Poets often have responded vitally to the art of their time, and ever since Susan Stewart began writing about art in the early 1980s, her work has resonated with practicing artists, curators, art historians, and art critics. Rooted in a broad and learned range of references, Stewart's fresh and independent essays bridge the fields of literature, aesthetics, and contemporary art.
Gathering most of Stewart's writing on contemporary art—long and short pieces first published in small magazines, museum and gallery publications, and edited collections—The Open Studio illuminates work ranging from the installation art of Ann Hamilton to the sculptures and watercolors of Thomas Schütte, the prints and animations of William Kentridge to the films of Tacita Dean. Stewart's essays are often the record of studio conversations with living artists and curators, and of the afterlife of those experiences in the solitude of her own study. Considering a wide variety of art forms, Stewart finds pathbreaking ways to explore them. Whether she is following central traditions of painting, drawing, sculpture, film, photography, and printmaking or exploring the less well-known realms of portrait miniatures, collecting practices, doll-making, music boxes, and gardening, Stewart speaks to the creative process in general and to the relation between art and ethics.
The Open Studio will be read eagerly by scholars of art, poetry, and visual theory; by historians interested in the links between contemporary and classic literature and art; and by teachers, students, and practitioners of the visual arts.