William Kentridge: Pain & Sympathy | Art21 “Exclusive”

Episode #100: With his video “History of the Main Complaint” (1996) serving as a backdrop, William Kentridge discusses how artists draw upon tragedy as subject matter for their work and how drawing itself can be a compassionate act.

Having witnessed first-hand one of the twentieth centurys most contentious struggles—the dissolution of apartheid—William Kentridge brings the ambiguity and subtlety of personal experience to public subjects most often framed in narrowly defined terms. Using film, drawing, sculpture, animation, and performance, he transmutes sobering political events into powerful poetic allegories. Aware of myriad ways in which we construct the world by looking, Kentridge often uses optical illusions to extend his drawings-in-time into three dimensions.

Learn more about William Kentridge at: http://www.art21.org/artists/william-kentridge

VIDEO | Producer: Wesley Miller & Nick Ravich. Interview: Susan Sollins. Camera: Bob Elfstrom. Sound: Ray Day. Editor: Paulo Padilha. Artwork Courtesy: William Kentridge.


Episode #094: Shot in his Johannesburg studio in South Africa, William Kentridge reveals the process and unusual presentation of the video work “Return” — a component of the larger project “(REPEAT) from the beginning / Da Capo” (2008) — which had its debut on the fire screen of Teatro La Fenice opera house in Venice, Italy.

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Susan Rothenberg

Susan Rothenberg was born in Buffalo, New York, in 1945. She received a BFA from Cornell University. Her early work—large acrylic, figurative paintings—came to prominence in the 1970s New York art world, a time and place almost completely dominated and defined by Minimalist aesthetics and theories. The first body of work for which Rothenberg became known centered on life-size images of horses. Glyph-like and iconic, these images are not so much abstracted as pared down to their most essential elements. The horses, along with fragmented body parts (heads, eyes, and hands) are almost totemic, like primitive symbols, and serve as formal elements through which Rothenberg investigated the meaning, mechanics, and essence of painting. Rothenberg’s paintings since the 1990s reflect her move from New York to New Mexico, her adoption of oil painting, and her new-found interest in using the memory of observed and experienced events (a riding accident, a near-fatal bee sting, walking the dog, a game of poker or dominoes) as an armature for creating a painting. These scenes excerpted from daily life, whether highlighting an untoward event or a moment of remembrance, come to life through Rothenberg’s thickly layered and nervous brushwork. A distinctive characteristic of these paintings is a tilted perspective, in which the vantage point is located high above the ground. A common experience in the New Mexico landscape, this unexpected perspective invests the work with an eerily objective psychological edge. Susan Rothenberg received a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Skowhegan Medal for Painting. She has had one-person exhibitions at Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; Dallas Museum of Art; Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC; Los Angeles County Museum of Art; Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; Walker Art Center, Minneapolis; and Tate Gallery, London; among others.

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http://www.art21.org

Mark Bradford: Super 8 Movies | Art21 “Exclusive”

Episode #001: Mark Bradford at his home in Los Angeles, with excerpts from his childhood Super 8 home movies.

Mark Bradford transforms materials scavenged from the street into wall-sized collages and installations that respond to the impromptu networks—underground economies, migrant communities, or popular appropriation of abandoned public space—that emerge within a city. Bradford’s work is as informed by his personal background as a third-generation merchant in Los Angeles as it is by the tradition of abstract painting developed worldwide in the twentieth century.

LEARN: Mark Bradford is featured in the Season 4 (2007) episode Paradox of the Art:21—Art in the Twenty-First Century television series on PBS.

DISCUSS: What do you think about this video? Leave a comment!

Learn more about Mark Bradford: http://www.art21.org/artists/mark-bradford

VIDEO | Producer: Susan Sollins & Nick Ravich. Camera: Bob Elfstrom. Sound: Ray Day. Editor: Monte Matteotti. Artwork courtesy: Mark Bradford. © 2008 Art21, Inc.