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Workspaces of the Talented & Famous

Posted on 09 September 2015

Artists find inspiration and flow in spaces as diverse as their work. Seeing behind the scenes and into the studios of our favorite creative minds can be educational, give greater context for their work, and act as fodder for justifying our own methods of cleanliness or clutter. Plus, giving in to a little nosiness is always nice. 

Most of us would love having wide open space to dream up big projects in. French painter Fabienne Verdier's studio is vertically impressive, accommodating her use of massive ceiling-hung brushes in her calligraphy based work.

Less into open spaces? Bask in the batshit clutter of Alexander Calder's sculpture studios. Calder is best known for his delicately balanced modernist mobiles. How he got a clear enough line of sight to engineer airy, minimal sculptures is a modern mystery.

Video artist and sculptor Nam June Paik's workspace in NYC looks surprisingly like an inviting rummage sale. His work tends toward the large and orderly, and it's a fun contrast against his workshop's semi-tended storage-unit vibe.  

While bedridden, Mattisse's well lit bedroom in the Hotel Regina was retrofitted for his sculpture and 2D art processes with a mobile desk. The walls and ceiling were primed for drawings, which he would make with a long pole. 

Portland printmaker and textile artist Anna Joyce's studio is a mix of method and mess. Lots of baskets, lots of light, and lots of paint!

Though officially out of use for many years, Barbara Hepworth's cozy sculpture studio in Cornwall has been preserved in the condition that she once used it. Now maintained by the Tate Museum, her tools and workspaces are on display and available for tour with plaster maquettes holding the places of her original works in stone, bronze and clay. It's surrounded by the gardens she planted, now used as a sculpture garden hosting her own modernist works.

And last, le Corbusier. This leading proponent of planned cities, architectural compartmentalization, clean lines, and immaculate surfaces often tended towards clutter and mishmash in his own studios. Almost as if the lived-in environment ought to reflect the eclectic interests of those inhabiting it rather than imposing an external order. Hm.

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