VIDEO: Watch John Elderfield and Peter Galassi Discuss Gagosian Show on Artists’ Studios

The multi-venue show includes over 80 artists spanning 200 years.

Filmed and edited by: Pierce Jackson and Anders Urmacher


These days, at a point in history when behind-the-scenes is publicized front and center, and notions of public and private spaces blur, the intimacy of an artist’s studio is all but a cherished memory for some. “In the Studio,” a blockbuster, two-part gallery exhibition that opened this week at two Gagosian venues in New York, is a poignant reminder of the complex relationship between artists and their studios. On view through April 18, the show, spanning more than 200 years, is divided into separate sections for painting and photography. Gagosian’s space at 522 West 21st Street features 50 major paintings and works on paper by 40 artists, ranging from Chardin to Jasper Johns. Meanwhile, the gallery’s 980 Madison Avenue branch highlights 150 photographic works by 40 artists and photographers, from Eadweard Muybridge to Jeff Wall.

John Elderfield, the Museum of Modern Art’s chief curator emeritus of painting and sculpture is the curator of “In the Studio: Paintings,” while Peter Galassi, former chief curator of photography at MoMA, organized “In the Studio: Photographs.” The sprawling show is the latest in a series of guest-curated exhibitions at the gallery, following the acclaimed John Richardson–organized Picasso exhibitions presented in recent years. In this exhibition’s catalogue (a lavish, two-volume set), gallery owner Larry Gagosian says “In the Studio” is part of his endeavor to “offer exhibitions of an ambition and breadth traditionally associated with museums.” The project was conceived by John Elderfield, who began to develop the concept after a conversation with the late English writer and critic David Sylvester in the late 1990s. Sylvester had just visited Jeff Koons’s New York studio and likened the artist’s studio practice to that of Peter Paul Rubens in 17th-century Antwerp.

In this artnet News video exclusive, Elderfield and Galassi meet at Gagosian’s 21st Street gallery, site of “In the Studio: Paintings,” to discuss this unusual exhibition and its aims.


In the Studio: Photographs” is on view at Gagosian Gallery, 980 Madison Avenue, from February 17–April 18. “In the Studio: Paintings” is on view at Gagosian Gallery, 522 West 21st Street, also from February 17–April 18.

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