The Artist's Studio


Many artists have depicted art studios, transforming the physical space of artmaking into a subject worthy of art. The Baroque master Diego Velázquez and the French Realist Gustave Courbet both dedicated large canvases to this theme, in Las Meninas (1656) and The Artist’s Studio (1854-1855) respectively, elevating the role of the artist through their grand compositions. In the 20th century, painters like Henri Matisse and Roy Lichtenstein depicted studios entirely devoid of people, while a new generation of photographers provided a more intimate look into the working practices of artists. For example, Hans Namuth captured the action of Jackson Pollock’s painting; Philippe Halsman staged Salvador Dalí in a gravity-defying workspace; and Billy Name provided inside access to Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory. These photographers, among many others, have helped to shape the public perception of artists, proving that how and where an artwork is made can be just as fascinating as the final product.