British Universities Film & Video Council

moving image and sound, knowledge and access

From Duchamp to Pop Art

Synopsis
Three 30-minute films on modern art, concentrating on paintings by Marcel Duchamp (SPIRALING TIME), Yves Klein and Andy Warhol.

MARCEL DUCHAMP : "Nude Descending a Staircase" (1913), is, with Picasso’s "Demoiselles d’Avignon" an essential step in the twentieth century artistic revolution. But inspite of its worldwide reputation, the painting has never been commented on in-depth. If we put aside the title, what exactly does the painting represent? To what extent is it possible to analyse the work and dissect its symbolism?

YVES KLEIN : "Anthropométrie de l’époque bleue". The blue period, blue traces, blue sponges... Yves Klein certainly deserved his nickname of "Yves the monochrome." Even though he used other colours, blue was his favourite and, more than a means of expression, blue became a source of spiritual energy. This programme explores his universe, the use of the blue colour, the use of differing and original techniques (Klein used, for example, his models as actual "living" brushes!). The "Anthropométries" are a meditation on the imprint, the trace left, the disappearance and different variations on the theme of incarnation.

ANDY WARHOL : "Ten Lizes. Why are we so fascinated by Warhol’s images? This programme analyses a huge picture with a secret history and surprising implications. Ten identical faces printed in black, in two rows, on a canvas 5.65 metres long and 2 metres high. But are the faces really identical? Not quite: the observer gradually notices a myriad of small differences, like the variations you get in replicas cast from the same mould. The same observer recognises the face as that of a famous actress, Elizabeth Taylor, the "Liz" of the title. Andy Warhol (Pittsburgh, 1928-New York, 1987) created this image in 1963 from a photo of the star and repeated it ten times using silk-screen printing techniques. Why did he choose this face? Why did he repeat it? Warhol offers few clues. "I never wanted to be a painter," he said. "I wanted to be a tap-dancer." He became a painter by chance, and he seems to choose his motifs at random. Working in New York in the Sixties, at the epicentre of the Pop Art movement, might he be a sort of negative image of the consumer society? Even though an image of this kind seems to break with the traditional art of portraiture, it is as much in need of decoding as pictures from an earlier age.
Series
Palettes, Series
Language
English
Country
France
Subjects
Art
Keywords
Duchamp, Marcel (1887-1868); modern art; paintings; Pop Art; Warhol, Andy (1928-1987); Klein, Yves

Credits

Director
Alain Jaubert

Distribution Formats

Type
DVD
Format
Region 2 PAL
Price
£19.99
Availability
Sale
Duration/Size
30 min each
Year
2012

Sections

Title
Marcel Duchamp: Spiralling time
Synopsis
An analysis of Marcel Duchamp’s ‘Nu descendant un escalier’, painted in 1912. Cubist while disassociating itself from cubism, humorous due to its title and yet serious, almost scientific because of its shapes and its pictorial style, the painting made its creator famous overnight. Made in 1993.
Duration
30 mins
Technical information
Colour

Title
Yves Klein: Traces of the blue period
Synopsis
Klein was known as ‘Yves the monochrome’ although he used many colours other than the blue he used repeatedly and out of which he created a kind of spiritual energy rather than a mode of expression. He set out to make direct use of the naked bodies of his models as ‘living brushes’ and with these strange painting sessions he perfected an entire inventory of new forms. Made in 1997.
Duration
30 mins
Technical information
Colour

Title
Andy Warhol: Ten lizzies
Synopsis
Looks at Warhols’s picture, created in 1963, of ten almost identical images based on a photograph of Elizabeth Taylor. The large canvas repeats the image by means of silk screening. The film asks whether this picture is as easy to decipher as a classical painting. Made in 1999.
Duration
30 mins
Technical information
Colour

Production Company

Name

Sept Vidéo, La

Address
France

Sponsor

Name

Centre National de la Cinématographie

Distributor

Name

Quantum Leap

Notes
Ceased trading in 2018.
 

Available from retail outlets

Record Stats

This record has been viewed 932 times.