DVDs — Art City

Art City: Making It in Manhattan is an art tour of New York City, entering galleries and studios and the homes of collectors. Interviewing critics, collectors, and artists–among them Louis Bourgeois, Chuck Close, Elizabeth Murray, and Gary Simmons–director Chris Maybach looks at the contemporary art scene of the 1990s. Although the video bills itself as an exploration of the New York art community, it is really more a survey of the artists–location has little to do with the end product, it seems. Yet, despite the missed opportunity to exploit the city’s influence on the creations, this documentary does succeed in illuminating the artists’ struggles and inspirations. Covering collectors, studio visits, the 1980s, finances, daily routines, and success, the film is dynamic, interspersing images of the work with the creators themselves, and avoiding talking heads. For a broad view of a seemingly cloistered artistic community, Art City provides insight into and explanation of the fascinating and varied lives of artists. –Amazon

Robert Rosenblum, Guggenheim Museum
“A perfect time-capsule of the American art world as it goes into the 21st Century. Posterity should be grateful for this vivid document.”

Peggy Parsons, National Gallery of Art
“A superb cinematic experience. I forgot I was watching an art documentary.”

Arthur C. Danto, The Nation
“These remarkable films give us the sense of seeing art today with absolute clarity and truth.” 

Features: Brice Marden, Chuck Close, Neil Jenney, Louise Bourgeois, Agnes Martin, Richard Tuttle, John Baldessari, Robert Williams, Elizabeth Murray, Michael Ray Charles, Elizabeth Peyton, Ed Ruscha, Lari Pittman, Ashley Bickerton, Gary Simmons, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Rirkrit Tiravanija, John Torreano, Pat Steir, St. Clair Cemin, Joan Snyder,Mike Bidlo, Amy Adler, David Deutsch, Richmond Burton, Carolyn Martin, David Alan Grier, Mat Gleason, Ivan Karp, Jay Gorney, Matthew Marks, Jerry Saltz, Herb & Dorothy Vogel, Marcia Tucker, Dave Hickey.

ART CITY: Making it in Manhattan Video N6512 .A76 V1 2002 DVD 

Artists, collectors, and dealers bring to life the art capital of the world, New York, as it plunges into the 21st Century. Presenting a cross-section of artists, the film discusses inspiration, aesthetics, and the meaning of success. With Louise Bourgeois, Brice Marden, Chuck Close, Neil Jenney, Elizabeth Murray, Ashley Bickerton, Gary Simmons, Ursula von Rydingsvard, Rirkrit Tiravanija, St. Clair Cemin, Ivan Karp, Jay Gorney, Matthew Marks, Jerry Saltz, Herb & Dorothy Vogel, and others. From abstraction to figuration, from installation to conceptual art, from the privacy of the doctor’s office to the posh gallery opening, Making it in Manhattan captures the reality of a special world.

ART CITY: Simplicity Video N6512 .A76 V3 2002 DVD    

Travelling around the country, Art City: Simplicity takes viewers on a revealing trip into the studios and lives of a group of singular artists. On a desert mesa outside Santa Fe, Richard Tuttle invents his mysterious and marvellously humble forms, made of wire, cardboard, wood. In Taos, Agnes Martin rhythmically repeats extremely simplified images. Near the Santa Monica surf, John Baldessari, aims for successful juxtapositions of photographs and text. In his North Hollywood living room, Robert Williams revels in surreal cartoon imagery. At a cabin in Woodstock, Joan Snyder refines her sensuous art amid a lush forest. Mike Bidlo salutes Duchamp in a SoHo Gallery, while on Sunset Boulevard, Amy Adler reclaims personal history through self-portraits. Through this group of memorable iconoclasts, the creative ìactî is there to see and study. Along with writer Dave Hickey, and others, Simplicity addresses artists’ relations with the press, feelings about showing oneís work, distilling concepts into an essence, and what it means to succeed in the artworld.

ART CITY: A Ruling Passion Video N6512 .A76 V2 2002 DVD    

Many artists use the pain, exhilaration and resolution of private desires to express themselves. Art City: A Ruling Passion focuses on intense personalities who’ve used their art to explore the emotional impact of psychological truths. Everything that Louise Bourgeois creates – whether in marble, fabric or bronze – comes from memory. Michael Ray Charles investigates the marketing of black memorabilia, using early American advertising imagery. Elizabeth Peyton reinvents portraiture, using her friends as subjects, as well as pop culture royalty. Ed Ruscha’s literary landscapes burst from the physical world ìright outside the window.î The comic spirit of Lari Pittman contrasts with his graphic declarations. In a landmark house, Richmond Burton remembers his dreams to build “psychic fields” of abstraction. The arrays of featureless faces by David Deutsch are stimulated by sub-conscious sensations. Along with writer Dave Hickey and others, A Ruling Passion plumbs issues that affect artists – preoccupations of startling universality – like community, motivation and controversy, finding oneís audience, and just ìgetting it right.


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