The time-honored tradition of major artists using studio assistants to do the grunt work on their biggest projects has long been a touchy subject, particularly in light of the 2011 Wall Street Journal article, which outed Jeff Koons and Damien Hirst for their impersonal practices. Swedish artist Jonas Lund is looking to make light of the subject with Studio Practice, an installation at Amsterdam’s Boetzelaer|Nispen gallery that has transformed the space into a public art production line staffed by four assistants, all of whom are also artists.
Cameras have been set up in four corners of the gallery with streaming capabilities that allow Lund (and everyone else) to watch as they create works based on a 300-page manual. (Hirst’s website offers a similar live glimpse into his studio.) The assistants can create whatever they want, as long as it is based around the guidelines. The manual is a how-to for large, flat, abstract, processed-based paintings that are both aesthetically pleasing and will likely perform well within the contemporary art market, according to the artist. There is also a canvas sizing guide, a general visual inspiration section, and an overview of his past works.
Once the works are completed, they are then uploaded to a gallery on the website, where they will then be voted on by a panel of art world heavy-hitters, including Simon de Pury and Steve Turner. The ones approved by the panel will then be signed by Lund. No word on what will become of the rejects. The approval panel evokes Mark Kostabi’s long-running TV show, on which curators, artists, and critics compete to title his factory-made paintings.
“In deviating from the traditional practice of producing art within the confines of a studio and then showing it publicly in a gallery, Studio Practice aims to both demystify and embrace the mechanisms of art production and distribution,” Lund told Animal of his institutional critique.
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