Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery

New York, NY
"In the Making: Artists, Assistants, and Influence"
February 25 – April 16, 2016

Luxembourg & Dayan Gallery

The exhibition will unfold like a wide-reaching family tree, pairing works by artists who have shared studio space at some point and engaged in working relationships. By bringing together new art with rarely seen historical works from artists’ studios and estates, In The Making suggests the social and intellectual interactions that fuel the production of art – interactions that take place behind the scenes and exert remarkable influence.

In the Making is rooted in an interest in the changing conditions of artistic production since the breakdown of modernist tropes, and in particular the displacement of the artist as a sole individual creator. Culminating in the decade of the 1950s and embodied in the public image of such Abstract Expressionists as Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko, the art studio was romanticized as a mythical place for solitary contemplation where the genius artist – typically male – is able to express himself. But as art historian Caroline A. Jones states in Machine in the Studio, starting in the 1960s in the United States there is a palpable shift “from the isolate studio (with its hushed privacy and creator-genius) to the expanded workshop (with its busy machinery and executive boss).” It is in the context of this newly established mechanical and social system of production that the figure of the artist assistant reappears in the discourse of art, having been largely absent from it since the days of the Renaissance workshop.

Photo: Dorothea Rockburne, "Study for Scalar C," 1970