As a companion to The Artist’s Room we invite you to follow The Diary, a writing project by the team at Ordovas. Over the coming weeks it will take you into the homes and studios of the artists in our exhibition, exploring more deeply the things that have inspired them, from travel to architecture, literature to music. We hope that it will, in turn, provide you with a source of inspiration and contemplation.

The Artist’s Room Lists

For this week, the final week of The Diary, we continue in the spirit of The Artist’s Room with a series of inspiring lists of films, books, music. While the exhibition brings you into a fictional artist’s space, we also include lists of real artist’s studios open to public. When we find ourselves out in the world again, perhaps you will pay them a visit, learn more about how these artists lived and worked, and take away some inspiration for your own homes and studios.

JOSÉ ANTONIO SUARÉZ LONDOÑO’S PLAYLIST

Inspired by the Colombian artist José Antonio Suárez Londoño’s love of pop music, we asked him to put together a playlist of some of his favourite musicians. From Guillermo Buitrago and Richie Rey to Patti Smith and Siouxsie and the Banshees, we hope it will be a fun and inspiring…
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THE ARTIST’S ROOM – FILM LIST

In the spirit of The Diary, we put together a list of our favourite movies about artists. From a documentary about the legendary Peggy Guggenheim to a fictional telling of the story behind Vermeer’s Girl with a Pearl Earring, we hope you’ll find something to intrigue, enlighten, and entertain. We…
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THE ARTIST’S ROOM – READING LIST

In the spirit of The Diary, we present a list of some of our favourite books on artists. A mix of memoirs, biographies, and monographs, we hope you will find inspiration in these deeper explorations of artists ranging from Frida Kahlo and Yayoi Kusama to Henri Matisse and Jean-Michel Basquiat.…
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ARTISTS’ STUDIOS TOURS – NEW YORK

In the spirit of The Artist’s Room, which invites you into a fictional artist’s space, we present a list of some of the best artist’s studios to visit in the New York area, from Jackson Pollock and Lee Krasner’s paint-spattered studio in Long Island to the Donald Judd’s beautifully restored…
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ARTISTS’ STUDIOS TOURS – UK & IRELAND

In the spirit of The Artist’s Room, which invites you into a fictional artist’s space, we present a list of some of the best artist’s studios to visit in the UK and Ireland. From Barbara Hepworth’s immaculately preserved studio in St. Ives to the fantastical Leighton House in London, we hope…
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LANGUAGE AND WRITING

This week in The Diary we explore themes of language and writing. How do the artists in our exhibition write about their own work and about art more generally? How do they speak about their work to others? We hope that learning more about these artists’ practices and philosophies through their own words will prove both enlightening and inspiring.

EDUARDO CHILLIDA

‘There is a problem throughout the majority of my work: interior space, at the same time consequence and origin of positive exterior volumes. To define these interior spaces it is necessary to contain them, thus making them inaccessible to the spectator who is situated on the outside. Interior spaces, which…
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FRANK AUERBACH

Frank Auerbach Interview with BBC Radio 4’s Front Row ‘Since my painting can’t be concocted, since it can overtake me at any time at all, since I never know when I’m going to finish a painting or see something happening, and there are many false finishes, it’s very useful to…
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JOAN MIRÓ

 “I begin my pictures under the effect of a shock that makes me escape from reality. The cause of this shock may be a tiny thread sticking out of the canvas, a falling drop of water, or a print made by my finger on the shining surface of a table.…
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HENRI MATISSE

My education consisted of making me aware of the different means of expression in color and drawing. My classical education naturally led me to study the Masters, and to assimilate them as much as possible while considering such things as volume, the arabesque, value contrasts and harmony, and to relate…
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DAVID SMITH

          Many students think of drawing as something hasty and preparatory before painting or making sculpture. A sort of purgatory between amateurism and accomplishment. As a preliminary before the great act, because everybody can draw some, and children are uninhibited about it and do it so…
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MUSIC AND LITERATURE

Music and Literature have been driving forces behind the creation of many great artworks. This week The Diary will explore how authors and musicians have inspired the artists in our exhibition to create some of their most exceptional pieces. From Joan Miró’s collection of records, to Lucian’s Freud’s obsession with The Egyptian Book or Chillida’s passion for Goethe’s philosophical writings – this week The Diary will delve into the most varied fields of interest.

