Our latest Exclusive video short has been posted on Art21.org! Go here to watch Judy Pfaff and Ursula von Rydingsvard share what they learned from their 1992 collaboration at Exit Art, New York.
Filmed at their respective studios in 2006, longtime friends Judy Pfaff and Ursula von Rydingsvard discuss their experience collaborating in 1992 on a large sculpture titled Zygmunt. Commissioned by Exit Art founders Jeanette Ingberman and Papo Colo, Zygmunt was an intersection of their ideas regarding weight and space and an opportunity for Pfaff and von Rydingsvard to learn from each other.
Judy Pfaff is featured in the Season 4 (2007) Episode “Romance“ and Ursula von Rydingsvard in Season 4′s Episode “Ecology,” of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch full episodes online for free via PBS Video or Hulu, as a paid download via iTunes, or as part of a Netflix streaming subscription.
CREDITS | Producer: Ian Forster, Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Joel Shapiro. Sound: Roger Phenix. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Exit Art, Judy Pfaff & Ursula von Rydingsvard. Archival Photography Courtesy: Exit Art & James Hamilton. Special Thanks: Audrey Christensen & Andria Morales. Video: © 2012 Art21, Inc. All rights reserved.
Our latest edition of “Exclusive” is now live! A blend of newly-shot original filming and previously unreleased archival footage, videos from the Web-only “Exclusive” series focus on singular aspects of an artist’s process, significant individual works and exhibitions, provocative ideas, and biographical anecdotes. Click to watch “Lari Pittman: Audience,” on Art21.org.
Filmed in 2010 at Lari Pittman’s dual exhibitions ”Orangerie” and ”New Paintings” at Regen Projects, Los Angeles, the artist discusses the common misconception that his work is preplanned. Though he understands how audiences reach this conclusion, Pittman explains that his paintings result from a series of spontaneous decisions.
Inspired by commercial advertising, folk art, and decorative traditions, Pittman’s meticulously layered paintings transform pattern and signage into luxurious scenes fraught with complexity, difference, and desire. In a manner both visually gripping and psychologically strange, his hallucinatory works reference myriad aesthetic styles, from Victorian silhouettes to social realist murals to Mexican “retablos.”
Lari Pittman is featured in the Season 4 (2007) episode Romance of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch full episodes online for free via PBS Video or Hulu, as a paid download via iTunes, or as part of a Netflix streaming subscription.
CREDITS | Producer: Ian Forster, Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Bob Elfstrom. Sound: Ray Day. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Lari Pittman & Regen Projects. Special Thanks: Stacey Bengtson.
Our latest Exclusive video is now live on Art21.org: click here to watch Yinka Shonibare MBE on “Black Artists.” As Shonibare installs his 2008 solo show at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Sydney, Australia, he discusses his experience as a black artist living and working in the United Kingdom. With few black artist role models from the previous generation to follow in the path of, Shonibare describes his motivation and strategy for getting his work into the art system.
In multimedia projects that reveal his passion for art history, literature, and philosophy, Yinka Shonibare MBE provides a critical tour of Western civilization and its achievements and failures. At the same time, his sensitive use of his own foibles (vanity, for one) and challenges (physical disability) provide an autobiographical perspective through which to navigate the contradictory emotions and paradoxes of his examination of individual and political power.
Yinka Shonibare MBE is featured in the Season 5 (2009) episode Transformation of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch full episodes online for free via PBS Video or Hulu, as a paid download via iTunes (link opens application), or as part of a Netflix streaming subscription.
CREDITS | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Philippe Charluet & Ian Serfontein. Sound: Mark Cornish & Paul Stadden. Editor: Joaquin Perez. Artwork Courtesy: Yinka Shonibare MBE. Thanks: Museum of Contemporary Art, Sydney.
Filmed at her Brooklyn studio, artist Ursula von Rydingsvard recounts her family’s journey from German refugee camps during WWII to their difficult early years in Connecticut. Accompanied by images from her personal archive, von Rydingsvard describes how her family’s struggles still influence her studio practice today.
