Sometimes the best way to really immerse yourself in art is to sit down and enjoy an art documentary. Art documentaries come in a number of different forms; some follow the artist at work and others focus on the impact their work had on the art world. There are a lot of different art documentaries available and it’s safe to say almost all art-related topics have been covered, so it’s not always easy to choose what to watch.
The following five art films are some of the best and they should be on everyone’s ‘must-watch art documentaries’ list. Take a look:
Art Bastard is a great art documentary for anyone who is interested in caricatures, cartoon art and street art. It tells the story of painter Robert Cenedella – who took inspiration and motivation from caricaturist George Grosz – on his quest to conquer the New York street scene. Art Bastard explores the successes, failures and problems a painter faces when they struggle to find a mainstream audience for their unique work.
Painters Painting: The New York Art Scene
Filmed in 1973, Painters Painting is a classic art documentary which has truly stood the test of time. Painters Painting explores the New York art scene from 1940 – 1970, focusing on creative critical mass. It includes interviews with those who shaped the New York art scene, as well as leading critics and museum directors.
In 2012 artist Michael Heizer installed a 340 tonne boulder outside the Los Angeles County Museum of Art; it has been on display ever since. Levitated Mass explores how Heizer came up with the idea, as well as delving into the logistics of creating such an unusual, expensive and large art display. Viewers will see that though it may initially seem simple, the entire project was impeccably planned from start to finish.
Gerhard Richter: Painting
Gerhard Richter is one of the world’s bestselling painters and this documentary follows his creative process. It includes footage of him at work and interviews with Richter himself, as well as discussions with his critics and fans.
Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present
This documentary is a little different to some of the other must-watch art documentaries, but it’s a great choice for those who favour performance art. Marina Abramovic is a well-known performance artists and this film follows her as she prepares for an exhibition at New York’s Museum of Modern Art. It raises the question of whether Abramovic changed the way art is defined.