Who Gets to Call It Art?
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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
- Additional extended artist interviews
- Claes Oldenburg's Film Happening: "Fotodeath"
- Q&A with Peter Rosen, James Rosenquist and Larry Poons
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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
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!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Very insightful. I really enjoyed the dvd and showed it to my students in my direct encounters with the arts class.Published 3 months ago by Lakegirl
you wont make head nor tail of it and if you do you're getting a false sense of the subjet and time. Read morePublished on June 11, 2011 by Dean Morris
Although I hoped for some insights into the 1960's art world of New York, I lasted less than ten minutes before succumbing to nausea and vertigo from this frenetic, fragmented, and... Read morePublished on February 13, 2011 by Douglas Groothuis
This video was not even close to being a worthwhile watch. The description was deceiving, and over-promising. I have had more fun watching paint dry.Published on November 13, 2010 by Jennifer A. Kirkwood
I love this video. It is both documentary and philosophy in about the visual arts. Specifically; the abstract and contemporary arts and art critics engagement in these domains.Published on November 12, 2009 by Keith R. Prior
Recommended doc for anyone that enjoys documentaries in general and anyone that is interested in art history and particularly American art and art in the 20th Century. Read morePublished on September 15, 2008 by thames