Ursula von Rydingsvard builds towering cedar structures, creating an intricate network of individual beams and sensuous, puzzle-like surfaces. While abstract at its core, von Rydingsvard’s work takes visual cues from the landscape, the human body, and utilitarian objects–such as the artist’s collection of household vessels–and demonstrates an interest in the point where the human-made object meets nature.
Ursula von Rydingsvard is featured in the Season 4 (2007) episode Ecology of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch full episodes online for free via PBS Video or Hulu, as a paid download via iTunes (link opens application), or as part of a Netflix streaming subscription.
Learn more about Ursula von Rydingsvard.
Our latest “Exclusive” has just gone live! Filmed in 2006 at Industria Studios, New York, this previously unreleased footage shows photographer Laurie Simmons as she directs scenes for her first film, “The Music of Regret,” starring Meryl Streep. A longtime friend of Simmons and married to a sculptor herself, Streep conveys the difficulties and advantages of leaving a solitary studio practice to work with dozens of crew and collaborators on a motion picture. Click here to watch the video on Art21′s website.
Laurie Simmons stages photographs and films with paper dolls, finger puppets, ventriloquist dummies, and costumed dancers as “living objects,” animating a dollhouse world suffused with nostalgia and colored by an adult’s memories, longings, and regrets. Her work blends psychological, political and conceptual approaches to art making, transforming photography’s propensity to objectify people, especially women, into a sustained critique of the medium.
Learn more about Laurie Simmons at: http://www.art21.org/artists/laurie-simmons.
CREDITS | Producer: Ian Forster, Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Mead Hunt & Joel Shapiro. Sound: Roger Phenix & Merce Williams. Editor: Morgan Riles. Artwork Courtesy: Laurie Simmons, Jeanne Greenberg Rohatyn & Donald Rosenfeld. Special Thanks: Ed Lachman, Industria Studios, New York & Catherine Tatge. Video: © 2012 Art21, Inc. All rights reserved.
Our latest “Exclusive” has just gone live! This new video short features previously unreleased footage of artist An-My Lê photographing a basalt quarry along the Hudson River. Over the course of numerous visits, Lê used a large-format camera to document changes to the quarry and its dramatic alteration of the surrounding landscape. The photographic series, titled “Trap Rock,” was commissioned by Dia:Beacon. Click here to watch the video.
An-My Lê’s photographs and films often examine the impact, consequences, and representation of war. Whether in color or black-and-white, her pictures frame a tension between the natural landscape and its violent transformation into battlefields. Projects include “Viêt Nam” (1994–98), in which Lê’s memories of a war-torn countryside are reconciled with the contemporary landscape; “Small Wars” (1999–2002), in which Lê photographed and participated in Vietnam War reenactments in South Carolina; and “29 Palms” (2003–04), in which United States Marines preparing for deployment play-act scenarios in a virtual Middle East in the California desert. Suspended between the formal traditions of documentary and staged photography, Lê’s work explores the disjunction between wars as historical events and the ubiquitous representation of war in contemporary entertainment, politics, and collective consciousness.
Episode #143: Commissioned by French Vogue to create a fashion editorial featuring clothes from the Spanish design house Balenciaga, artist Cindy Sherman discusses the first time she used a digital camera to make pictures, ultimately creating different versions of images for the magazine and for herself.
In self-reflexive photographs and films, Cindy Sherman invents myriad guises, metamorphosing from Hollywood starlet to clown to society matron. Often with the simplest of means—a camera, a wig, makeup, an outfit—Sherman fashions ambiguous but memorable characters that suggest complex lives lived out of frame. Shermans investigations have a compelling relationship to public images, from kitsch (film stills and centerfolds) to art history (Old Masters and Surrealism) to green-screen technology and the latest advances in digital photography.
Cindy Sherman is featured in the Season 5 (2009) episode Transformation of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch full episodes online for free via PBS Video or Hulu, as a paid download via iTunes (link opens application), or as part of a Netflix streaming subscription.
