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Who Gets to Call It Art?

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Who Gets to Call it Art? is a wild ride through the fascinating 1960s New York art world, seen through the eyes of first "contemporary art" curator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Henry Geldzahler. Never-before-seen footage of artists including Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein as well as exclusive interviews with artists Frank Stella, David Hockney, and James Rosenquist provide a vibrant and entertaining look at ten amazing years when American artists challenged everything and forever changed the world of art.

Review

(A) lively, intelligent collage, richly complex and immediately accessible. -- Ronnie Sheib, Variety

Capture(s) the spirit of invention and discovery that made the '60s so exciting. -- Noel Murray, The Onion

DON'T MISS! -- Time Out NY

THRILLING! -- LA Weekly

There is no hyperbole in stating this is one of the greatest art documentaries ever made. -- Phil Hall, FilmThreat.com

Special Features

  • Additional extended artist interviews
  • Claes Oldenburg's Film Happening: "Fotodeath"
  • Q&A with Peter Rosen, James Rosenquist and Larry Poons
  • Trailer

Product Details

  • Actors: John Chamberlain, Ivan Karp, George Lois, Frank Stella, Larry Poons
  • Directors: Peter Rosen
  • Producers: Peter Rosen, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Cathy Price, Karl Katz, Sara Lukinson
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Widescreen
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
  • DVD Release Date: May 23, 2006
  • Run Time: 78 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000EQ5V9A
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,873 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Who Gets to Call It Art?" on IMDb

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Craig Matteson HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWER on April 1, 2007
Format: DVD
Henry Geldzahler came from a well-to-do family and always wanted to be a curator. After interning at the Whitney at 15 he fell in love with modern art. He got a degree from Yale and after a couple of years of doctoral studies at Harvard he accepted a position at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was hardly known for its support of the latest directions in art.

This movie is about Geldzahler and what he did to support the pop art movement that included artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, and many others. The story is told with tapes and films of Geldzahler, as well as period and contemporary interviews with the artists concerned (whether supportive or contrary to the movement).

The culmination of the film is the famous and hugely controversial show Geldzahler put on in 1970 at the Metropolitan. "New York Painting 1940-1970". It was a blockbuster and still resonates to this day. I loved the comment about how he selected what to put in the show (because no matter how large an exhibition, so much had to be left out). Geldzahler said that he picked those works that he had seen and than left him wanting to see it again. Whatever you think about the "seriousness" or "worth" of the art, much of it is certainly beautiful and all of it is full of cheer, optimism, fun, and some downright silliness. Isn't that refreshing from being dour all the time?

Henry Geldzahler died far too young at 59 in 1994. We even get to see inside his home and the beautiful objects with which he had surrounded himself. They are stunning.

This is a fine short film to get some background about this interesting and influential patron on modern art and the artists who did all that work. It is quite charmingly done and never gets sidetracked in the side arguments.

Recommended.
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25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Rebecca of Amazon HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on September 28, 2006
Format: DVD
A fascination with influence may draw you to this documentary of art appreciation. Henry Geldzahler was the first contemporary art curator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his "New York Painting and Sculpture 1940-1970" exhibit is said to be the largest exhibit of modern art by living artists at the Met.

Through this journey into the life of Henry Geldzahler we discover the depths of the friendship between Henry and Andy Warhol and how at the height of their friendship they talked on the phone daily. It seemed they supported each other's artistic visions.

Henry Geldzahler loved to be photographed, was a natural in front of a camera and also loved to sit for portraits. David Hockney's painting of Henry sitting on a couch is shown in reality and then as the painting. These types of contrasts show reality vs. the artist's vision and perhaps explain "in a subtle way" how Henry's presence changed the world of art.

Since I had just arrived in the world in the 60s, this is all pretty much new to me and it helps to explain the rise of contemporary art in a positive way. It is likely that you will recognize very few artists featured if you are under 40 and not an art student, but this doesn't detract from the human-interest story.

Artists interviewed include: Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, David Hockney, John Chamberlain, Francesco Clemente, Mark di Suvero, Ellsworth Kelly, Larry Poons and James Rosenquist. This gives a fascinating inside view of what was happening in the art world during the 60s.

After viewing this DVD, you can't help but recognize the influence of the artists featured while visiting today's art museums.

~The Rebecca Review
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By raz on April 10, 2007
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I've purchased this DVD to find out what's behind pop art who are its main protagonists and indeed who gets to call it art? The feature is made up by a series of interviews with prominent artists from the 50s and 60s who weren't so well known back then. In fact is a film about Henry Geldzahler who went to the art school with Andy Warhol and became curator at Met during the 60s, Henry introduced artists like Larry Poons, Mark Di Suvero, Andy Warhol, etc to the general public thus enlarging and challenging the established view of what's art. The movie also answered my question - pop art social effect is simply to reconcile us to a world of commodities...banalities and vulgarities which is to say in effect indistinguishable from advertising art.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Cynthia on December 25, 2006
Format: DVD
I teach contemporary art. This film utilizes clips and quotes from other films about highly significant artists working from the late 50s forward. It is time for the general public to see Henry Geldzahler as the catalyst and creative coordinator for this diverse group. . .a must have for understanding the evolution of art since the 1960s.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Robert Burridge Studio on January 25, 2009
Format: DVD
Have you ever wondered how the Andy Warhols, the Jasper Johns and the David Hockneys got their work in museums while they were alive?

Well, I have! "Who Gets to Call it Art?" is an immensely entertaining collection of how contemporary artists and their work got "the nod" from one man. During this eighty minute documentary, you will hear from the artists themselves and every one points their success to one man... Henry Geldzahler. as curator for the stuffy and dated Metropolitan Museum of Art, Henry was sent out from behind his desk to search out the New York underground, modern artists.

This is one of my favorite historic DVDs because I can listen to and watch some of my most admired risk-takers in the 60s. This was the beginning of how American artists challenged everything and changed art as we know it today. Henry (a real character of a guy) shows us how he did his work and helped make them all famous. Get this DVD!
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