Artists – in the studio! Famous creators in interiors, or Whose creative chaos is closer to you?
Viewers are always keen to look behind the scenes to see the magic of creating a masterpiece. Some see the romantic appeal in strict order, others — in creative chaos, yet others — in comfort and serenity. Arthive collected images of workshops and studios of 44 famous artists. Choose the interior that speaks to you and write about it in the comments. Tell us what your creative atmosphere is and we will tell who you are!
The most chaotic studios
"For art, these are not arsonists, but firemen who are dangerous," believed the "miserabilist" Bernard Buffet. His works were imbued with the atmosphere of gloom, doom and loneliness of a person in this world. And the atmosphere in his studio was reminiscent of the consequences of an explosion at the Museum of Natural History.
The British classic of contemporary art, Francis Bacon, considered many artists his teachers, from Rembrandt and Velázquez to Van Gogh and Picasso. He claimed that the thing he liked in his own works was the "visual shock". Approximately the same feeling arises when looking at his studio.
"I want to express my feelings rather than illustrate them," said the ideologist and leader of Abstract
You can hardly tell the exact day or year of the birth of Expressionism, which is usual for all powerful art movements. You cannot draw a border on the map and indicate the territory where Expressionism took its start and got stronger. Overall, it’s all roughly known. Except for one rock-solid spatiotemporal benchmark: Northern Europe on the eve of the First World War. Expressionism is an avant-garde art movement, a new tragic worldview, and a whole set of significant motifs, symbols, and myths. Moreover, it is a revolutionary reaction both to the shabby, lifeless traditional academic art, and the light, idyllic southern impressionistic “appearance” of the world. Read more, Jackson Pollock. Judging by the atmosphere reigning in the artist’s workshop, his main feeling was confusion.
"I capture the cries of the soul and the suffering of the fading flesh," said the "last modernist" Lucian Freud. We wonder what his famous grandfather-psychoanalyst would say if he looked at his grandson’s studio.
- Lucian Freud's studio
- Lucian Freud painting David Hockney
One of the main sculptors of modern Germany, Markus Lüpertz, modestly calls himself a genius. And claims that this fact allows him to enjoy any success of his colleagues. If you like this attitude towards oneself and others, then you’ll enjoy the atmosphere of the workshop of this "German dandy".
The neatest studios of the artists
"Whoever wants to know something about me — as an artist which alone is significant — they should look attentively at my pictures and there seek to recognize what I am and what I want," warned the founder of the Austrian Art Nouveau Gustav Klimt. And what would you say about him, looking at his studio?
The Catalan painter, sculptor and graphic artist believed: "The works must be conceived with fire in the soul but executed with clinical coolness." We’ll add: and in scrupulous neatness.
"Every time I paint a portrait I lose a friend," stated John Singer Sargent. At the same time, the artist was more interested in creating portraits of his relatives than the ones commissioned to him. Because of the portrait of Madame Pierre Gautreau (in the photo it’s in the center of the studio), the artist not only lost his friends, but also had to move from Paris to London.
Roy Lichtenstein, a representative of American Pop Art, once said: "I like to pretend that my art has nothing to do with me." Judging by the photo below, he was quite a sybarite.
Léger considered plot in painting a mistake. So you should not look for it, trying to connect objects floating in the air with abstract figures in a vibrant background. In his paintings, meaning appears not from a coherent narrative, but from a surrealistic collision of random things, from sharp colour contrasts. And, as we can see, from quite specific models.
The most spacious studios
"Sex and parties are the two things that you still have to actually be there for," Andy Warhol once said. The creator of the "commercial Pop Art" left something unsaid: the studio was also such a thing for him.
Unfortunately, we cannot quote Chris Ofili here. The distance doesn’t allow to reach him. There is enough space for the free grazing of a couple of elephants — so to speak, "manufacturers" of consumables for the notorious works of this original creator.
Fernando Botero claims that his figures are not fat, but "voluminous". "I don’t paint fat women. Nobody believes me but it is true. What I paint are volumes." Well, voluminous figures need a voluminous studio!
"It's all autobiographical, everything is, all of it. As a kid, I used to see optical illusions that were caused by the heat on the prairie in North Dakota. You could see things like three-story high horses walking by and all sorts of things like that," said James Rosenquist. We are not in North Dakota, so if you see something in the photo besides the artist among his paintings in the workshop, please let us know in the comments.
