Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Buy the book

When we wrote the text for the book Contemporary New Zealand Painters back in the early eighties it was a new idea for NZ but a familiar one in the rest of the world. Of course Marti Friedlander herself had been there well before CNZP photographing artists from as early as the sixties. The lineage is even longer though. There are many, many photographs of artists in their studios since the invention of photography but the first book gathering them together we can find was probably Alexander Liberman’s bluntly titled The artist in his studio. This legendary book showing the modern masters of European art was certainly a big influence on Marti. And then there were the photographs of Lord Snowdon (aka Antony Armstrong-Jones) collected together in the 1965 book Private View. It too played a part in the style of CNZP and there’s a fascinating account with lots of images of Snowdon’s work on this book here.

We were thinking about this long history in preparation for a talk a few weeks ago but were astounded to discover recently just how current the idea still is. In just one US bookshop we found no less than six books on artists and their environments. Images of the artist in the studio still fascinate. Stalkers, voyeurs, peeping Toms, call us what you will but just leave that door open a crack so we can have a quick look inside those studios.

Which all leads us to tell you that there are another five new studio photo sessions up on OTN Studio.

Lillian Budd, December 1992
Shane Cotton, April 2003
Don Driver, May 2003
Ross Ritchie, November 2010
Peter Robinson, September 2003

Image: Snowdon working on the proofs of Private View in his home, 1965.