The Musée en Herbe presents “Ateliers À La Loupe” – studios under the magnifying glass – a retrospective of 40 paintings of artists’ studios and portraits by British-American artist Damian Elwes, from 25 January to 9 September, 2018.
This interactive exhibition transports visitors directly into the fascinating and creative worlds of some of the greatest artists from the 19th century to today: Cézanne, Monet, Gauguin, Matisse, Brancusi, Duchamp, O’Keeffe, Miró, Calder, Giacometti, Dalí, De Kooning, Kahlo, Twombly, Warhol, Kusama, Kapoor, Koons, Ai Weiwei, Haring and many others. The exhibition also includes original works by Picasso, Giacometti, Basquiat and Keith Haring.
Damian Elwes dedicates his life and his art to invite us into the workshops of renowned artists. Like a detective, he visits places, looking for evidence, clues, photos, films and pointers – literally putting himself into the shoes of his subjects. Sometimes it takes up to 10 years of information-gathering about the artists and their studios before he starts painting.
Objects and works of art in a studio also bear witness to crucial points in the artist’s history and creative process. For Damian Elwes, the way an artist places his possessions says as much about him as about his paintings. Yet while Elwes immerses himself in their world, incorporating the palette and style of the absent artist through his paintings, he still retains his own style.
He is probably the only person in the world to have visited and painted almost all of Picasso and Matisse’s studios in France, and he spent over 12 years creating a panoramic painting of Picasso’s California Villa studio in Cannes.
Through interactive games, visitors become detectives and set off, magnifying glass in hand, to look for clues. The visit ends with an invitation into the Santa Monica studio of Elwes himself, where he displays his sketchbooks, brushes, paint palette, artists’ portraits and his collection of customised t-shirts depicting the colour schemes of the studios he has painted.
“Ateliers à La Loupe, from Monet to Ai Weiwei – an exhibition-investigation by Damian Elwes” at the Musée en Herbe, 23 rue de l’Arbre-Sec, Paris, Ier, from 25 January to 9 September, 2018. Open daily from 10.00am to 7.00pm, and Thursday evenings until 9.00pm.