30 september 2014

Elmgreen & Dragset #3

Danish-Norwegian artist duo Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset, in their studio in an old pumping station in Neukölln, Berlin, January 2013, Germany. (bron: LUZphoto, foto's: Thomas Meyer)

> Elmgreen & Dragset

Björn Dahlem

The studio of Björn Dahlem, Berlin Kreuzberg, October 2012, Germany. (bron: LUZphoto, foto's: Thomas Meyer)

Elmgreen & Dragset #2

Home and studio. (bron en foto's: Thorsten Klapsch)

Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset in their Berlin studio. (bron: Black&Iffel, foto: Giorgio Possenti)

“Michael Elmgreen and Ingar Dragset are artists who have exhibited from New York to Tokyo. But for the last 12 years, the globe-trotting artistic duo, collaborators since 1995, have lived in Berlin. And at a certain point, they decided it was time to buy.
“We were never particularly interested in property investment,” said Mr. Dragset, who is from Norway (Mr. Elmgreen is from Denmark).
The two men, once a couple but now just artistic partners, originally moved to Berlin because it was near Copenhagen, where they had lived, and because it seemed full of energy as well as inexpensive. But after a decade in Berlin, Mr. Dragset said, “We were tired of fixing up spaces and having to leave them after a couple of years.”
And, he added, “both privately, and within our art practice, we love spatial challenges — so we were looking for somewhere we could apply the concepts we had been working with in our art.”
When they saw an advertisement for the old water-pumping station in a Berlin suburb, a working-class area called Neukölln, the pair’s creative antennae began to twitch. The former pumping station, surrounded by fully grown chestnut trees and flanked by apartment buildings on a residential street, had remained empty since the early 1990s because nobody knew quite what to do with such an oversize hall stuck in the middle of a non-industrial location.
“Almost too good to be true,” Mr. Dragset said. “Especially considering the price, which was ridiculously low compared to any other European capital.” He declined to specify but said it was similar to a typical two-bedroom apartment in Oslo, which is about $700,000. The renovations cost about the same as the purchase price."

There’s no clutter: just white walls, glacial light streaming in through old warehouse-style windows, trees silently waving at visitors from the outside and what feels like acres of floor space.
The building is now both home and studio space. Generally, the renovation materials have been inexpensive. Most of the floors are sanded asphalt covered in clear polyurethane that goes with the industrial nature of the building. On one hand, “it’s reminiscent of the building’s industrial history,” Mr. Wenk said. “On the other hand, it’s very economical.” In smaller rooms, the asphalt was sanded more finely, he explained, then tinted to reflect the personal nature of the rooms.
The farther up and back one goes, the more private the space becomes. The back boasts five levels, including two private areas for the artists, a kitchen, an attic living room and four bathrooms. And the renovated attic space is reminiscent of a playboy’s penthouse. In this upper section, a window in the roof slides back at the push of a button like something out of Dr. Evil’s lair.
“We deliberately made the borders between the work and living spaces fleeting,” Mr. Dragset said. “The combination of vast floor space and the small, quirky nooks means you can be very hidden here, or very exposed depending on your moods or needs.” (bron: Architecture Lab, tekst: Cathrin Schaer, foto's: Mark Simon)

"Elmgreen & Dragset’s productions are often associated with buildings, particularly structures into which we can peer, like voyeurs. Some are permanent, like Prada Marfa, 2005, the high-end fashion store they constructed in the Texas desert town, which Donald Judd’s Chinati Foundation has turned into an art mecca. Most are transient, such as Death of a Collector, their installation within the group show they organized for the adjacent Danish and Nordic pavilions at the 2009 Venice Biennale, or the ammonium-scrubbed bureaucratic structure they created in London’s Serpentine Gallery for their 2006 exhibition “The Welfare Show;” or the prison-cell-cum-installation in which two characters, artists each, are locked in the play, Happy Days in the Art World, produced in New York for Performa 11 last fall. These environments not only establish a sense of illicit spectatorship, they also allow the artists to indulge their fascination with design and to expose the ways architecture reinforces power, all the while creating a mise-en-scène for their narratives. Still, none of these structures, not even the freestanding apartment block they constructed inside the ZKM Museum of Contemporary Art in Karlsruhe for their show “Celebrity—The One & The Many” in 2010, can match the extravagance of their studio, in Berlin’s Neukölln borough.

A converted water-pumping station dating to 1924 that they bought from the city some six years ago, the boxy construction, with its tall, narrow windows emphasizing the height of the brick façade, looks like a modernist industrial cathedral dropped into a sleepy, residential district. One enters directly into the enormous main production room, where the windows zoom up like zips of light to the ceiling three stories above. Marbled green-and-black tiles running around the lower five feet of the perimeter reinforce how much the towering white walls dwarf you. A series of walkways and a long platform with a line of desks for clerical work stretch through the space high above the floor. Such is their concern for the comfort of their employees that the artists have rigged these platforms with cables and pulleys, allowing the people and their desks to shift position with the sun.