DAVID HOCKNEY

‘In this tale a princess was endowed with the ability to see above and below the earth by looking through the windows of a tower. She declared she would only marry the man she could not see from her tower. Many men came and all failed; until the 100th man…
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EDUARDO CHILLIDA

‘It is the nature of grace always to fill spaces that have been empty.’ —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Chillida is by definition an ‘artist-philosopher’ whose practice is deeply grounded in literature, philosophy and thought. One of the writers that most influenced Chillida was the German poet and dramatist, Johann Wolfgang…
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JOSÉ ANTONIO SUÁREZ LONDOÑO

‘I was very into Punk and new wave, until Madonna came with her ‘Like a Virgin’, and I said: “I’ve stopped liking music!”’  —José Antonio Suárez Londoño   KG: You have said that music has been important to you, and I read that the Yearbooks project started with the reading…
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JOAN MIRÓ

‘It was 39 years ago when, in my grandparents’ house, I recall hearing music coming down the stairs from the library above, where my grandfather would seclude himself to read and listen to music—his other two passions beside his art.’ – Joan Punyet Miró, quoted in “The Music of Miró”, MoMA…
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LUCIAN FREUD

‘You know the opening of Vasari’s chapter on Michelangelo in which he says God was so dissatisfied with all the art that had been done so far, he was so exasperated, that he finally sent down Michelangelo to correct the situation? Francis Bacon,’ Mr. Freud says, referring to the artist who…
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ARTISTS’ COLLECTING

This week The Diary will explore the theme of artists’ collecting, encouraging readers to find visible clues and sources of the artists’ inspiration, through the objects they surrounded themselves with.

PAULA REGO

Paula Rego cites opera and the wide range of literature she owns, including plays, poems and novels, as providing the stories and inspiration for her work. A book on Surrealism bought by her father has been a constant reference and her love of opera stems from her childhood: ‘Well, my…
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DAVID HOCKNEY

 ‘Everyone who comes here likes it. People don’t dare such colours usually.’  —David Hockney      David Hockney’s home is like something out of a cartoon or Wes Anderson film: a colourful fantasy filled with an eclectic mix of brightly coloured, quirky objects which encouraged his friends to refer to…
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HENRI MATISSE

‘Each work of Art is a collection of signs invented during the picture’s execution to suit the needs of their position’     —Henri Matisse In his final years Matisse famously found his home and studio in the French ‘Villa Le Rêve’ –  ‘Villa of dreams’. Contemporary visitors recall the…
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LUCIAN FREUD

‘What do I ask of a painting? I ask it to astonish, disturb, seduce, convince. One quality these paintings share is that they all make me want to go back to work.’ —L. Freud, The Artist’s Eye, exh. cat., London: The National Gallery, June – August 1987, p. 10  Freud…
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JOSÉ ANTONIO SUÁREZ LONDOÑO

The Colombian artist José Antonio Suárez Londoño is, by his own admission, an intensely private person. He doesn’t enjoy travelling much and doesn’t have a computer; instead he finds artistic inspiration in the many objects that he has collected, and that surround him in his studio and home. When glimpsing…
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CORRESPONDENCE

For this week’s theme in The Diary we dive into the realm of correspondence, exploring how artists share their thoughts, inspirations and images outside their art. From Matisse’s beautifully illustrated letters to the touching birthday cards sent by Frank Auerbach to Lucian Freud, we get a glimpse into the lives of these extraordinary artists and see just how important their communication with friends and fellow artists was to them, something that holds true to this day. 

DAVID SMITH

When the young American artist, David Smith (1909-1965), first saw images of Julio González’s (1876-1942) groundbreaking sculptures, he immediately grasped their potential. The start of 1956 saw a retrospective of Julio González’s works at MoMA in New York, which led Smith to write his now frequently cited, moving article in…
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LUCIAN FREUD – FRANK AUERBACH

 After meeting in the post-war years at an exhibition of Frank Auerbach’s work, Lucian Freud and Auerbach embarked on a friendship that lasted until Freud’s death in 2011. As a painting neared completion, Freud would ask Auerbach to come round and have a look at it and would also consult…
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DAVID HOCKNEY

A fascinating letter from 1960 has emerged recently from the archives of the Hepworth Wakefield museum in Yorkshire, written by a young David Hockney. This audacious act of self-promotion sees the 23-year-old adopting the tone of an established artist and confidently inviting Helen Knapp, the then curator of the Wakefield…
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EDUARDO CHILLIDA – JOAN MIRÓ

