Welcome to the 204th installment of A View From the Easel, a series in which artists reflect on their workspace. In this edition, we peek into studios in Harlem, Tennessee, Philadelphia, and Brooklyn — where artists are witnessing their neighborhoods change, making use of tight spaces, collecting essential tools, and working alongside family members.
Want to take part? Check out our submission guidelines and share a bit about your studio with us!
Ann Jackson, Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee
I am a mixed media artist with a background in graphic design. My studio space, located in my basement, is used for my design business in one corner, and my art table in another corner. In yet another corner my 24-year-old nonbinary child works on their photography and video art. The rest of the space includes my completed paintings, art prints and photographs from artists who inspire me, bookshelves full of art books purchased at resale stores, and a sofa for thinking and relaxing.
We are very fortunate to have a gorgeous lake view with lots of wildlife running around. I photograph nature using my phone, and base my abstract paintings off those nature scenes. I am grateful to live 30 minutes away from Chattanooga, a city that simultaneously has abundant opportunities to be in nature, and well as substantial investments in the arts.
Peter Cole, Greenpoint, Brooklyn
My studio in Greenpoint, Brooklyn is small but only a brief walk from my apartment, which means I visit it often and easily. It’s less than 200 square feet, but has both sink and window.
I make sculptures with mostly found and scavenged material, often forming collections of 108 objects. Pictured is a stack of 108 found hats, 108 graduated round stones and a steel Möbius strip with 108 toy ambulances driving forever. I keep my materials handy in numerous vintage LL Bean bags, which are easily accessible and visually interesting as a collection itself. There’s a lot of preparation and modification of objects so I’ve a bandsaw, drill press and stone-cutting saw, as well as a riveter, grommet tools and a welder on hand. My current project at lower right is a prayer necklace with its requisite 108 beads, made from the heads of toys.
Larry Bentley, Harlem, New York
What you see in this photo is an attempt to live and work harmoniously in a small New York City apartment, trying to make use of every square inch possible.
On my easel, which I found at a vintage consignment store, is my latest painting. Hanging on the wall is my first attempt at painting on an unstretched canvas, both of which are part of a new series I’m working on.
You may be able to determine from the picture, noticing the Danish modern table, minimalist streamlined sofa and the bubble cigar pendant, that I have an affinity for mid-century modern, of which I highly subscribe to and it’s reflective in my artistic style.
As an incessant orderly neat freak, it’s been challenging trying to maintain order and space for art supplies, boxes, bags, etc. … and everyday living, but it’s a challenge I welcome each morning when I awake to paint.
Jennifer Baker, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
My studio is in the Northern Liberties neighborhood of Philadelphia. I have been here since I graduated from PAFA in 1978. It is the best studio I could imagine, and so I have stayed. As the neighborhood has changed over 40 years, not always for the better, it has become my subject. I have documented the transition from a neighborhood of small factories and rowhouses, passing through a convulsive era of fires, demolition, and emptiness, to a different neighborhood emblematic of unrestrained building and development. As my 360-degree views of the city and the Delaware River have been blocked by taller and taller buildings, I found that the only way to ameliorate my sadness about this was to document the process. My images have evolved from demolition, decay, and fires to construction sites and walls eating up my visible world. In the photo, there is a large sculpture in front of the arched window, and another in the foreground. I began as a sculptor, started painting my sculptures, and eventually evolved into making paintings and monoprints. The large (18 feet) painting on the wall is my current project, a family portrait that grew from my pandemic experience of loss of family members and family home.
Goya’s Coded Love Letter to the Duchess of Alba
Goya neatly clothes himself in his own world of fantasy: He will have her in the end. In life, where the climate is much chillier, it was, alas, to be otherwise.
Witches Take Over Westchester
Bowen’s multimedia art is an alchemical mix of the sensuous and arcane, and it is more than a little witchy.
The Public Theater Explores the Hurricane Katrina Diaspora in shadow/land
Written by Erika Dickerson-Despenza and directed by Candis C. Jones, this lyrical meditation on legacy, erotic fugitivity, and self-determination is on view in NYC.
14 Art Books and Catalogues We’re Reading This Month
Anthologies and catalogues on feminist art in Latin America, Native mound building, Armenian photography, and more are on our reading list.
Saudi Arabia Announces $1M “Freedom of Expression” Art Award
Kanye West, Roman Polanski, and Carl Andre are among the shortlisted artists.
The Rubin Museum Presents Death Is Not the End
Tibetan Buddhist and Christian works of art made across 12 centuries explore death, the afterlife, and the desire to continue to exist. On view in NYC.
British Museum Offers Greece “Exclusive NFT” of the Parthenon Marbles
“With the power of blockchain technology, there will be no question who the real owner is,” said a British Museum spokesperson.
MoMA to Co-Curate Exhibition With NYPD
Arrest Me, Daddy hopes to cast a more positive light on the work of law enforcement officers.
When I Am Empty Please Dispose of Me Properly
Ayanna Dozier, Ilana Harris-Babou, Meena Hasan, Lucia Hierro, Catherine Opie, Chuck Ramirez, and Pacifico Silano explore the myths of the American Dream at Brooklyn’s BRIC House.
Repatriation-Inspired Fragrance Line Hopes to Heal Collector Wounds
The exotic scents of the Rapatriement line offer solace and joy to dismayed collectors who were forced to return looted artifacts.
Mediocre Painting Thought AI-Generated Revealed as Work of Real Artist
Visitors who spoke to Hyperallergic said they were “horrified” to learn that a human could come up with such a banal and poorly executed artwork.
Pratt’s 2023 Fine Arts MFA Thesis Exhibition Is On View in Brooklyn
The two-part exhibition features the work of 41 graduating artists across disciplines, including painting, sculpture, printmaking, and integrated practices.
Prince Harry to Star in New Van Gogh Biopic
The estranged prince said he took the role to raise awareness of mental health issues.
Newly Discovered Trove of Vermeer Works Reveals He Painted Mainly Dogs
A cache of 243 paintings found in an English castle, all depicting canine subjects, suggests Vermeer’s true aspiration was to become a dog portraitist.