National Gallery screens at Chicago’s Gene Siskel Film Center this Friday and continues its first run through December 4th. For ticket information, please check out the Gene Siskel Film Center’s website here.
Walking through the galleries of paintings and sculptures in the Art Institute of Chicago, one may ask what makes a painting relevant today. With the museum located in the downtown area near the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Millennium Park, and multitudes of other tourist attractions, what makes this all vital? As I inspected the considerable offerings at the Art Institute, marveling at such pieces like Gustave Caillebotte’s Paris Street; Rainy Day and contemporary offerings like David Wojnarowicz’s Untitled (a sprayed enamel piece of a drowning swimmer), the answer is difficult to convey through language; a je ne sais quoi so to speak. But like film, the beauty comes from an internal response that one has to a specific work of art. It’s the sort of visceral and cerebral reaction that feels one of a kind, an emotion that feels incapable of being reproduced. Frederick Wiseman’s National Gallery understands this inherent importance associated with observing art and fixes his attention on an institution that houses it - an institution that must reconcile competing ideals of artistic integrity and financial security. Like Wiseman’s previous documentary, At Berkeley, National Gallery is an intensive piece that explores the many crevices that compose the English institution. It is a considerable work and one of the finest films made about how we interpret art.Read More