In The Studio: Two Exhibits at Gagosian


“In The Studio” is a pair of exhibitions, at different Gagosian galleries, that focus on images of artists’ studios. The exhibit in Chelsea,“In the Studio: Paintings,” was curated by John Elderfield, Chief Curator Emeritus of Painting and Sculpture at The Museum of Modern Art.

The works span from the mid-sixteenth through the late twentieth centuries. There are over 50 paintings and works on paper by nearly 40 artists including: Georges Braque, Helen Frankenthaler, Alberto Giacometti, Jasper Johns, Henri Matisse, Robert Motherwell, Pablo Picasso, Robert Rauschenberg, and  Diego Rivera. Seeing this art in the gallery setting was a particularly thrilling experience. It was interesting to see the diversity of approaches to a common subject from such influential artists. And the gallery setting provided a much more intimate engagement with the pieces then one would have had in a museum.

The second exhibit, “In the Studio: Photographs,” is on view at the Gagosian Madison Avenue gallery. It includes over 150 photographs, spanning from the beginnings of photography to the late twentieth century.  Forty artists are represented, including: Richard Avedon, Walker Evans  Lee Friedlander, Lucas Samaras and Cindy Sherman. It was curated by Peter Galassi, former Chief Curator of Photography at The Museum of Modern. While I enjoyed the paintings more, the photographs on view are intriguing because of the unique approaches taken by the artists.

Both shows closed April 18th.

Gagosian Gallery: More Intimate Museum Like Experience


Owned and directed by Larry Gagosian, the Gagosian Gallery began with one location, in Los Angeles, in 1979. Now, it is a global enterprise with 15 locations around the world, including 6 gallery locations in New York —  in Chelsea,  on the Upper East Side and at Rockefeller Center. The exhibitions you find there are diverse and the experience of visiting is museum level but more intimate.


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Recently, I went to the gallery at 980 Madison Avenue  to see paintings by Helen Frankenthaler (on view until October 18). I wasn’t very familiar with her work but was attracted to the abstract color images used to promote the exhibit. According to the gallery, “the exhibition focuses on a brief but critical period in Frankenthaler’s career during 1962-63, when she ‘composed with color’ rather than with line..,” Of particular interest to me were a series of paintings — “Filter, Gulf Stream and Moat (all 1963)” — that include imprints of the floorboards at Frankenthaler’s studio.

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While at the gallery, I also visited an Ed Ruscha exhibit — prints and photographs of the past forty years. While more familiar with Ruscha, an American artist associated with the Pop Art movement, I had never seen an in depth look at his work. The prints were simple, elegant and playful. Among my favorites were “Bowl,” from 1974, and “Carp With Fly,” from 1969. I also enjoyed a series of 12 Los Angeles “Roof Top Views” — photographs taken by Ruscha in 1961 and then again in 2003. There are many other photographs and prints that underscore Ruscha’s diversity and creativity.

The Ruscha exhibit is only on view until September 27th.