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A Holiday tradition returns to the Bruce Museum: "Inside the Artists' Studios: Small-Scale Views"
Richard Haas (American, b. 1936), Mark Rothko in his Studio, 1968-69. Masonite, cardboard, balsa wood, paper, acrylic, lights, 13 x 14 x 10 1/2 in. Courtesy of the Artist. © Richard Haas/Licensed by VAGA, New York, NY.

GREENWICH, CONN.- 'Tis the season once again for the triennial holiday exhibition of structures constructed in “small scale” that began in 1981.

This exhibition, Inside the Artists’ Studios: Small-Scale Views, features artists’ studios created by four living artists – Joe Fig, Richard Haas, Lori Nix and Jimmy Sanders – who also work in painting, printmaking and photography.

Jimmy Sanders has been influenced by the work of 17th-century Dutch painters, most notably in his Perspective Box, Studio in Florence, which he modeled after his own Florentine studio. Sanders traveled in Europe in the late ‘90s and, after seeing Hoogstraten’s A Peepshow with Views of the Interior of a Dutch House (c. 1655-60; The National Gallery, London), was inspired to create a contemporary version of this Old Master creation.

Describing herself as a “non-traditional photographer,” Lori Nix constructs her sets and then photographs them. After photographing the “scene” she has laboriously constructed, Nix dismantles the diorama, leaving the photograph as the ultimate creative object. Her latest project is a self-reflective examination of her own crowded living/work space.

Richard Haas began exploring the artist’s studio environment in the 1960s. He started with iconic masters, then moved into creating dioramic boxes of his contemporaries’ studios – including Jackson Pollock and Franz Kline – as well as views from his own 12-foot studio windows in New York’s then-gritty and industrial SoHo.

Examinations of artists’ working lives also inform the pieces created by Joe Fig. Like Haas, Fig moved to the representation of contemporary artists’ spaces, interviewing artists before recreating their studios in miniature. Fig’s intimate views clearly appeal to the viewer’s desire to sneak a peek into the artistic process of artists such as Chuck Close, Ross Bleckner, Eric Fischl, April Gornik, Bill Jensen, Ryan McGinness, Philip Pearlstein, James Siena and Joan Snyder.

If you have ever wished you could observe artists engaged in the process of creation, Inside the Artists’ Studios allows you to explore the individual investigations and analyses of four artists through their paintings, prints, photographs and three-dimensional miniature constructions.

Inside the Artists’ Studios: Small-Scale Views features a Guide-by-Cell Audio Tour that is free of charge and may be accessed simply by using your cell phone.

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