Art on Screen

Date Film Time
9/29 Gerhard Richter Painting  FREE 2 pm   MATINEE
10/25 The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye 7 pm
11/10 The Photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher FREE 2 pm   MATINEE
11/15 Portrait of Wally 7 pm

In this ongoing series, Block Cinema presents new documentaries about the art world. To complement the Block Museum’s current exhibition, De-Natured: German Art from Joseph Beuys to Martin Kippenberger, Selections from the James Keith Brown and Eric Diefenbach Collection we’ll present two free matinee screenings featuring renowned German artists in Gerhard Richter Painting and The Photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher

Also screening is The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, a fascinating portrait of two artists who reinvent themselves in the most radical way, and a gripping documentary, Portrait of Wally, about an infamous court case involving Nazi-stolen art and the some of the most powerful museums in the world.

Gerhard Richter Painting

Saturday, September 29, 2012 2:00 PM FREE
(Corinna Belz, 2011, Germany, video, 97 min.)

Gerhard Richter Painting provides a rare look at one of contemporary painting’s master artists. Notoriously publicity-shy, Richter allows unusual access for this intimate portrait. Corinna Belz’s documentary spends most of its time in Richter’s studio, where he is seen working on several new large abstract paintings. He also discusses his work and his methods with great candor and thoughtfulness. It is this juxtaposition of artistic endeavor and verbal commentary and analysis, both from the artist himself, that makes the film a rich and valuable exploration of the creative spirit.

The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye

Thursday, October 25, 2012 7:00 PM
(Marie Losier, 2011, USA, video, 72 min.)

Marie Losier’s playful experimental documentary chronicles a love story unlike any you’ve seen before. Genesis P-Orridge was a founding member of the influential bands Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. P-Orridge was also a provocative performance artist, and Ballad documents the most extreme performative project he undertook: the “Pandrogyne Project,” in which P-Orridge and Lady Jaye underwent plastic surgery and other body transformations to look alike, hoping to become a single androgynous being. Losier’s film allows the depth of their relationship to come through, creating a portrait that is both tender and entertaining.

The Photographers Bernd and Hilla Becher

Saturday, November 10, 2012 2:00 PM FREE
(Marianne Kapfer, 2010, Germany, video, 94 min.)

In 1959, Bernd and Hilla Becher (who married in 1961) began photographing the abandoned and forgotten industrial structures (blast furnaces, processing plants, factories) that dotted the German landscape, and later expanded to other countries in Europe and the US. Their stunning, and now iconic, black and white photos—which emphasized form and geometry—found minimalist and modernist beauty in these disappearing remnants of a declining way of life. This fascinating documentary explores their roles as artists, their working and personal relationship, and their influence on new generations of photographers.

Special support provided by the Goethe-Institut, Chicago. Goethe-Institut, Chicago

Portrait of Wally

Thursday, November 15, 2012 7:00 PM
(Andrew Shea, 2012, USA/Austria, video, 90 min.)

A famed artist, a celebrated painting, a pioneering gallery owner, an obsessive collector, a recalcitrant museum, and a determined District Attorney are the players in this tale of art world thievery and legal wrangling. In 1912, Austrian artist Egon Schiele painted “Portrait of Wally,” a striking picture of his mistress and frequent model. In 1939, the painting was stolen by the Nazis from its owner, Viennese art dealer Lea Bondi. Andrew Shea’s compelling documentary is about what happened next—and how the increasingly complex story about a single painting sheds light on issues surrounding the legacy of the Nazi plunder of Jewish-owned art.