"It seems that Jean
Has got a plan —
His greed is pathogenic.
This abstract mono-charlatan
Considering it funny,
Will make a lot of money.
Believing that it’s easy,
Creates he "masterpieces"."
This derogatory poem about Jean Tinguely was published in the magazine Crocodile in 1959. The readers could also have a look at a couple of works by the Swiss metamechanic and his colleagues. And you can see the studio, where the artist created his famous fantastic machines and gigantic self-destructive constructions.
"The trouble with being poor is that it takes up all your time," said Willem de Kooning. The creator of the third most expensive work of art in history could dare make a remark like that.
David Lynch takes photographs, creates electronic music and oil paintings. He considers himself an artist and says that he took up cinema in order to revive the images he comes up with. What images appear when you look at his studio?
The most luxurious studios
We wonder if young Picasso, who started painting in A Coruña under the guidance of his father, could assume that he would later work in a luxurious workshop at the Villa La Californie in Cannes?
- Pablo Picasso and Brigitte Bardot at the artist's studio in Cannes. 1956
- Pablo Picasso and his model at the artist's studio in Cannes. 1957
In fairness, it should be noted that not all the studios of Pablo Picasso were just as luxirious as this one.
Ilya Repin began to build his estate "Penates" in 1899 in the village of Kuokkala near St. Petersburg. It was here where he created a lot of portraits, including those of Vera Fedorova, Lydia Yakovleva, Countess Vera Kankrina and, of course, Feodor Chaliapin (in the photo). Now the estate is a memorial art museum of Ilya Repin. Another place where Repin worked has been preserved — the estate of Kachanivka near Kyiv, Ukraine.
"Our family’s postal address was as follows: 'Moscow. Behind Serpukhovskaaia Zastava. Nizhnie Kotly village.' It was only because of this that a very widespread opinion could have emerged that the estate and the house were located directly in the village itself. This is not true," wrote the son of the battle painter Vasily Vereshchagin. In fact, their house was located one and a half kilometers from Nizhnie Kotly village. By the way, the painter did not buy a plot of land with an area of two and a half arpents (about one hectare), but only rented it for ninety-nine years. The estate hasn’t been preserved. However, some enthusiasts, armed with a description of the place, found a site where it could be located, and marked it on Yandex. Maps.
- Late 1890s
- Studio in Nizhnie Kotly village
"Personally, I derive inspiration from working at the workshop, from master classes, from exhibitions, from communication with people," said Tsereteli. So said so done: everything is under the same roof.
The most modest studios of the artists
"The main medicines are clean air, cold water, a saw and an ax," said Vasily Polenov. His studio opens the category "the simplest studios of famous artists."
Nikolai Rerikh was more than just a great artist. More precisely, he was more than an artist. Scenographer, traveler, social activist, writer, archeologist, philosopher — all this is about him. The themes of his work, as well as the roads of his life, seem to be infinitely varied.
That was not only the artist’s work, but also his studious that were varied. They had only one common feature — modestness. Photo on the left: Nikolai Rerikh in his studio. Moika, 83. Petersburg, 1910s.
The brightest studios
"The main association that his work evokes among connoisseurs is the […] atmosphere of carelessness and, at the same time, helplessness and vulnerability of a person in this deceptive and deliberately artificial world, — that’s what David Hockney’s works are imbued with," - all clear and vivid images characteristic of his work, were born in brightly lit studios.
Paintings by Edvard Munch — unlike the ones created by Hockney — are dark and depressive. However, their creation also required a lot of external light.
The most traditional studios
"No matter what nonsense modern art writers may say about me and my "aestheticism", my sympathies have attracted and still attract me to the simplest and most faithful images of reality," claimed Alexandre Benois. And yet he was an aesthete — both in his creative work and his daily life.
The life of a fragile but strong artist from the very beginning was filled with suffering, but Frida Kahlo managed to turn that pain into a source of inspiration.
"I suffered two grave accidents in my life, one in which a streetcar knocked me down… The other accident is Diego," said Frida Kahlo about her husband. Rivera was teased, being described as a "prince-toad" - he was huge and unattractive, but at the same time he was popular with women. "If I ever loved a woman, the more I loved her, the more I wanted to hurt her," he admitted.
