Have you ever wished you could spy on artists engaged in the process of creation? Be a fly on the wall of their studios? Come see Inside the Artists' Studios: Small-Scale Views, celebrating a three-decade long Bruce Museum holiday tradition, an exhibition of “small scale" constructions - in this case, artists looking at artists. Exhibited are works that spotlight the artists' individual investigations and analyses of the creative process in three-dimensional miniature constructions as well as in painting, printmaking, and photography.
Joe Fig, a Connecticut-based painter and sculptor, began exploring artist's working methods by interviewing over 50 artists, asking the same 15 questions of each. He then created meticulously crafted small-scale sculptures of the artists at work in their studios, as well as screen prints and paintings. Fig's intimate views into the working process appeal to the viewer's desire to sneak a peek into the creative process.
Richard Haas, a Wisconsin-born painter, began creating dioramic boxes in the 1960s as an exploration of the artist's studio environment, often those seen in Old Masters paintings. In 1968 he went to NYC and never left, renting a studio in the then-gritty SoHo, where he depicted the artists, architects, and architecture that reflected influences in his own practice. That work culminatied in his first SoHo exhibition in 1972, which included prints, drawings, and boxes of studios of artistic icons and his contemporaries as well as views from his own 12-foot studio windows at the corner of Broome and Grand Streets.
Lori Nix, a Brooklyn-based photographer, describes herself as a "non-traditional photographer" who constructs her sets and then photographs them. Influenced by the 19th century Hudson River painters' theories of romanticism and the sublime, Nix's quest is, like these painters, to "create a state of mind and express intense emotions either through beauty or horror," but tempered, she adds, "with a touch of humor." After photographing the "scene," Nix dismantles the diorama, the ultimate creative object being the photograph. Her latest is a self-reflective examination of her own working crowded work/live space.
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. He 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), Sanders was inspired to create a contemporary version of this Old Master creation.