“Workshop”, “studio” is “space where a painter, sculptor or a writer works”. Sounds easy – right?
However, we can differentiate many types of functions of artistic workshops:
– master studio, academic studio, open studio
This type of studio has a long tradition in the pedagogical tradition of the Academies of Fine Arts from all over the world. Students would gather around the master-teacher, learning under his guidance. As time passed, they would create whole artistic schools, e.g. the Sopot School, the Polish School of Posters or artistic groups (resulting from the similarity of interests, subject matters and creative techniques, etc.).
– an art studio as an exhibition, a show
Occasionally, the studio formula becomes the inspiration for the exhibition form. The artists work in the exhibition space, in the presence of the audience, and the exhibition grows with new works, created in the heat of the moment.
Portraits or self-portraits of artists in their studios were also often created. Edouard Manet in 1868 painted a portrait of Emil Zola. The environment in which the painter placed the writer is full of attributes drawing attention to his profession or passions. Including a reproduction of Olympia, a work by this very painter, which Zola defended with his pen. To this day, the space intrigues other artists: cycles of works about ateliers have been created by, among others, Zuzanna Janin or Daniel Rumiancew.
– historic artist’s studio
The studios of prominent deceased artists are sometimes turned into quasi-museums. We can visit them, experience the atmosphere of the space where they created. We can also admire their works; sometimes unfinished and ready works of art – gifts for their friends. We can also find unique collections accumulated throughout the years in private space – valuable documents of widely understood artistic and social activity, collections of bizarre objects being inspirations for works created, or private ego-documents. An example here is the reconstruction of Francis Bacon’s studio (Dublin City Gallery, The Hugh Lane) – if anyone accuses you of being messy…Well Bacon was a genius in this area too!
– workshop, artist’s studio
As we can see, studios are different. In the old days they were haunted by patrons/principals, sometimes very prominent (queens, popes, etc.). Even such people were flattered by the possibility of participating in the creative acts. Therefore, sometimes special performances took place in the studios: theatres of creation (which were referred to, for example, by Franciszek Starowieyski (who made 20-something performances of the “Theatre of Drawing” in e.g. Warsaw, Venice, Paris, Seville, Chicago as well as cyclical TV programme). The traces of this custom, still to this day, are the “studio visits”- when collectors, critics, curators visit studios in order to get to know the artist of their interest surrounded by their works. In the 20th century, however, the studio became a strictly private place where the artist could seclude themselves, concentrate and create. And where they are reluctant to let strangers in!
Hence, the series of visits to the studios of Romani artists is an honour and a pleasure for Fundacja Dom Kultury. We can show you how and where the artists work and how (and if) genius loci affects their work.