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New exhibition explores the creative process
Louis Valtat (French, 1869–1952), The Lacemaker (La Dentellière), 1906, oil on canvas, gift of the John E. Fellowes Family, 2006.9.

MADISON, WIS.- As fascinating as a polished final work of art is to the viewer, a deeper connection often lies within the process that created it. In the Studio, on view June 1-Aug. 11, 2019, looks into the permanent collection of the Chazen Museum of Art in search of the small details that illuminate artists’ personalities, processes and creative inspiration.

Curated by Chazen Director Amy Gilman, Ph.D., In the Studio will showcase the Chazen’s extensive permanent collection. Continuing a practice she’s conducted throughout her career, since arriving at the Chazen Gilman has committed to visiting artists’ studios on campus and in the community. Given the breadth of the artistic work being done in this region, the task will likely take years. The first image of In the Studio will be a watercolor of Gilman with Elaine Scheer, professor of art at UW–Madison. Scheer created the work after Gilman visited her studio in March of 2018.

“Because artists are unique, their work spaces are always different. Every artist I spend time with in their studio is deeply thoughtful about their work and their process. Letting a visitor into that space is a remarkably vulnerable act,” said Gilman. “With this exhibition, we are giving our audiences a chance to see both the occasional magic and the incredible hard work that goes into making the artworks that appear in our museums.”

With more than 100 objects including paintings, sketches and sculptures, In the Studio will illuminate the artistic process through actual representations of the studio environment as rendered by artists such as Joe Fig, Thomas Rowlandson and Renee Ann Roeder. Self-portraits and portraits of artists by their peers, including works by Honoré Daumier, Will Barnet and Syliva Solochek Walters, offer a surprisingly candid look into the personal reflections and relationships that influenced artists’ work. In addition, several “case studies” unique to the Chazen’s collection will give a highly unusual glimpse into the evolution or working-out of a particular artistic idea, including studies by Pablo Picasso and Louise Bourgeois.

Gilman was assisted in the final development of the exhibition and creation of the text and labels by Michelle Presholt, a graduate student in the Art History department with a paid project assistantship at the museum.

In the Studio will be on view June 1-Aug. 11, 2019, and like all Chazen Museum of Art exhibitions and programs, is free and open to the public. No tickets are required.

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