Turn the lens on the artist’s studio


THE DOOR to the artist’s studio has opened in Compton Verney.

Magnum Photos: Where Ideas Are Born brings together more than 20 famous photographers from the world-renowned Magnum agency and includes more than 60 portraits of artists who have marked the history of art in the 20th century.

The exhibition can be seen at the Country House Art Gallery near Wellesbourne until 16 October.

In a series of revealing images, artists such as Pablo Picasso, Andy Warhol, Frida Kahlo, Francis Bacon, Ai Weiwei, Salvador Dali, Tracey Emin, Louise Bourgeois, Keith Haring, Henry Moore, Roy Lichtenstein and Yayoi Kusama can all be seen in their creative environments.

These range from the cramped studios of the early 20th century Parisian avant-garde, to the New York lofts of American pop artists, to the large professional studios of international stars of the contemporary art market.

The photographs, taken by luminaries such as Martin Parr, Robert Capa, Inge Morath, Thomas Hoepker and Abbas, are the result of an attempt to capture the precise moments when the spark of creativity takes hold and new ideas are born.

The photographs are grouped into three themes: In The Studio, The Moment of Creation and A Portrait of the Artist.

Together they provide insight into rarely seen spaces – the creative chaos of Francis Bacon’s Reece Mews studio in London, Frida Kahlo painting from her wheelchair in the last months of her life, Helen Frankenthaler using slippers to create expressionist painting abstract, Tomi Ungerer in his house in Soho making a bird with an electric iron and Salvador Dali in bed, throwing pieces of dirty paper “to stimulate his inspiration”.

The Magnum Photos agency was created in 1947, in the aftermath of the Second World War, when four pioneering photographers – Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and Chim (David Seymour) founded a now legendary alliance, combining a range of individual styles in a single collaboration.

In the golden age of photojournalism, magazine assignments were plentiful and Magnum photographers enjoyed unique access to artists. The resulting images are now a priceless and iconic record – capturing the moments when great photographers met great artists.

Today, Magnum Photos represents some of the world’s most renowned photographers, sharing a vision of chronicling the world’s events, people, places and culture with a powerful narrative that challenges convention, redefines history and transforms lives.

Exhibition curator Amy Orrock said: “The fascinating photos in this exhibition document the wide range of ways artists have worked over the past hundred years. It also captures a myriad of artistic personalities, from the most private and serious to the fearless, performative and playful.

Visit www.comptonverney.org.uk/ for all the details.

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