Photographs by Jason Schmidt.
Steidl, 2015. 180 pp., 166 color illustrations, 11¾x11¾".
Artists II is the second volume of Jason Schmidt's ongoing photographic documentation of today's most significant artists. From young to old, emerging to career peaking, world famous or as-of-yet-known, the creative forces that the New York-based photographer has managed to capture over a period of 12 years has come to serve as perhaps the most incisive look into the art world as it stands today. Artists II captures 166 artists, including John Baldessari, Ai Weiwei, Glenn Ligon and Cindy Sherman, in their studios or work environments and the resultant images reveal the context in which the art was made or conceived and the artists in their most intimate moment-in the process of creation. A text by each artist in their own words accompanies each photograph: some are literal descriptions of the encounter, others are poetic or enigmatic; each is a window into their artistic methods and perspectives. The strength of this artists series lies not solely in its individual compositions but in its value as a comprehensive archive of contemporary artistic practice. Situated between portraiture and landscape, Schmidt's photographs show art and artist in a constant moment of transformation.