Glamour of the high modern studio
Tonight I found this archive for Ernst Scheidegger. He documented some of European modernism's most provocative elements at work in their studios. When I was a young and curious painter I got my hands on some copies of Arts magazine published in the 50's. One issue in particular featured an article with Giacometti. In the photo spread he's smoking cigarettes and pointing at things in his studio in France in Paris. The place is entirely covered in shit that's been scrapped from his paintings and sculptures. In my twenties this was impressive. Seeing all of that chaos and the tension left so ambivalently in the corners of his space served as a spectacular illustration for my own modern life.
I remembered those photo's recently while I was reading through M.J.J. and M.G.'s, The Studio Reader. In particular it was the essay by R.S. He was writing marvelously about Dekooning and the studio that he had had constructed for himself in the space of the then new Not-In-New-York-World. It was the 60's and he was an enshrined Bill and as touched a Bill as he could be while Ab-Ex started it's lilt-ward ebbing.
I thought to myself, how very fond we are of the past and its ample fantasia... How different, how very discrete these silly boys now seem. Pretending to be so primal and earnest that they bristled within their unique dioramas. But from our own scatter blind world of refusion and lamentable butterflies it seems that we can tug at the corners of their shoe boxes. We can recreate the pale light of their crimes and bask away. We can jostle a cigarette or right a fallen prop with the careful flick of a thumbnail.