The Studio Visited and Re-visited

Considering artists' production in Rhode Island

In this series, RISD Museum curator Dominic Molon considers the importance and setting of the studio, and calls on Rhode Island artists.

A key element of my day-to-day role as the curator of contemporary art in a museum remains making visits to artists’ studios, whether in Providence and Rhode Island or abroad. Studio visits often have a very specific and deliberate intent, such as discussing the pieces to be included in an exhibition that is already in development or determining the appropriate work to be acquired for the Museum’s collection. In other instances, artists with whom the curator has developed an intuitive understanding and degree of trust will reach out with an invitation to the curator to critically examine a new body of work for an upcoming show or project. Typically, however, studio visits provide an opportunity for a curator to become more familiar with an artist, their work, and their working process. In addition to intensive looking and the usual Q & A, a curator absorbs more atmospheric affects such as books, images, and music playing in the background, that often provide fascinating insights into the artist’s personality, current interests, and even future ideas. A visit frequently has no prescribed expected result, although discussions may translate into the immediate development of a project or acquisition of a work, or may only be realized years and even decades later. For example, the RISD Museum’s major presentation of Scottish artist Martin Boyce next fall began with a studio visit I made with him in Glasgow in 2001!

Boris Bally
February 11, 2014


Mark Freeman
March 14, 2014



 JR Uretsky
March 28, 2014

Janet Alling
April 7, 2014



Dominic Molon
Richard Brown Baker Curator of Contemporary Art