Documentaries about art

Monday's Art Marketing Action newsletter focuses on a self-guided curriculum so you continue to grow as an artist. As a preview, I want to share with you some of my favorite documentaries about art.

These are just documentaries! And they're just off the top of my head. There are so many good ones out there. Go to the Getty Web site and plug in your favorite artist or art subject and you'll find lots more. Then see if you can borrow films from your local library or Netflix.

The PBS series art: 21. A pioneering series on artists making art today. Don't miss a single episode.

“How to Draw a Bunny” about the mysterious art, life, death of Ray Johnson
This is probably my favorite documentary to date. And one of my subscribers–a long time ago–recommended it. I wish I could give him credit here.

“My Architect” (life of Louis Kahn, through his son’s eyes)

“Sketches of Frank Gehry” — the Sydney Pollack documentary about the famed architect

“Rothko’s Rooms” — about Mark Rothko and often available on OvationTV

“Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision”

A number of films about Christo and Jean-Claude that I rented through Netlix. All of them show the amazing, unconventional process that these artists go through to make their vision a reality.

A documentary on Morris Louis that I saw in his traveling retrospective. But I have no title or resource for it. It's just terrific and I'd love to see it again.

“Painters Painting”–An amazing 2-part film featuring key figures in American art of the 50s and 60s.

“Helvetica”–Yep, a whole film about the font. Just very fun to hear all of these designers talking about typefaces and visual communication.

Check the blog on Tuesday for the list of books promised in the newsletter.

How about you? What are your favorite documentaries about art? (General films is a different topic.)

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8 thoughts on “Documentaries about art”

  1. Thanks for the list, can’t wait to check them out.

    One of my favorite series that originally aired on PBS is Sister Wendy, The Complete Collection… her knowledge and insight about the paintings she highlights really gave me a deeper appreciation and understanding for them. She’s a joy to watch, her passion for art is contagious.

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  3. The Frank Gehry doco was fantasic. The inspiration I found in it saved a section of my Honours exegesis. The movie on Jackson Pollock is fairly good too – it’s called Pollock, made in 2000.

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