As a companion to The Artist’s Room we invite you to follow along with 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.

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. 

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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