‘Miró and I exchanged artworks and tokens of affection and friendship.’ Eduardo Chillida – ‘Vision of a Rebel’, El País, 31 December 1983 ‘Dear Joan: This letter is to say hello and also to encourage you in your work’ Extract from a letter, Eduardo Chillida to Joan Miró.   The…
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HENRI MATISSE

‘The walls of my bedroom are covered with cut-outs, I still don’t know what I’ll do with them.’ —Henri Matisse to André Rouveyre, 1948. The enlightening correspondence between Henri Matisse and the author and graphic artist André Rouveyre tracks the course of their significant friendship. Matisse and Rouveyre had met…
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ARTISTS’ TRAVELLING

This week in The Diary we focus on the theme of travel, where artists go to find inspiration and how their work is affected by the world around them. From Frank Auerbach who over the years has stayed increasingly closer to his home in Camden Town, to David Hockney who, falling in love with the French countryside, recently purchased a home in Normandy on a whim, follow along as we explore the impact travelling both near and far has had on these artists’ works. We hope it will help you find inspiration in the world around you.

JOSÉ ANTONIO SUÁREZ LONDOÑO

‘When I started forty years ago it was very, very difficult to get good papers or good colours and they were very expensive; I used to travel a little bit to the States or New York or Miami or Madrid and would buy things there. I am a compulsive shopper…
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KOUSHNA NAVABI

Koushna Navabi’s Fragments series began with a collection of old coffee table books featuring photographs of Iran, where Navabi was born. These books, mostly printed in the 70s and 80s and gifted to her over the years by well-meaning friends, sparked a kind of anxiety, not only because of the past…
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ALEKSANDAR DURAVCEVIC

‘Albanians thought I was Montenegrin Montenegrins thought I was Albanian Italians thought I was a Slav Latinos think I am Italian Blacks think I am French French think I am one of their own.’ –Aleksandar Duravcevic Aleksandar Duravcevic’s work is deeply tied to themes of identity, memory and mortality, universal…
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DAVID HOCKNEY

‘One of the great things about L.A. for me when I first went there was nobody had painted it. Paris had been painted by great artists, Italy, London — but in L.A., you didn’t even know what famous building was there.’   ‘I moved back to London just because of…
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FRANK AUERBACH

‘Tucked down a side alley in Camden Town, north London, bound by a railway track, a busy high street and a former cigarette factory, there is a small row of Victorian brick studios. An address is written in fading white paint on an outer wall. Apart from the odd weed,…
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ARTISTS’ INTERIORS

As we welcome you to The Diary we wanted to dedicate this first week to exploring the studios, houses and everyday rooms of the exhibited artists. We hope you will enjoy The Diary as much as we have done writing these entries.

EDUARDO CHILLIDA

‘I have drawn all my life, I don’t know how to live without drawing.’ — Eduardo Chillida, quoted in S. Martínez, Periodismo incómodo, Monterrey: Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León, 2008, p. 53. Eduardo Chillida’s Studio, photographed by Ferdinando Scianna, 2001, San Sebastián  
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PAULA REGO

‘I am not a tidy person. My studio, in north London, is full of things. I have [a] wash-basin that’s not plumbed-in that was used as a prop for a painting. I’ve got a lot of dolls, and a lot of different animals; all like different characters in a play.…
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LUCIAN FREUD

‘Everything is autobiographical and everything is a portrait.’ — Lucian Freud From the mid-1980s until his death, Lucian Freud (1922–2011) famously lived on Kensington Church Street in West London, which served as both his studio and his home, and where he would daily receive sitters, as well as family and…
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JOAN MIRÓ

‘Architecture itself can become a sculpture.’ — Josep Lluís Sert In 1956 Joan Miró settled in Palma de Mallorca and was finally able to have the studio of his dreams, which he commissioned from his friend and architect Josep Lluís Sert. Miró and Sert met in the early 1930s and gradually…
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HENRI MATISSE

‘All my life I have worked in this way in front of these same objects; they give me the power of their reality by engaging my mind with all that they have experienced for me and with me.’ — Henri Matisse in Marie-France Boyer, Matisse at Villa Le Rêve, London: Thames…
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