"I'm a son of workers, and in a drawing room, for want of something to do, I often feel like dirtying the shining floors," said Marc Chagall. Of course, he did not mean elegant art and his naively inspired spirit that had conquered the world! Speaking of shining floors: now two huge frescoes by Chagall in the foyer of the Metropolitan Opera serve as guarantor of the credit support of the Bank of America.
All that Salvador Dalí was engaged in was releasing his subconscious to wander around the canvas. It’s no wonder that old Freud admired his works. But the interiors in which the artist created his "cozy madness" were quite traditional.
"Fate painted your life in cold, one might even say, dark tones. But your paintings, on the contrary, are filled to the brim with sun and joy …", — Maxim Gorky said to Boris Kustodiev. The artist responded: "This is because I chose the colours for my paintings myself."
In 1923, Nicolai Fechin left Russia and moved to the United States. He settled in Taos (New Mexico), and now the Taos Art Museum is housed in his home. Here we present the artist in his studio at the Kazan Art School (1909).
According to Klee, depicting the surrounding reality as it is is the most boring thing. Therefore, before starting his work, the artist carefully selected colours and thought through the composition, based on his personal preferences and fantasies. Arthive has repeatedly acquainted readers with Paul Klee’s works, and now you can have a look at the interior of his studio.
Konstantin Korovin’s art is attributed to realism, although it was his Portrait of the Chorus Girl that was recognized as one of the first works in the style of Impressionism. Some of his contemporaries told him that his sketches had to look "finished". But the artist replied: "I tried to, but everything becomes still that way." In the photo — the artist with the maitre: we’ve got Chaliapin here for the second time!
"Movements of living elements are elusive for the brush: to paint lightning, a gust of wind, a splash of the wave is unthinkable from nature. I compose the subject of a painting in my memory, just as a poet does verse; having made a sketch on a piece of paper, I set to work, and do not leave the canvas, until I have expressed myself upon it with my brush," Aivazovsky painted nature and sea battles in the peaceful atmosphere of his studio.
The coziest studios of the artists
A small house in the middle of a wonderful garden — Arthive has already shown what Claude Monet’s villa looked like from the outside. Now you can sneak a peek inside of it.
American Georgia O’Keeffe once said: "I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way." Her studio can be described with the help of light alone.
All his life, Paul Cézanne wanted to become famous and got into a series of endless conflicts with the whole world. First, with his father, a banker, who considered him a loser. Then with his wife, who did not share his views, and even with his best friend, who eventually ceased to understand him. That eternal conflict haunted the artist’s entire life. And only the easel understood his unique manner and style. Cézanne's studio was his real home.
Expensive carpets, the spicy scent of exotic fruits, carelessly scattered bright cushions… no, this is just the entourage of Henri Matisse’s paintings. His studios looked completely different.
"Without music, I probably would not have created neither the Battlefield, nor any of my other paintings, especially Alyonushka and the Bogatyrs. All of them were conceived and painted in the sensation of music," admitted Viktor Vasnetsov. What music do you think was played in this interior?
The most beautiful studios
The main thing in Pyotr Konchalovsky’s life was his family, the main thing in his work was colour. "There is no painting without colour," said the representative of the "Russian Cezanneism". And presto: everything important is on the same canvas Family Portrait. In the artist’s studio.
"Life is so difficult that it is impossible for a person to endure it without beauty," said Ukrainian artist Tetiana Yablonska. She saw beauty even in the modest setting of her studio.
"Why not Russia? I cannot imagine myself there with all my sculptures, studios, paintings, collections, library and belongings. It takes a lot of security to vigilantly protect everything!" said Mikhail Shemyakin about his decision to move to Europe. One can understand the atmosphere he talked about by looking at Mikhail Romadin’s painting and the photo published by Mikhail Shemyakin Foundation.
- Mikhail Romadin's watercolour
- Photo from Mikhail Shemyakin Foundation
Thus, 44 famous artists, 44 studios, 44 pieces of life. Which of them speaks to you? Share it with us! And thanks for viewing this publication, looking inside the artists' workshops.
Artists mentioned in the article