On the day I visit, the floor below looks more like a packing facility than a fabrication shop. Boxes and crates are piled against the walls and near a thick rectangular pillar. One slatted crate, stamped “artwork: handle with care,” is balanced on its smashed corner, from which Styrofoam peanuts spill out; the joke of course being that the crate is itself the work. A nearby bunk bed whose top bunk — mattress and pillow included — faces downward (and which I recognize as a prop from Happy Days in the Art World) reminds me that Elmgreen & Dragset’s pieces often feature doublings and mirrored images. One thinks, too, in this regard of the paired “houses” from “The Collectors” at the 2009 Venice Biennale. With a lampooning intent, such couplets frequently reflect the “real” world back at the art world, and vice versa. The studio itself was conceived as a place to merge art and life. “We don’t want to have these professional transitions between what is private and what is public,” says Dragset, gesturing to the large main space. “We use this as a showroom sometimes or for hanging out with the staff.” The irony, however — and with Elmgreen & Dragset there is usually the inflection of an arched brow — is that the studio isn’t really where their art is made." (bron: BlouinArtinfo, foto: Juliane Eirich)

> Elmgreen & Dragset

Elmgreen & Dragset #1

Ingar Dragset and Michael Elmgreen in their studio. Preparation for Powerless Structures, Fig 101, London(?), 2012. (bron: domusweb, foto's: Gautier Deblonde)

> Elmgreen & Dragset

Pierre Huyghe

Pierre Huyghe in his studio in Paris, 2014. (bron: The New York Times, foto's: Julien Bourgeois)

Pierre Huyghe in his studio in Paris, 2013. (bron: The Wall Street Journal, foto: Stephane Remael)

28 september 2014


Harke Kazemier: Big Fish, 2014.
olie op doek, 30 x 30 cm.
Meer werk is te zien op mijn site.

> Harke Kazemier

26 september 2014


Harke Kazemier: zonder titel, 2014.
olie op doek, 130 x 150 cm.

Binnenkort te zien op Kunstmoment Diepenheim. Meer werk op mijn site.

> Harke Kazemier

24 september 2014

Rob Pruitt #2

Rob Pruitt in his studio in Brooklyn. (bron: Art Privée)

Rob Pruitt #1

Rob Pruitt: Studio Lunch Table, 2014.

Rob Pruitt: Studio Loveseat (Feb - March 2014), 2014. (bron: Massimo De Carlo)

23 september 2014

David Hockney #11

In David Hockney's studio, 1998.

David Hockney painting.

David Hockney: A Bigger Grand Canyon, 1998.

James Ensor, Piet Mondriaan

Alan Brooks: Ensor, 2006.

"James Ensor is renowned for his macabre crowd scenes which feature people wearing masks; Brooks pictures the artist in his studio playing the organ like an operatic phantom beneath his 1889 masterpiece Christ’s Triumphant Entry Into Brussels. Brooks describes his drawings: “They’re quite small and have a feathery, ethereal quality. Because they’re all mediated through old photos and postcards, which are often worn or battered, the blemishes come through in the drawing giving the image another layer of meaning. I make them with a type of magnifying glass called an Optivisor; it slips over your head like the type conservators use. This allows me to draw all the minute details and textures of the photographs.”

Alan Brooks: Mondrian, 2006.

"Brooks’s portrait of Piet Mondrian was drawn from a photo taken in 1933 at Mondrian’s studio in Paris. This image of Mondrian seems strangely contemporary as it is the type of picture we’d expect to see in a tabloid magazine today: it’s not just the artist or his work which is of interest, but his lifestyle. Mondrian’s working space is like a temple to modernity, reinforcing the glamorous image of a modern master. Artists often make reference to art historical works, but by drawing the artists themselves Brooks tries to connect to and understand this history in a more personal way: “I’m not really interested in the notion of the artist as superstar in these images but in their more personal struggles as artists, making stuff in the private confines of their studios or performance spaces.” (bron: Saatchi Gallery)

22 september 2014

Lynda Benglis #2

Lynda Benglis, 1970. (bron:The Subject of Place, foto's: Henry Groskinsky)

21 september 2014

Joe Bradley

Joe bradley in his studio, 2011. (bron: Art Blog Art Blog, foto's: Jack Siegel)

Studio Visit: Joe Bradley and Chris Martin, 2010. (bron: Beautiful/Decay)

Joe Bradley studio visit, 2011. (bron: Bright Lyons)

Joe Bradley at his studio In NYC. (bron: Pas Une Autre, foto: Terry Richardson)