Art Term

Atelier

Atelier is a French word that translates literally as studio or workshop and is often used to denote a group of artists, designers or architects working collectively

Julian Trevelyan, ‘The Etching Class’ 1973
Julian Trevelyan
The Etching Class 1973
Tate
© The estate of Julian Trevelyan

The individual artist’s studio was traditionally also a place where the teaching of young artists took place; but this function was gradually supplanted by the rise of the academy.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, some ateliers developed into places of communal production, particularly in Germany, where there emerged a desire to unify art with industrial production. In 1919 Walter Gropius founded the Bauhaus in an attempt to marry the arts with the technology of the mechanical age. Atelier 5 is a Swiss architectural firm founded in 1955 and inspired by the visions of Le Corbusier; the Rotterdam-based Atelier Van Lieshout, founded by Joep van Lieshout is a group of artists who devise alternative modes of living and working.