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Painters Painting (1972)

New York Art Scene , 1940-1970 , Emile de Antonio  |  NR |  DVD
3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Actors: New York Art Scene, 1940-1970
  • Directors: Emile de Antonio
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Black & White, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Arthouse Films
  • DVD Release Date: January 26, 2010
  • Run Time: 116 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (51 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #27,219 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Painters Painting" on IMDb

Editorial Reviews

PAINTERS PAINTING is a vibrant collective portrait of the legendary figures who powered the tumultuous post-war New York art scene. Immediate and irreverent, the film

has the feeling of an intimate conversation. De Antonio shows artists (and their critics and patrons) gossiping, drinking and talking about life and art, and in the

process illuminates the genesis of Abstract Expressionism. Footage of the Metropolitan Museum of Art s landmark exhibition New York Painting and Sculpture 1940-1970

supplements the film. An invaluable resource for anyone interested in contemporary art, PAINTERS PAINTING brilliantly captures a turning point in American art and


Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
93 of 96 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than digging up a timecapsule January 20, 2001
Format:VHS Tape
The Abstract Expressionists have been cannonized and mythologized to such an extent by popular culture, that the reality of the most important American Art Movement is difficult to experience from the recent books and treatises on the subject. Painters Painting, itself an important art work by film-maker Emile de Antonio, propels us back into that existentialist time in such a complete and satisfying way, that we finish feeling like we just had dinner ourselves with all the suspects of the time at the Cedar Tavern . We discover even the notorious critic Hilton Kramer has a face. From deKooning to Warhol, the musings of the artists include Frankenthaler, Hoffman, Motherwell, Barnett Newman (my personal favorite in this film: "I believe that art theory is to me as an artist what ornithology must be for the birds"), Johns, Rauschenberg, Noland, Olitsky, Pavia, Poons, and Frank Stella. Interviews include the controversial Clement Greenberg at his best. As you can tell from the artist list, the film begins with Abstract Expressionism, winds its way through Hard-Edge and Color Field painting, before it finishes with the Grande Dame of the New York Art Scene of the 60's, Andy Warhol. This is a documentary not to be missed.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Finally May 26, 2009
This is an important document! And, it is finally available on DVD. Many of the artists that speak for themselves are now dead, so it gives us a chance see them in their studios again. And, it shows the Abstract Expressionists, Pop artists as well as the abstract artists of the 60's such as Stella, Noland and Poons.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
Format:VHS Tape
I cannot believe that this documentary is so hard to find. I never thought I would be able to find a copy in my lifetime. One appeared about a month ago at a reasonable price and I cannot believe my luck in picking up a copy. Remarkable 116 minute documentary by Emile de Antonio. The artists that appear in this film are very relaxed and forthcoming. There is no dumbing down here but it is not esoteric either. Unique product. My copy is well worn so I will have to copy it to my computer and make a DVD or VCD copy because eventually all VHS degrades further until it dies. This is required viewing for anyone who is crazy enough to have painting on his mind every day of his life like I do.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars De-mystifying the process. January 8, 1999
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
You smile when you watch these artist attempt to affix words to their work. It's a painful task, but De Antonio's conversational style turns an interview with even the most laconic of artists into an entertaining and instructive ride. (deKooning, 'Painters aren't so clever').
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14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Insiteful March 16, 2005
Format:VHS Tape|Verified Purchase
This film/video is rich with ideas, thoughts, philosophies, humour and it gives a wonderful glimpse into this period in American painting.

It includes Interviews with Abstract Expressionists De Kooning, Frankenthaler, Newman and more, Pop artist Andy Warhol, Post Abstract Expressionists Rauschenberg and Johns as well as with some of the color field painters and some critics and patrons. Each offers valuable insight into the creative thinking process. The interviews are broken up and collaged together. It's not a formal documentary, it takes a conversational tone.
Critic Clement Greenberg and Gallery owner Leo Castelli are also among those interviewed.

I never tire of this film, it always stimulates new thoughts and revelations about the artistic process and about this period.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
Emile de Antonio's documentary of the New York art scene from 1940-1970 is a masterpiece in itself, equal to the works of art put on canvas by the artists interviewed. It is a time capsule, captured on film, of a bygone era. The effects of Jackson Pollock's work and the aftermath of the 1960's factory scene and it's effects on the world and culture of American art are discussed. Legends of the cubist/neo-dada/pop art movements like Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Kenneth Noland, Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Jasper Johns, and Frank Stella are interviewed among many others and their art analyzed with great attention to preserving their individual flavors and not allowing the editing process to dilute their unique contributions and bleed them together. You really get a sense of what makes each individual artist tick and what inspires them to create what would later become near-priceless works of art in just under a half-century.

To be honest, I didn't even know the film existed until a year or so ago and was delighted to find it on DVD here at Amazon. I ordered it and watched and was blown away. It is much different hearing the artists talk about their own work on film as opposed to reading about them. You get a more intimate portrait of the artists themselves and it is a DVD I will treasure forever. As a bonus treat, there is a very interesting PBS interview included on the DVD of Emile de Antonio filmed shortly before his death in 1989 included on the bonus section of the DVD where he discusses what went into the creation of the documentary and about his relationships with the various artists interviewed. Nearly worth the cost of the DVD by itself.

Overall this is a must-buy DVD, not just for the artist or aspiring painter, but for anyone interested in the beauty of paint and canvas in general and of the New York art scene in particular.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing October 23, 2011
Format:Amazon Instant Video
This is a gem! It's amazing to be able to hear these artists (de Kooning, Motherwell, Hans Hoffman) talking about their art. This video should be required viewing for art history classes.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
A classic that anyone interested in abstract painting should not only watch, but also study
Published 10 days ago by steve the writer
1.0 out of 5 stars I'm very sorry I bought it
I bought it because of a rave review....not what I thought it would be...Rather boring!
Published 29 days ago by Kindle Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Intimate thoughts on painting from some of the best American painters. Great documentary.
Published 1 month ago by nomdeplume
4.0 out of 5 stars Great doc on a period in american art.
Starts with Abstract Impressionism and continues through Pop Art. Interesting artist interviews, with only a bit of rambling. Read more
Published 4 months ago by bubba202
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Educational a glimpse into the lives of the greats!
Artists, students and interested art collectors will find this film interesting and very Educational... a glimpse into the lives of the great contemporary artists!
Published 4 months ago by alexiart
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Inspiration!
Nothing inspires me more than this documentary. I have watched it countless times Sometimes when I am painting, I keep it on in the background just to absorb the wisdom of these... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Duane Potosky
5.0 out of 5 stars 50's abstractionists
loved it and showed it at the art organization of which i am a member. these artists among others represent why the art scene moved from paris to ny.
Published 6 months ago by carol mueller
5.0 out of 5 stars Not to be missed!
Classic documentary about the most exciting period of art in New York. The luminaries here are staggering: from de Kooning to Warhol. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Dave75
3.0 out of 5 stars Review
I started watching it and it was really interesting, but my cat bit my ipad cord and it ran out of gas, and by the time I got it recharged the next day, Amazon Prime had taken the... Read more
Published 7 months ago by Anne Martin
2.0 out of 5 stars nahh
there are many much better doccies on art,try Simon Scharma for a start, but this is overly pretentious and ultimately dull.
Published 7 months ago by G Erdwhile
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PLEASE - WHERE CAN I RENT THIS?? or buy cheaply
I've rented this movie at Kim's Video in NYC. Hopefully that's helpful
May 2, 2008 by Julie M. Dickson |  See all 3 posts
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