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Talking About Where Artists Do Their Dirty Work: Tonight


by Jerome Weeks 11 Dec 2008

Joe Figg, Jackson Pollock 1951 from Inside the Painter’s Studio The artist’s studio has traditionally been something of a liminal space — it is neither home nor office, but it can be both home and office. This may explain why, over the years, the studio in Western art has tended to borrow a whole range […]

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fig_pollock_may_06Joe Figg, Jackson Pollock 1951 from Inside the Painter’s Studio

The artist’s studio has traditionally been something of a liminal space — it is neither home nor office, but it can be both home and office.

This may explain why, over the years, the studio in Western art has tended to borrow a whole range of other functions and names. It starts with the medieval artistan’s workshop through the “school of Rembrandt” (or whomever), the academies where artists were trained by a master, then to the salons that Parisian artists often held in the 19th century to today’s cubicles, “media labs” and online collaborations.

Studios have been monk-like cells for contemplation, they’ve been creative meeting grounds and factories. You have the pristine floor of a dance studio — which, without the artists working in it, would give no clue to the nature of the choreography done there. And then you have Francis Bacon’s famous, filth-strewn Kensington quarters in London. These were essentially boxed up after his death in 1992 and moved to a Dublin gallery, where they were preserved and excavated like an archaeological site.

Tonight at 7 p.m. at the Dallas Museum of Art’s Center for Creative Communications, I’ll be hosting a panel discussion on the artist’s studio. It will feature sculptor Frances Bagley, comic book writer David Hopkins, architect Bang Dang and Francis Bacon expert and SMU professor Erik Stryker. Art&Seek has been presenting its own tour of studios on our Artist Spaces page — all of this in conjunction with the DMA’s and La Reunion‘s Make Space for Artists project.

See you tonight. It’s free, just one part of the DMA’s Thursday night programs.

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