Damian Elwes: Secrets of the Show

You won't want to miss Bridgeman Copyright artist Damian Elwes' upcoming show at the Musée en Herbe, showcasing Secrets of the Studio, from Claude Monet to Ai Wei Wei


 Matisse's Studio (Paris, 1916) 2006 (gouache on board), Damian Elwes


About the Exhibition

Secrets of the Studio, from Claude Monet to Ai Wei Wei will be an immersive exhibition consisting of 45 paintings and 45 portraits by Damian Elwes, hosted at the Musée en Herbe in Paris from the 25th of January - 9th of September 2018. It is a retrospective of Elwes' depictions of artists' studios - transporting the viewer into the world of these creative geniuses from the 19th century to the present. 

Artists featured in the show include Basquiat, Calder, Cézanne, Dali, Duchamp, Gauguin, Giacometti, Haring, Khalo, Koons, Kusama, Matisse, Miro, Monet, O'Keeffe, Twombly, Warhol, Wei-Wei and many more. Original artworks by some of these artists are included next to the paintings of their studios. Delve into the realms of these great artists through Elwes' formidable story telling skills. 

Elwes may be the only person in the world to have visited and painted all of Picasso's and Matisse's workplaces in France - over 12 years of his life have been spent creating the masterpiece for this exhibition, an impressive installation depicting the ground floor rooms of Picasso's Villa la Californie in Cannes. Indeed for many of the artworks it will have taken years of compiling evidence before Elwes would feel ready to begin painting.


Picasso's Studio (Cannes, 1955) 2016 (acrylic on canvas), Damian Elwes


Other highlights of the show include a 3D version of Frida Kahlo's studio in Coyoacan, treasure hunts, a spinning bicycle wheel version of Duchamp's New York studio, the chance to color in a huge studio painting and to create digital artworks on ipads. One can even put on a pair of goggles and experience walking around inside a life-size virtual reality painting of Brancusi's Paris workshop, a truly unforgettable sensation. This exhibition really is as entertaining as it is historical. 


About Damian Elwes

Elwes was born in England but lives and works in Santa Monica, California. His paintings typically explore themes such as the cycle of life, creativity and the interconnectivity between all things. He gained a place at Harvard University for mathematics, where he took an interest in theatre and poetry. His playwriting professor gave him a palette knife that had once belonged to Henri Matisse and it is from then perhaps that he developed his keen interest in the lives of artists. 


 Warhol's Factory (New York City, 1964) 2004 (acrylic on canvas), Damian Elwes 


Elwes has been lucky to encounter a dazzling array of artists in his lifetime, starting with Andy Warhol on his visit to Harvard to photograph students. He was even friends with Keith Haring, who encouraged him to try graffiti. Within a year of this Elwes came to be represented by a London art dealer who exhibited his paintings alongside Jean Michel Basquiat and introduced the two of them. Later on he also met fellow British artist David Hockney who became a close mentor and friend. 

In recent years Elwes' focus has shifted to the natural world - he has created vast installations in which people can walk around, anticipating the virtual reality experience. 



Find out More

See more images by Damian Elwes on the Bridgeman website available for licensing. More available on request. 

Please get in touch at nysales@bridgemanimages.com for more information on licensing and copyright

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