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Artist Studio

Gustave Courbet
L’Atelier du Peintre (The Painter’s Studio), 1855
Oil on canvas
361 x 598 cm (142.1 x 235 in.)
Collection of Musée d’Orsay, Paris

An artist's studio can be simply defined as the workroom of an artist, although activities that take place are not limited to simple manual labor of creating artworks. Artists do many things in their studio, such as taking naps, reading books, drinking wine, watering plants, and enjoying sunshine. It is also the place where artists find inspiration for their practice. As studios are where artists handle the raw materials and get initial inspirations, curators and gallerists always enjoy visiting artists in their studios, not to mention it is where they can view yet-to-be-released artworks. In short, it is where the magic happens.

It is not surprising that Italy was where the tradition of the artist's studio became fundamental for the art sector, as the word 'studio' derives from the old Italian word studio, which has the same meaning as the modern English word. During the 14th and 15th centuries, only a few renowned artists had mastered certain techniques, so art students sought to become apprentices in their workshops to learn those particular techniques. Prior to modern times, the term 'art studio' referred to a place where an artist worked and learned techniques. Masters such as Michelangelo and Leonardo da Vinci had studios where they collaborated with apprentices and assistants to create their artworks. The Sistine Chapel ceiling in Rome by Michelangelo and The Last Supper (completed in 1498) by Leonardo da Vinci were created in collaboration with many apprentices.

Ugo Mulas
Andy Warhol, Gerard Malanga and Philip Fagan at the Factory, New York , 1964
Photography
Size unspecified
© The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, Inc. / ADAGP, Paris
Photo: © Ugo Mulas Heirs, courtesy Archivio Ugo Mulas, Milano – Galleria Lia Rumma, Milano/Napoli

Throughout modern and contemporary art history, the term 'studio' has come to refer to a space where artists work on their art practice and showcase their work style, lifestyle, personality, and tastes. For instance, American abstract expressionist painters Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner transformed a barn next to their 19th-century farmer's house into their atelier, surrounded by the bucolic environment of East Hampton's countryside in New York, to enjoy a comfortable and cozy atmosphere while working. Another example of iconic art studios is Andy Warhol's The Factory, which not only served as a space for creating art but also for socializing, parties, and other happenings. The Factory was a significant cultural and artistic space that represented the spirit of experimentation and innovation of the 1960s and 1970s. In more recent times, the studios of blue-chip artists such as Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst have followed the model of The Factory, operating as a hub to connect art professionals and a home of mass production.

Often, young artists' studios are located near art schools or in areas of the city with lower rental fees, especially in major art cities such as New York, London, and Paris, where living costs are relatively high. These neighborhoods become known for their artistic identity, attracting visitors from the field as well as art lovers and enthusiasts eager to find young talents. Young artists often face difficulties in finding affordable studio space, so they may share space with their fellow art school alumni or other artists. Sharing ideas and socializing with other artists can be an additional benefit of sharing a studio. Sometimes, artists use studio spaces provided by museums and institutions as 'artists in residency' or provided by galleries after joining as their representative artists, freeing them from the financial burden.

Related categories

Painting

Sculpture

Scenes of Everyday Life

Collaboration

Media Study

Introspection / Meditation

Space/Spatiality

Found Objects

Surrounding Environment

Young/Emerging Artists

Communion with Space

Artists of All Time

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