Michael Blackwood Productions

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Francis Bacon and the Brutality of Fact - The Famous Painter Disscusses His Style
In his London studio, British painter Francis Bacon discusses his work and approach with David Sylvester, a friend and close observer of his art since the late 1940s. Central to their conversation are Bacon's controversial, horrifying subjects, and surprising style.…
Philip Guston: A Life Lived
Late in life, the artist looks back over a career that originated in social realism during the '30s, moved to the center of Abstract Expressionism, and culminated in a return to figuration. Filmed at his retrospective in San Francisco in…
After Modernism - The Dilemma of Influence
The purposeful dismantling of the modernist myth has been the central issue of contemporary art making and art criticism. Since the 1960s, other disciplines, cultures, and artists previously excluded from modernism's privileged canons have become absorbed into an ever expanding…
Monk - A Portrait of the Legendary Jazz Musician
A portrait about the great Jazz composer and pianist, Thelonious Monk. Clip #1: "Monk" - Clip #2: "Monk in Europe" -
2 videos
Jeff Wall: Retrospective - The Work of an Acclaimed Photographer
Jeff Wall is one of the most important and influential photographers working today. His work played a key role in establishing photography as a contemporary art form. Jeff Wall describes his recent work as "near documentary," a plausible account or…
Empire City - New York in the 1980's
This is the story of two New Yorks. Made at a time when the city was experiencing unprecedented real estate development on the one hand and unforeseen displacement of population and deterioration on the other. The film contrasts the modern…
Isamu Noguchi - A Japanese American Artist and Landscape Architect
As Isamu Noguchi walks us through his grand sculptures and gardens, the artist offers a unique insight into the way we, as individuals and as a collective society exist in time. Guided by his fascination with one's own reaction to…
Mies
No understanding of the modern movement in architecture is possible without knowledge of its master builder, Mies van der Rohe. Together with documentation of his life, this film shows all his major buildings, as well as rare film footage of…
Ed Ruscha: 4 Decades - An American Pop Artist
Ed Ruscha first worked in a commercial art studio before he began creating pop art based on the illusionist side of surrealism. Curator Margit Rowell visits Los Angeles artist Ed Ruscha in his studio to view new work and discuss…
Gerhard Richter: 4 Decades - The Famous Painter's Early Work
In 2002, the Museum of Modern Art in New York held the first major retrospective of Gerhard Richter's work in the America. Curator Robert Storr and the artist selected 188 paintings for the show. This film presents a rare opportunity…
Butoh: Body on the Edge of Crisis
Although Butoh is often viewed as Japan's equivalent of modern dance, in actuality it has little to do with the rational principles of modernism. Butoh is a theater of improvisation which places the personal experiences of the dancer on center-stage.…
Louis Kahn - Silence and Light
With the participation of William Jordy, Jonas Salk, Aldo Rossi, Arata Isozaki, Tadao Ando, Robert Venturi, Denise Scott-Brown, Brendan Gill, and others. Narration by Kenneth Frampton. As an architect, educator, and philosopher, Louis Kahn played a prominent role in the…
Robert Motherwell: Summer of 1971 - The Art and Influence of an American Artist
At work on his Elegies and Windows series, Motherwell examines his place in the Abstract Expressionist movement, which he calls the first original American movement in the "mainstream," and its practitioners "the last romantics." He distinguishes between his large paintings…
The New York School
American art came of age with the first important modern movement by a group of New York painters who became known as Abstract Expressionists. In the 1940s and 50s their aggressive action painting challenged the School of Paris. Tenaciously American…
Reclaiming the Body -  Feminist Art in America
After many decades of struggle, women have attained a strong presence in today's art world, as evidenced by the many exhibitions devoted to their work. Loosely based on the two-part BAD GIRLS exhibition at The New Museum of Contemporary Art…
Musical Outsiders: An American Legacy 
American composers have long struggled against the momentum of the Western European classical tradition and the prestige it has held in America's cultural life. "I did not want to have any stricture at all, I wanted to be completely free."…
Gregory Crewdson - The Aesthetics of Repression
Gregory Crewdson is a leading figure in a major movement in photography, one that favors fantasy over realism and is often inspired by the cinema. Crewdson is interested in the psychology underlying the American suburban experience and finds photography to…
The Cremaster Cycle - A Conversation with Matthew Barney
This documentary provides insight into Matthew Barney's work and his mythic Cremaster Cycle. The artist guides the camera through this remarkable creation at the Guggenheim Museum while being questioned by Michael Kimmelman, chief art critic of the New York Times,…
Pablo Picasso: The Legacy of a Genius
Exploring the breadth of the artist's achievements through the insights and speculations of fellow artists, close relatives, historians, and critics, the film centers on thirteen key works which vividly represent the major turning points in Picasso's career. Robert Rosenblum, an…
Making Dances: 7 Postmodern Choreographers
Made in 1980, this film explores the contemporary dance scene through the work of seven New York-based choreographers. They discuss the nature of dance and the evolution of their own work. Filmed at rehearsals, performances, and during interviews, the film…