A party at Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory

No trope of artisthood is more commanding than that of the artist in his studio. Long thought of as the artist’s private enclave, a place to escape issues of fashion, acceptance and industry, the studio was regarded as a mirror of, or at least a signifier in, the artist’s work. If one was allowed to look into the studio, or in the artist’s mind for that matter, one would find new and better ways to understand his work. In the 1960s, such a romantic and monolithic image of the studio began to crumble. Andy Warhol invited the world into his Factory and Daniel Buren denounced the studio entirely, leaving little more than an administrative desk. Yet, the studio remains a vital signifier in matters of self-representation to this day, whether it is affirmed or deplored.

Under the auspices of the studio theme, the essays in this issue deal with a variety of artistic self-representational strategies as vital in the reception of the artist’s work. Going back to the nineteenth century, Laura Prins investigates how Manet’s seemingly radical act of opening his studio led to a revaluation of his artistic status. By reconsidering Chagall’s My Life as a manifesto rather than an autobiography, Jane Boddy examines the relations between literary and painterly narratives. Elise Noyez and Stefaan Vervoort focus on historical and recent practices of appropriation art, respectively. Using Elaine Sturtevant as a case study, Noyez discusses the photographic representation of the artist and its changing standards, while Vervoort discusses Jonathan Monk’s The Inflated Deflated as an examination of Pop’s potentiality beyond the issue of self-representational strategies. Finally, in his essay on Frank Gehry, Martijn van Beek projects the notion of the studio as a mirror of the artist’s work on the practice of the architect designing his own residence.

Elise Noyez


Laura Prins, “An Elegant Radical”

Jane Boddy, “Long Live Chagall”

Elise Noyez, “Portrait of the Artist as another Artist”

Stefaan Vervoort, “Deflating Koons”

Martijn van Beek, “Fragments of an Architect’s Life”


This website is the outcome of the course Critical Issues in the Cultural Industries, supervised by prof. Wouter Davidts within the context of the Visual Arts, Media & Architecture MPhil program at VU University Amsterdam. Contributors to the site are the first and second year students of the research master enrolled in the course.

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