Critics Page

Guest Critic

What Richard Pryor Didn’t Know

In 1926, John Grierson coined the word “documentary” to describe the “documentary value” of Moana, the second film by Robert Flaherty, who is considered the inventor of the form, at least in the English language.

In Conversation

CHRISTO with Jarrett Earnest

At the premier of The Gates (2007) at the Tribeca Film Festival, Jeanne-Claude explained, “Between Christo and me there is a love story for each other and for art. Then there is a love story between Christo and Jean-Claude and David and Albert Maysles.”

Painting Pollock

Before the Internet and social media, it was easier to read about Jackson Pollock ’51 than it was to see the film Hans Namuth directed and Paul Falkenberg produced.

BREAKING THE FRAME
Space, Time, and a Body of Work

“Carolee is spinning the moon,” whispers Marielle Nitoslawska, speaking over the golden orb dancing in the night. This opening sequence of Breaking the Frame, Nitoslawska’s documentary film about the artist Carolee Schneemann, was shot by Schneemann many years ago.

KIMSOOJA
Works and Process

To Breathe: Bottari, Kimsooja’s exhibition at the Korean Pavilion, was one of the most memorable presentations at the 2013 Venice Biennale. The Korean-born New York-based artist had the audacity to offer visitors an anechoic—or sensory deprivation—chamber off the main gallery of the pavilion, which served as an antidote to the sensory-overload that is the hallmark of most Biennale installations.

With Her Back to the World and Her Face to the Camera

There is a wonderful documentary called Agnes Martin: With My Back to the World, produced near the end of the artist’s long life by the filmmaker Mary Lance.

In Conversation

THE MET-GETTY PROGRAM FOR ART ON FILM
NADINE COVERT with Susan Delson

In 1984, the Getty Trust and the Metropolitan Museum of Art launched the Program for Art on Film. Its mission: to explore ways of producing more interesting, more effective films about art and stimulating productions that would encourage public interest in the visual arts.

Getting Away With It

Your inside is out/and your outside is in: Conceptual multimedia artist John Baldessari’s “Six Colorful Inside Jobs” (1977) is both a document of and a vehicle for a conceptual serial painting.

PICASSO’S MYSTERY: Art and Cinema

In the aftermath of the Holocaust and Hiroshima, the art documentary underwent an unprecedented flowering across Europe. Although T.W. Adorno had proclaimed that, after Auschwitz, poetry was barbarism, an intense interrogation of life-affirming creativity swept through Europe.

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NOV 2013

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