The studios behind the Summer Exhibition

Myths surrounding the artist’s studio have only multiplied in the 21st century. The notion of the impoverished creative beavering away in a drafty garret has been replaced by the equally romanticised industrial space on the outer fringes of the city. Its flip side is the glossy photo shoots of artists’ workspaces found regularly in Sunday supplements exalting a glamorous boho lifestyle. Here the setting becomes a sort of walk-in self-portrait, not so different from Courbet’s allegorical classic, The Artist’s Studio (1854–55). Then there’s the notion that today’s post-medium artists don’t need studios anyway, hot-desking with laptops in spaces that change as frequently as their work.

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