"In my paintings I'm not inventing; my ideas come from constantly investigating how things look."
"Ellsworth Kelly is widely regarded as one of the most important abstract painters, sculptors, and printmakers working today. Kelly insists on the connection between abstraction and nature from which he extrapolates forms and colors. Since the beginning of his career, Kelly's emphasis on pure form and color and his impulse to suppress gesture in favor of creating spatial unity have played a pivotal role in the development of abstract art in America. This hour-long documentary, shot in High Definition, elucidates the true complexity of the artist's work. In following Kelly as he revisits the Paris of his early twenties, the film uncovers early influences that became leitmotifs he would return to, reiterate, refine, and re-work for decades to come. A spinal sequence, showing, from A to Z, Kelly's creation of two wall sculptures commissioned for the new U.S. Embassy in Beijing, provides a dramatic thrust to the film. Insightful commentary from scholars and critics including Robert Storr (Dean, Yale School of Art), Anne d'Harnoncourt (Director, Philadelphia Museum of Art), Alfred Pacquement (Director, Centre Georges Pompidou), Ann Temkin (Curator, MoMA) and Roberta Bernstein (Professor, University at Albany) helps to round out this definitive portrait of one of the true giants of American art."
-From the Checkerboard Films website
A discussion will follow the screening with co-director Tom Piper and cinematographer David Leitner.
David Leitner has over fifty Director, DP, and Producer credits in feature-length documentary and dramatic films produced in the U.S. and abroad, including six competition films at Sundance, including For All Mankind (1989 Jury & Audience Awards, Best Documentary; 1990 Oscar nomination), Trembling Before G-d, The Technical Writer, and Swimmers. Since 1995 Leitner has photographed a series of films about artists and architects for the Checkerboard Foundation, including Constantin Brancusi, Joel Shapiro, John Szarkowski, Ellsworth Kelly, Sir John Soane, Milton Glaser, Daniel Libeskind, Peter Eisenman, Yoshio Taniguchi, Thom Maynes, and Steven Holl.
Tom Piper is Director of Production for the Checkerboard Film Foundation, where he is responsible for shooting and editing long-format documentaries on individuals who have made important contributions to the arts in America. He is currently working on a series of films on the architects of recent landmark buildings in America, including Peter Eisenman, Daniel Libeskind, Jean Nouvel, and Yoshio Taniguchi, and in post-production on a film on the celebrated graphic designer, Milton Glaser. Tom lives and works in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.