Artist Portraits

On Art and Artists: Artist Portraits

This section of the On Art and Artists collection highlights a number of experimental portraits of artists, and documentaries about the artistic process, from intimate one-on-one close-ups and dialogues, to full studio production studies. These works do not follow a traditional interview format, but are often intended as artworks in their own right. The artists and makers of these Artist Portraits draw artistic inspiration and stylistic license from the collaborators and interlocutors they depict.

 

2010
Marina Abramovic, From Tuesday to Friday

Mexican video artist Ximena Cuevas documented the preparations and opening of the Marina Abramovic Videoinstalaciones exhibit at Mexico City's Laboratorio Arte ALameda, the first Abramovic exhibition ever to take place in Mexico, in November of 2008.  Cuevas captures the self proclaimed "performance grandmother" in a number of personal and performative moments as she readies for the opening.

2014

An intimate portrait of the artist at his home in San Francisco, this film delves into Mike Kuchar's life and work. The artist portrait explores, among other things, Kuchar's movie/music collections, his mysterious Casablanca editing system and the comic books, religious iconography and sci-fi memorabilia that fill the apartment floor to ceiling.

2009
Anecdotal Evidence, Jem Cohen

A musical portrait of Vic Chesnutt and company recording the song, CHAIN.

The piece was shot during the recording session for the album, At the Cut, at the Hotel2Tango studio in Montreal, and features appearances by musicians including Efrim Menuck, Guy Picciotto, Jessica Moss, and Chad Jones. CHAIN was written by Chesnutt after viewing Cohen's feature film of that name.

1988

A documentary about Holt’s public installation work Dark Star Park in Arlington, Virginia, this video is about the process of developing and building the park. It includes commentary from the architects, contractors, foremen, and engineers who worked on the project, as well as with people who frequent the park. Holt transforms a site of urban blight into an aesthetically stimulating spot that addresses environmental issues.

1988
The Artists: Part 1 (Belinkoff, Krusoe, Holmes, and Clark)

This video features California artists: drawer and painter Deanne Belinoff, sculptor and poet Sana Krusoe, wood relief carver and painter Palema Holmes, and New York-based video artist Shirley Clark.

The Artists: Part 1 was produced in concert with the exhibition Four Solo Exhibitions at the Long Beach Museum of Art in 1988. The artists are introduced by LBMA’s senior curator Josine Ianco-Starrels. The video presents and contrasts the diverse styles, media, and personalities of these four women artists.

1989
The Artists: Part 2 (Dill, Walding, and Delap)

This video profiles the work and insight of California artists: sculptor, painter, and installation artist Laddie John Dill and painter and sculptor Clark Walding. It also includes a mini-documentary on Tony Delap’s The Big Wave, a public art sculpture that crosses Wilshire Boulevard in Santa Monica. 

1988
The Artists: Part 3 (Baron, Nadius And Robinson)

Part 3 profiles three California women artists: sculptor and lint and installation artist Slater Baron, mixed media installation artist Beverly Nadius, and book artist Sue Ann Robinson.

1988
The Artists: Performance Art (Rosenthal, Dresher, Coates)

This tape compiles three profiles of performance artists: A Creative Synthesis: George Coates Performance Works (10:00), The Performance World of Rachel Rosenthal (16:00), and Paul Dresher Ensemble (08:00).

1977
Betty Asher

Part of the Long Beach Museum of Art’s Institute for Art and Urban Resources' Collectors of the Seventies series, this video focuses on the Betty Asher’s acquisitions. "I started collecting in 1939. I didn’t really start collecting per se," Asher says in this interview with David Ross, Virginia Dwan, and Alanna Heiss. "I bought things, and one morning I woke up and—all of a sudden—people were calling me a collector."

1991
John Baldessari:  Some Stories

This video reveals John Baldessari's thoughts and intentions for his work over the course of his career, providing clues to the understanding of his paintings, books, and photos. What emerges is a portrait of a rebellious artist who attempts to undermine the catagories and dogmas of the art world--with the full realization that in the long run, some catagory or other will be named to label his work.

1990
High Museum of Art, Lynda Benglis: Dual Natures

Feminist artist Lynda Benglis is known for her sculptures, video performances, paintings, and photography. Her work in the 1970s was controversial, delving into issues of gender roles within and outside the art world. Produced in conjunction with her retrospective at the High Museum of Art in Atlanta, Dual Natures provides an introduction to Benglis’s work and includes excerpts from her videos of the mid-’70s and footage of the artist at work.

1997
Binary Lives: Steina and Woody Vasulka

In 1964, Steina Vasulka (then Steinunn Bjarnadottir) married Woody Vasulka, a Czech engineer with a background in film. They later moved to New York where, with Andreas Mannik, they founded the Kitchen, a performance space dedicated to new media. The Vasulkas collaborated on a series of video works whose imagery arose primarily through the manipulation of the video signal at the level of the electron beam itself.

2003
Bird, Bath and Beyond

"I don't put myself into my movies because that would be too much--my pictures reflect my own feelings.  So hopefully it's entertaining.  Otherwise I can't bear looking at them, ha ha!"
--Mike Kuchar

In this dream-portrait of Mike Kuchar, he floats through his memories as the sea, space and sky drift past. Wrapped in odd costumes, he frolics with the imaginary creatures surrounding him, and recalls the creatures of his own imagination.

1988
A Bitter Message of Hopeless Grief

Performance engineers Survival Research Laboratories (SRL) construct machines that live in their own fictional world, acting out scenarios of perpetual torment, exasperated consumption, and tragic recognition. This film presents a fractured narrative featuring these large anthropomorphic robots and represents Jonathan Reiss and SRL’s collaborative desire to go beyond the restraints of event documentation.

2012
Breaking the Frame

Marielle Nitoslawska’s Breaking the Frame is a feature–length profile of the radical New York artist Carolee Schneemann. A pioneer of performance art and avant-garde cinema, Schneemann has been breaking the frames of the art world for five decades by challenging the taboos leveled against the female body. Breaking the Frame is a kinetic, hyper-cinematic intervention, a critical medita-tion on the intimate correlations animating art and life.

 


Praise for Breaking the Frame: