'The studio' is part of the 'Artist and the Muse' theme which grew out of the 'Dancer Sequence' paintings during the 1990's. It reflects, with tongue-in-cheek humour that has been part of Shead's vision form the outset of his career, his conciousness of artists of the past, and how so-called Erato, the muse of poetry, has infused her presence into their work. She is also at once the metaphor of love and erotic distraction, whom Shead has illustrated in several paintings depicting the artist in his studio with naked female figures.
The 'Artist' in each case may represent for him Goya, Rembrandt, or one of a host of other painter-heroes, if not himself. The painting, in other words, summarizes his concerns of the moment, as Grishin has written: 'I have been arguing that Shead felt himself to be one of the few who consciously sought out Erato, and that at certain periods in his life he felt that he both saw her and heard her and that he is a sense was a willing medium through which her inspiration could act' ["Garry Shead and the erotic muse", 2001, pg.164].
Australian Art Department, Art Gallery of New South Wales, 2001
oil on canvas
183.0 x 198.0 cm stretcher; 187.0 x 202.5 x 5.0 cm frame
Signature & date
Signed and dated l.r. corner, brown oil "Garry Shead 01".
Purchased with funds provided by the Art Gallery Society of New South Wales 2001
Not on display
© Garry Shead. Licensed by Copyright Agency
Shown in 1 exhibition
Garry Shead: recent paintings (2001), Australian Galleries, Melbourne, Collingwood, 16 Aug 2001–08 Sep 2001
Referenced in 5 publications
Art Gallery of New South Wales Annual Report 2002, 'Year in review', pg. 8-25, Sydney, 2002, 8, 24.
Look, 'Important purchases: what the Society and Contempo bought for the the Gallery in 2001', pg. 16-17, Melbourne, Dec 2000-Jan 2001, 16 (colour illus.), 17.
Janet Hawley, The Sydney Morning Herald, 'Just one look', pg. 50, Sydney, 18 Aug 2001, 50. 'Good Weekend' supplement of the Sydney Morning Herald Saturday edition.
Robert Nelson., Age, 'Satirical tone shows the artist as narcissist', Melbourne, 25 Aug 2001. Review of Australian Galleries exhibition in the 'Saturday Arts' section.
Jill Sykes (Editor), Look, 'A painting to return to', pg. 4, Melbourne, Feb 2002, 4. Photograph shows Edmond Capon, Garry Shead and Prue Allen standing in front of the painting.