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Studio Sunday: Robert Mangold

A photo of minimalist artist Robert Mangold at work in his studio


Robert Mangold is an American minimalist artist whose works focus on deceptively simple shapes and planes of monochromatic color. Mangold and his wife, painter and pastel artist Sylvia Plimack, live in Washingtonville, New York.


Mangold’s studio, pictured above, looks like a fun place to work. The artist has a fairly basic set-up here, with a large amount of open space on the floor. Perhaps Mangold sometimes prefers to work on paintings on the floor, or to view them on a flat surface. I really enjoy all the circles that appear in the space, both in the works that are hanging on the walls, and echoed in supplies such as paint cans. I wonder if Mangold is ever inspired by the shapes and lines of objects in his studio.


In the back of the space are sheets of what could be cardboard or thin plywood - I wonder if it’s used for creating mock-ups and sketches, or for building and backing the circular canvases that the artist is known for painting on. There’s a small chair, and a step ladder at the back of the room, as well – perfect for observing paintings on the wall, or getting a good vantage point for small detail work on a tall painting, respectively.


Given Mangold’s penchant for working in long-running series, it’s likely that at the time this photo was taken his studio was absolutely packed with circular works. It’s undoubtedly an inspiration to be surrounded by the subjects that currently fascinate you. Mangold’s geometric forms also drew inspiration from contemporaries such as Sol Lewitt and Frank Stella.


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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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