After a brief hiatus, we’re back with the 198th installment of A View From the Easel, a series in which artists send in a photo and a description of their workspace. Want to take part? Please submit your studio! Just check out the submission guidelines.
BA Thomas, Raleigh, North Carolina
Here, oh here, is my unedited, un-Instagram-worthy, artist playpen during times of quarantine. Back in February of 2020, I got home from hanging 19 paintings and 19 cut-outs in a solo show, walked in my studio, and turned on the light. This is what I saw — I burst into laughter. Why? Well, I paint rooms and furniture, so I study how private, interior spaces often reflect psychological states and behavioral choices.
At the time, I didn’t know if anyone would physically see my work due to the social restrictions. I just knew that it was vital that I make it anyways. My stress was felt through the mess. Empty coffee cups, sketches, notes strewn on the floor, cookbooks used as weights to flatten my cut-outs, scraps of paper, dried paint, a fan hastening drying time to meet my deadline.
Looking back at this studio wasteland, I see a person who was terrified, and who put all of that emotion into making work — painting, drawing, mixing, cutting, gluing, peeling, scraping, and sanding. It was one of the only forms of control I had at the time. This space is still my playpen, but it’s cleaner. Things are better now.
Katherine Lampert, Chicago, Illinois
When schools closed, I had my preschooler with me 24/7. She always wanted to help with whatever I was doing, so I created projects for her that related to pattern and symmetry in nature, which are themes I explore in my work. We both enjoyed this exercise so much that we decided we wanted to share what we were doing, so we started inviting other children for masked messy art playdates in the studio. The pandemic has eroded many of the distinctions between my work and life in general. During lockdown, I eventually decided to try to embrace these blurred boundaries. This photo illustrates the evolution of my studio into a combined workplace and family-friendly space.
Nadia Janjua, Laurel, Maryland
My beloved basement studio — my mental and physical haven that I spent months and months cleaning, organizing, decorating. In coming back to painting after a few years of maternity leave, in the midst of a pandemic, I experienced a beautiful sort of confluence in those nocturnal hours of solitude down here — being by myself, only for myself, connecting, reflecting. All the various voices and awareness engaged to create harmony in my soul, on the canvas — something new, yet also familiar, like a feeling of home. The more immersed I become, the deeper I become attuned. This is the experience I have every time I come down to my studio — a disconnect from the toils of the outside world, only to become more connected to my inner world, the truly authentic space I inhabit. My studio is an embodiment of what I love most in this world, what I feel is my true purpose — to beautify the world with my hands.
Antoine Duchenet, Caen, France
My studio occupies a very modest part of my flat: it’s an enclave about 58.6 sq ft [5.4 sq meters] in the living room of my apartment. The floor is covered of cardboard tiles, connected together by a blue masking tape. Dotted with stains, traces and imprints, left by the successive projects, these slabs tend to constitute a kind of memory of my activity as a painter, in this space more definitive than provisional. This grey and blue grid on the ground, independently of its protective function, above all to define a separate and more sober workspace than that of the living room, in the way to remain there not to overrun the living environment. Which, in fact, turns out to be quite untenable, because the two converge and intermingle daily, due to a sometimes rather harsh balance. The practicality of this improvised studio is the result of a permanent effort of clear, tidy up and rearrange. This painful gymnastics is a continuous necessity which does not escape any phase of work. This is the only resolution to adopt to keep this small studio functional, alive and fruitful.
They Managed to Mess Up an Art Heist Movie
There must be a lesson in Vasilis Katsoupis’s film Inside about the vacuousness of the art market or the claustrophobia of exhibition spaces — I just don’t care.
Ten Painful Stories of the Dutch Colonial Slave Trade
The Rijksmuseum’s traveling show strives to remind us that we are all, in some way, a part of this chapter of human history, whose legacy continues today.
The Milton Resnick and Pat Passlof Foundation Presents The Feminine in Abstract Painting
Curated by Jennifer Samet and Andrea Belag, this group exhibition in NYC explores the feminine through aesthetics, as opposed to identity or gender.
Textured Histories at Shiprock Santa Fe
The Santa Fe gallery features Indigenous textiles and jewelry from the early 19th century to today.
Renaissance Portrait of “Ugly Duchess” Likely Depicts a Man
A curator at London’s National Gallery believes the subject of painter Quinten Massys’s painting “is most likely a he.”
NYU Steinhardt Opens 2023 MFA Thesis Exhibitions
Taking place at 80WSE Gallery in New York’s Greenwich Village, Part I is on view from late March through April while Part II opens in May.
Hokusai’s “Great Wave” Makes a Splash at Auction
An edition of the iconic woodblock print broke records when it sold for $2.8M this week.
MTV’s The Exhibit Is Back With an Inflatable Dolphin
Episode four, in which artists tackled themes of justice and injustice, was the most lifeless of the reality TV show so far.
Miniature Worlds: Joseph Cornell, Ray Johnson, Yayoi Kusama
Through small-scale works, this exhibition at the Katonah Museum of Art in New York examines Cornell’s prominent role in the lives and careers of Johnson and Kusama.
Florida Principal Ousted Over “Pornographic” Michelangelo Sculpture
Parents complained that the famous sculpture was shown to their sixth graders.
Tickets to Sold-Out Vermeer Show Are Going for Hundreds
The online resale market for the Rijksmuseum’s smash exhibition is booming, with tickets selling on eBay for over $2K.
The Wider World and Scrimshaw
On March 28, join the New Bedford Whaling Museum online and in-person for a symposium on global carving traditions from across the Pacific Rim.
Three Looted Antiquities at the Met Repatriated to Turkey
Nine other repatriated works were seized from Met Trustee Shelby White, whose collection was subject to a criminal investigation.
This week, the world’s lightest paint, Pakistan’s feminist movement, World Puppy Day, and were some of Vermeer’s paintings created by his daughter?