theEYE Series: Sculpture, Public Art, and Ceramics (14 titles, 26 mins each)
This group of 14 documentaries features artists who work with sculpture, public art and ceramics. Presenting the artist in discussion and illustrated by newly-filmed sequences of their works, each film offers a rare insight into an artist’s influences and ideas. theEYE is an excellent introduction to contemporary artists and their works and provides an accessible means of engaging with the pleasures and puzzles of art in the twenty-first century.
Tony Cragg: In Celebration of Sculpture (60 minutes, 2011)
One of the most versatile sculptors working today is Tony Cragg. Shaping forms in plastic, glass, stone, wood, steel, fiberglass, and found objects, he has been making magic come alive in hard materials since having emerged in the mid-’70s. His vocabulary is wide and his ideas explode across a broad creative landscape, destabilizing our normal viewing habits, while widening our perspective and attitudes. In Celebration of Sculpture is cinema verité at its most powerful. Cragg reveals himself while shown installing exhibitions of his work internationally and restlessly moving around in his Wuppertal studio. Filmed in New York, California, London, Eindhoven, and Düsseldorf, one senses the peripatetic nature of a restless creator. The sculptor's workplace is where he prefers to be.
Isamu Noguchi: The Sculpture of Spaces (53 minutes, 1995)
“One day…I had a vision: I saw the Earth as sculpture.” Isamu Noguchi often said that the space around a thing is as important as the thing itself. This program shows Noguchi turning landscapes into participatory works of art as it follows in dramatic detail the struggle to bring his ideas to fruition at Miami’s Bayfront Park and at Moere Numa Park, outside Sapporo. His austere sets for Martha Graham, which helped define modern dance, and his UNESCO garden in Paris, which shaped earth, water, and greenery into a series of multisensory surprises, are featured as well. A brilliant glimpse of an artist at work.
The Art of Henry Moore (61 minutes, 2004)
Henry Moore’s work is so representative of mid-20th-century modernist concerns that a generation of art viewers may be unfamiliar with it. This program facilitates a rediscovery of the brilliant sculptor and draftsman by freshly examining many of his drawings, graphics, and monuments. From his most iconic pieces to his lesser-known works, including the amazingly relevant WWII-era tube shelter sketches, Moore’s sensitive vision emerges with startling clarity. Footage from sites in the United States, Italy, and England, including the 2003 Tate Modern exhibition—as well as narration drawn from the artist’s own words—bring his remarkable career to life.
Richard Serra: To See Is to Think (45 minutes, 2007)
Richard Serra favors two basic materials: compressed steel, which he manipulates in a factory setting, and the natural spaces found at his installation sites. This program takes viewers inside Serra’s creative process while documenting his work at locations across the globe. Featuring detailed interviews with the artist, and with longtime associates, including composer Philip Glass and master rigger Ernst Fuchs.
Landscapes: The Sculpture Diaries (49 minutes, 2007)
Sculpture likely began as a form of spiritual expression, celebrating life and death and the connection both have to the Earth. Thousands of years later, that aspect of sculpture is still difficult to dismiss. This program follows British critic Waldemar Januszczak as he travels across North and South America, encountering stunning examples of sculpture tied to nature and the physical environment. From Robert Smithson’s Spiral Jetty and Nancy Holt’s Sun Tunnels in the U.S. to the ancient Inca settlement of Machu Picchu in Peru, Januszczak is determined to unlock sculpture’s inextricable link with the planet’s surface—and, in turn, with the cosmos. Decoding ancient Stonehenge, uncovering the mystery of Peru’s Nazca Lines, and building brand new sculptures with modern landscape artist Andy Goldsworthy, Januszczak offers an artistic journey that viewers won’t soon forget. Contains mature imagery and subject matter.
