Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Movie Day: Kienholz on Exhibit (1969)

Part of what doomed me to an interest in contemporary art was a visit I took with my parents to the National Gallery in Ottawa when I was a child. It was there that I first encountered the work of the ed and Nancy Kienholz, one of the great art couples, as well as admirable artists in their own rights.

The theatricality, the ugliness, the tactility and the crudeness of their work fascinated me as a child and has remained a constant presence in my own aesthetic. I grew up in rural Canada and a lot of it looked remarkably like the installations they put together. There was, and still is, an almost choking degree of familiarity in their work for me. In fact, it has been this visceral aspect of their work, more than the polemical elements, that has left a lasting impression.

But enough of this rather sentimental introduction, thanks to some determined soul on Archive we can now present this fascinating documentary by June Steel about the work of the Kienholz's at a pivotal point in their history.

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