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Studio Sunday: Douglas Gordon

A photo of Douglas Gordon sitting at a piano in his studio


On this Studio Sunday, let’s take a look inside Douglas Gordon’s workspace. Gordon is from Glasgow, Scotland, and has created works in a wide variety of other media.


Gordon’s studio looks quite stark and has the appearance of a warehouse or a garage. I can’t see any traditional art supplies laying around – in fact, the space looks quite clean. The first thing that catches my attention is, of course, the taxidermy wolf that sits atop a piano behind Gordon in this photo. The piano may be part of a piece created in 2014 with pianist Helene Grimaud, in which Grimaud played the piano in a massive training hall while the space slowly filled with water. The wolf, however, has long been a fixture in Gordon’s studio. It’s a really interesting fixture – I think it would be great as an inspiration, or possibly as a somewhat unnerving motivator to keep working!


Gordon is somewhat known for his burned portraits, often of celebrities and famous artists. The below picture shows the artist burning what might be piano music. It seems like there’s definitely an element of risk in creating these works, although the floor of the studio seems well suited to this sort of art-making. I’m quite taken with the dark, somewhat aggressive atmosphere that Gordon’s studio cultivates. Like some of our own artists who experiment in film, Gordon has a flair for the dramatic. Perhaps the shelving in the back of the photo is full of chopped up film, or additional portraits for burning. 

A photo of Douglas Gordon burning piano music in his studio

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About the author

Dallas Jeffs Art Writer

Dallas Jeffs is the Editor of Artist Run Website's blog. She is a recent graduate of Emily Carr University of Art and Design, where she studied Critical and Cultural Practices. She is passionate about talking and writing about art, and sharing that interest with others. In her studio practice she is a painter, but she considers herself an art writer and educator foremost. If you like art, books and culture with a science fiction twist, check out Dallas' personal blog, HappySpaceNoises

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