block with human arms and multiple mirrors approaching is a potential threat to studio space in the context of this exhibition. It seems to be talking about cells. It’s like trapping nature. How to deprive all this relentless self-examination of meaningful art? How to fight your own devil? The studio is by no means an inert or neutral space. It shapes everything the artist is doing. It is a work of art in itself and can even be an act of self-portrait.
The main theme of the show is subdivided into many sub-themes. Studios are shelters, studios are sanctuaries, and so on. The design of the show is also useless. It has too many twists, bends, and doubles. After all, it’s all a little embarrassing, if not confusing. Why is this here and not there? That said, it’s more thorough and entertaining than any other show on this subject I’ve ever seen, staring at it.
Century of Artist’s Studio: 1920-2020 Continues until June 5th at Whitechapel Gallery (77-82 Whitechapel High Street, London, UK). The exhibition was developed by Iwona Blazwick OBE, director of the Whitechapel Gallery, and has a curator committee consisting of Dawn Ades, Inês Costa, Richard Dyer, Hammad Nasar, and Candy Stobbs.