Rudolph Burckhardt

Alex Katz Painting (1978) 16mm, color, 24 minutes min

Genre: Documentary, Experimental

Keywords: Art & Artists, Biography & Autobiography

"In 1961 Frank O'Hara wrote, in a letter to John Ashbery, 'The great thing this year I think is Alex Katz,' and in 1962, 'I think he is one of the best, and even more uniquely, one of the most interesting painters in New York.' It is 1978 [when the film was made], and these opinions, once held by the happy few, are now widely accepted. Alex Katz is one of our great painters. How lucky we are, then, to have a film about him by an equally distinguished filmmaker! Such artistic combinations are rare. In this film we see Katz drawing and painting. We see his paint table (he drinks Medaglia d'Oro and eats Skippy peanut butter in the country), his studio, the green view out the door. We see his models. We see him laugh as he works. We see a fly land on his T-shirt, at the shoulder. We see his paintings, lots of them, in detail and from across the room, still shots and gentle, sinuous pans. We see his enormous Times Square billboard in progress, then finished. We see a show being hung, and the opening, where the people inevitably begin to resemble the art on the wall - such a funny and exquisite sensation! And over it all we hear Alex talking to us about his work, talking about style and influence and perception in the most straight-forward way. He talks about art in this matter-of-fact way because overinflation of ideas is precisely not what he's all about. He's smart enough to know that for a painter the look of things is more exciting than any idea about them, and he has the technical mastery capable of handling this visual excitement of life. ALEX KATZ PAINTING is like spending a couple of days with this great and articulate painter." -- Ron Padgett

Rental: $90.00
16mm Rental: $90.00

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