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Who Gets to Call It Art?
Who Gets to Call It Art
Actors: John Chamberlain, Ivan Karp, George Lois, Frank Stella, Larry Poons
Director: Peter Rosen
Genres: Educational, Documentary
NR     2006     1hr 18min

Who Gets to Call it Art? is a wild ride through the fascinating 1960s New York art world, seen through the eyes of first "contemporary art" curator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Henry Geldzahler. Never-before-seen fo...  more »

     
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Movie Details

Actors: John Chamberlain, Ivan Karp, George Lois, Frank Stella, Larry Poons
Director: Peter Rosen
Creators: Joel Shapiro, Jonathan Rho, Peter Rosen, Beth Rudin DeWoody, Cathy Price, Karl Katz, Sara Lukinson
Genres: Educational, Documentary
Sub-Genres: Educational, Documentary
Studio: Palm Pictures / Umvd
Format: DVD - Color,Widescreen
DVD Release Date: 05/23/2006
Original Release Date: 02/01/2006
Theatrical Release Date: 02/01/2006
Release Year: 2006
Run Time: 1hr 18min
Screens: Color,Widescreen
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaDVD Credits: 1
Total Copies: 0
Members Wishing: 5
MPAA Rating: NR (Not Rated)
Languages: English

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Movie Reviews

Influence and Art Culture
Rebecca Johnson | Washington State | 09/29/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"A fascination with influence may draw you to this documentary of art appreciation. Henry Geldzahler was the first contemporary art curator for the Metropolitan Museum of Art and his "New York Painting and Sculpture 1940-1970" exhibit is said to be the largest exhibit of modern art by living artists at the Met.

Through this journey into the life of Henry Geldzahler we discover the depths of the friendship between Henry and Andy Warhol and how at the height of their friendship they talked on the phone daily. It seemed they supported each other's artistic visions.

Henry Geldzahler loved to be photographed, was a natural in front of a camera and also loved to sit for portraits. David Hockney's painting of Henry sitting on a couch is shown in reality and then as the painting. These types of contrasts show reality vs. the artist's vision and perhaps explain "in a subtle way" how Henry's presence changed the world of art.

Since I had just arrived in the world in the 60s, this is all pretty much new to me and it helps to explain the rise of contemporary art in a positive way. It is likely that you will recognize very few artists featured if you are under 40 and not an art student, but this doesn't detract from the human-interest story.

Artists interviewed include: Andy Warhol, Frank Stella, David Hockney, John Chamberlain, Francesco Clemente, Mark di Suvero, Ellsworth Kelly, Larry Poons and James Rosenquist. This gives a fascinating inside view of what was happening in the art world during the 60s.

After viewing this DVD, you can't help but recognize the influence of the artists featured while visiting today's art museums.

~The Rebecca Review
"
The life and legend of Henry Geldzahler and the Pop Art move
Craig Matteson | Ann Arbor, MI | 04/01/2007
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Henry Geldzahler came from a well-to-do family and always wanted to be a curator. After interning at the Whitney at 15 he fell in love with modern art. He got a degree from Yale and after a couple of years of doctoral studies at Harvard he accepted a position at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, which was hardly known for its support of the latest directions in art.

This movie is about Geldzahler and what he did to support the pop art movement that included artists such as Andy Warhol, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Frank Stella, and many others. The story is told with tapes and films of Geldzahler, as well as period and contemporary interviews with the artists concerned (whether supportive or contrary to the movement).

The culmination of the film is the famous and hugely controversial show Geldzahler put on in 1970 at the Metropolitan. "New York Painting 1940-1970". It was a blockbuster and still resonates to this day. I loved the comment about how he selected what to put in the show (because no matter how large an exhibition, so much had to be left out). Geldzahler said that he picked those works that he had seen and than left him wanting to see it again. Whatever you think about the "seriousness" or "worth" of the art, much of it is certainly beautiful and all of it is full of cheer, optimism, fun, and some downright silliness. Isn't that refreshing from being dour all the time?

Henry Geldzahler died far too young at 59 in 1994. We even get to see inside his home and the beautiful objects with which he had surrounded himself. They are stunning.

This is a fine short film to get some background about this interesting and influential patron on modern art and the artists who did all that work. It is quite charmingly done and never gets sidetracked in the side arguments.

Recommended."
Pop art
R. Codis | Sydney, Australia | 04/10/2007
(4 out of 5 stars)

"I've purchased this DVD to find out what's behind pop art who are its main protagonists and indeed who gets to call it art? The feature is made up by a series of interviews with prominent artists from the 50s and 60s who weren't so well known back then. In fact is a film about Henry Geldzahler who went to the art school with Andy Warhol and became curator at Met during the 60s, Henry introduced artists like Larry Poons, Mark Di Suvero, Andy Warhol, etc to the general public thus enlarging and challenging the established view of what's art. The movie also answered my question - pop art social effect is simply to reconcile us to a world of commodities...banalities and vulgarities which is to say in effect indistinguishable from advertising art."
An Important Film
Cynthia | Dallas, Texas USA | 12/26/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I teach contemporary art. This film utilizes clips and quotes from other films about highly significant artists working from the late 50s forward. It is time for the general public to see Henry Geldzahler as the catalyst and creative coordinator for this diverse group. . .a must have for understanding the evolution of art since the 1960s."