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Pale interior wall of art studio with arched recessed, 'Art School', in white font to upper right, by Ridinghouse.

Paul Winstanley: Art School

Text by Jon Thompson
Interviewer Maria Fusco


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  • British artist Paul Winstanley – known for his evocative paintings and prints of deserted spaces – has turned to photography to document over 50 art school studios across the UK
  • The 240 photographs of deserted studios in this volume combine to form their own abstract space
  • A critical essay and artist interview, both by professors of fine art, contextualise Winstanley's resonant photographs
Full Description

Filled with photographs of unpopulated studios, Paul Winstanley’s exploration of British art schools highlights their importance at a time when the art school system’s existence is more fraught than ever.

For this series, Winstanley (b.1954) photographed undergraduate studio spaces in more than 50 art colleges across the United Kingdom over the summers of 2011 and 2012. These rough-and-ready, nearly neutral spaces are photographed as found; empty in the period between school years.

Collectively, the works highlight the abstraction of the interiors with their temporary white walls, paint stains, neutral floors and open spaces. Photographed in this manner, their sterile nature is juxtaposed with their intended purpose of fostering intense creativity for a future generation of artists.

Over 200 full-colour illustrations – which combine images from various schools to form their own abstract space – are accompanied by writings from two professors of fine art: a text by Jon Thompson and an interview with the artist by Maria Fusco.

To commemorate the publication, Winstanley created a limited-edition digital print from the Art School series. Each edition is hand-finished by the artist and contained within a custom-made slipcase containing a signed copy of the book.

About the Author

Jon Thompson (1936–2016) was an artist, curator and academic known for his involvement in the development of the YBA artist generation. He was head of the Department of Art at Goldsmiths in the 1980s, and in 1988 he was involved in the curation of the now legendary Freeze warehouse exhibition along with various art students and Damien Hirst, whom Thompson tutored. Thompson was also head of the MA Fine Art at Middlesex University's School of Art and curated shows at the Hayward Gallery. In 2011 Ridinghouse published The Collected Writings of Jon Thompson.

Maria Fusco is Professor of Interdisciplinary Writing at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art & Design, Dundee. She is a Belfast-born interdisciplinary writer working across art writing, fiction, performance and theory. Previously she was Professor at Northumbria University, Reader at University of Edinburgh, and Director of Art Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London.

Look Inside
21st Jul 2022
World excluding USA & Canada
276 mm x 225 mm
288 Pages
240 color
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