If you follow the Art21 blog and work with Art21 materials you know full well there are plenty of opportunities to see and share a huge variety of video about contemporary art and artists. Add New York Close Up to the lineup, which kicked off Monday, and it just keeps getting better. But this week I want to take a moment to highlight the blog’s video exclusives and an idea for grouping videos like these.
At two different professional development workshops this month, one at the Jacob Burns Film Center in New York and another at the Holland Area Arts Council in Michigan, I had the opportunity to teach with Art21’s video exclusives. For both workshop activities I grouped three videos that simultaneously addressed themes of peace, war and power in order to give participants a look at multiple perspectives on these subjects. I asked teachers and artists in the audience to consider how exposing students to these three videos together may open up the definitions of war, peace and power in order to give them diverse starting points vs. going with knee-jerk reactions to familiar (but often under-explored) topics. Let’s face it, if you simply ask a bunch of secondary teenagers to create art about war, don’t be surprised to see a lot of guns, blood, and maybe a few planes. Using the three videos in this particular example allowed me to more broadly define very different kinds of war, peace and power that exist in our world, and even in our homes.
When you compare An-My Lê’s video featuring “29 Palms” with Krzysztof Wodiczko’s interview discussing the meaning of peace, and then view Carrie Mae Weems’ “The Kitchen Table Series”, a broad picture gets painted with these themes. An-My Lê discusses the beauty of war and Krzysztof Wodiczko asserts that working towards peace “cannot be peaceful”. Carrie Mae Weems illustrates through her photographs and commentary that even our own kitchens are the stage for very different kinds of war and power struggles.
But what are the similarities between what each artist is saying? What are the main differences? And are there other videos you would pair or group in order to teach about particular themes, questions or ideas?
Utilizing Art21’s video exclusives allow us to compare artists in the series taking on questions and topics that are perhaps not highlighted in the original broadcasts. With the aid of concise descriptions that accompany each exclusive, educators can quickly read about any number of videos and then view selected exclusives that have potential to inspire students far beyond static “image searches” or, God help us, sifting through piles of old magazines. Give it a try!
Episode #142: Artist Paul McCarthy discusses his interest in art as political theater and his sculptures as akin to amusement park rides. Featuring the works “Bang Bang Room” (1992), “Spinning Room” (2008), and “Mad House” (2008) in the exhibition “Paul McCarthy: Central Symmetrical Rotation Movement, Three Installations, Two Films” (2008) at the Whitney Museum of American Art.
Paul McCarthy’s video-taped performances and provocative multimedia installations lampoon polite society, ridicule authority, and bombard the viewer with a sensory overload of often sexually-tinged, violent imagery. With irreverent wit, McCarthy often takes aim at cherished American myths and icons—Walt Disney, the Western, and even the Modern Artist—adding a touch of malice to subjects that have been traditionally revered for their innocence or purity. Whether conflating real-world political figures with fantastical characters such as Santa Claus, or treating erotic and abject content with frivolity and charm, McCarthy’s work confuses codes, mixes high and low culture, and provokes an analysis of fundamental beliefs.
Paul McCarthy is featured in the Season 5 (2009) episode Transformation of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch full episodes online for free via PBS Video or Hulu, as a paid download via iTunes (link opens application), or as part of a Netflix streaming subscription.
Episode #141: Filmed in his New York studio, artist Hiroshi Sugimoto recounts his student days studying Western philosophy (Hegel, Kant, Marx) in Tokyo, encountering Oriental philosophy (such as Zen Buddhism) in California, and his interest in the history of Modernism—all schools of thought that demonstrate “the human ability to see things in a different way.”
Central to Hiroshi Sugimoto’s work is the idea that photography is a time machine, a method of preserving and picturing memory and time. Sugimoto sees with the eye of the sculptor, painter, architect, and philosopher. He creates images that seem to convey his subjects’ essence, whether architectural, sculptural, painterly, or of the natural world.
Hiroshi Sugimoto is featured in the Season 3 (2007) episode Memory of the Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS. Watch full episodes online for free via PBS Video or Hulu, as a paid download via iTunes (link opens application), or as part of a Netflix streaming subscription.