Aberdeen Art Gallery’s latest special exhibition goes in search of the spaces where creativity takes place – the artist studio, where ideas are born.

The exhibition, which opens to the public on Saturday, April 1, brings together images by 25 photographers from the celebrated Magnum agency. The 67 photographs on display depict artists who shaped art history during the course of the last 100 years, and their creative spaces. Portraits include Henri Matisse by Robert Capa, Andy Warhol by Eve Arnold, Louise Bourgeois by Inge Morath, Frida Kahlo by Werner Bischof and Yayoi Kusama by Alex Majoli.

Magnum Photos is the world’s most prestigious photography collective. It was founded in 1947 by legendary photographers Robert Capa, Henri Cartier-Bresson, George Rodger and David Seymour. Magnum photographers share a vision to chronicle world events, people, place and culture with a powerful narrative that defies convention, shatters the status quo, redefines history and transforms lives.

Whether captured in the studio at work, or posing alongside their art, relaxing with friends or even absent from the room, the photographs featured in Where Ideas Are Born record a unique encounter between artists and photographers. Many forged what would become long-standing creative partnerships in the process.

The exhibition also features 47 digital images, the result of a call out from Aberdeen Artists Society to gather images from local artists showing their own - usually private - creative spaces. The images features artists from the North East who work in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, ceramics, leather, jewellery, printmaking and photography. Studios range from spare rooms and garden cabins, to more formal spaces at WASPS, Deemouth Artist Studios and Gray’s School of Art.

Councillor Martin Greig, Aberdeen City Council’s culture spokesman, said: “This is a fascinating exhibition that brings together images by celebrated photographers of a broad range of well-known artists. These include Tracey Emin, Francis Bacon, Frank Auerbach and David Nash, all of whom are represented in the Archives, Gallery & Museums collection. We hope that visitors to the exhibition will also take time to explore the collection galleries and see these works. Where Ideas Are Born is a welcome opportunity to continue our relationship with the prestigious Magnum Photos agency.”

Emily Graham, Cultural Commissions and Partnerships lead at Magnum Photos, said: “We’re pleased that Magnum Photos is continuing its long association with Aberdeen Art Gallery, following on from Martin Parr’s Think of Scotland in 2019. Where Ideas Are Born offers us a rare opportunity to see behind the scenes, giving us a glimpse of the reassuringly normal mess made by artists, no matter how celebrated they are, as well as insights into the techniques, processes and materials which ignite their creative spark.”

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