Women: The Sculpture Diaries (49 minutes, 2007)
The feminine form has inspired artists for thousands of years—but have the results done justice or injustice to women? What specifically does the history of sculpture tell us about attitudes toward womanhood and ideas of feminine beauty? British art critic Waldemar Januszczak addresses those questions in this challenging, eye-opening program. After tracing the representation of women from the prehistoric Venus of Willendorf and Venus de Milo to Marc Quinn’s controversial depiction of pregnancy, Januszczak visits a plastic surgeon who shows how “perfection” can be achieved by “improving” the image of Victoria Beckham. He also meets body sculptress Orlan, who has undergone numerous operations to turn her body into a work of art. Contains mature imagery and subject matter.
Leaders: The Sculpture Diaries (49 minutes, 2007)
Art isn’t always for art’s sake—a reality that is all too clear when political figures commandeer the artistic process for their own gain. Dictators and tyrants are experts at this, but even free societies use art to lionize their political heroes. And what medium is most suited to the glorification of leaders past and present? Public sculpture. This film examines the ways in which three-dimensional art is used to perpetuate power and carry on historical legacies. British critic Waldemar Januszczak guides viewers through a global gallery of sculptural examples—such as statues of Vladimir Lenin, which depict him as a dominant presence despite his slight physique; Mount Rushmore, where four massive visages of U.S. presidents elicit awe from tourists and ire from Native Americans; and Michelangelo’s iconic David, a work of both beauty and inconsistency. Contains mature imagery and subject matter.
The Helping Hands Of Contemporary Art (53 minutes, 2015)
Leading contemporary artists delegate whole sections of the production of their works. Increasingly today, contemporary art is the result of a collective effort. Engineers, designers, architects, artisans, workers, glass-makers, smelters, blacksmiths, coppersmiths, jewelry-makers, “highbrows” and “helping hands”, whether they possess high-tech or ancestral know-how –they all work in the shadows to produce today’s art. This documentary follows the production of three works from conception to completion. These include Korean artist Lee Ufan’s large scale work of boulders and metal sheets installed in the Versailles Palace Gardens; Norwegian conceptual artist Marianne Heske’s giant bronze doll head placed in the Torshovdalen Park in Oslo; and French artist Daniel Buren’s children’s blocks exhibited at the Strasbourg Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art.
Tim Marlow on Modern British Sculpture (24 minutes, 2011)
Join Tim Marlow as he guides us round the Modern British Sculpture exhibition. In 2011, the Royal Academy of Arts will be presenting the first exhibition for 30 years to examine British sculpture of the twentieth century.
The Sculpture 100: England's Public Sculpture, 1905-2005 (58 minutes, 2005)
Beginning with Thomas Brock’s Queen Victoria Memorial and ending with Marc Quinn’s Alison Lapper Pregnant, this program spotlights 100 public sculptures in Britain created over the course of 100 years. Stories of patronage, controversy, and celebration contextualize the images on screen, while quotations and commentary from important sculptors offer valuable insights. Henry Moore, Joseph Beuys, Richard Serra, Andy Goldsworthy, Barbara Hepworth, Anish Kapoor, Rachel Whiteread, Anthony Caro, Antony Gormley, Tracey Emin, Jacob Epstein, Tony Cragg, Eric Gill, Richard Wilson, David Mach, Elisabeth Frink, William Turnbull, and “England’s Michelangelo” G. F. Watts are only 18 of the landmark artists represented.
Sculptors at Storm King: Shaping American Art (47 minutes, 1990)
The 400-acre Storm King Art Center is America’s premier outdoor museum of post-1945 sculpture—and home to the works of more than a hundred of the world’s top talents. Through interviews, archival footage, and film clips of sculptors in action, this program offers a glimpse into the creative process of some of the century’s most influential artists while presenting a magnificent visual survey of the encyclopedic Storm King collection. Featured sculptors include Kenneth Snelson, Mark di Suvero, Richard Serra, and deceased artists David Smith, Louise Nevelson, Alexander Calder, and Isamu Noguchi.