Golub and Woman as Protagonist
In conjunction with the Smart Museum’s Monster Roster exhibition, join documentary filmmaker and Kartemquin co-founder Gordon Quinn and UChicago professor Judy Hoffman for two films about members of this group of postwar artists who established the first unique Chicago style.
Reflecting what he calls the “disjunctiveness” of modern life, artist Leon Golub’s massive canvasses depict unpleasant imagery—mercenary killings, torture, and death squads. Golub: Late Works Are the Catastrophes reveals the full complexity of Golub’s work, juxtaposing images and ideas, and following the artist at work from 1985 to 2004. It offers not simply a profile of a painter with a political conscience, but an investigation into the power of the artist to reflect our times and to change the way we think about our world. (Jerry Blumenthal and Gordon Quinn, 2004, 82 min., digital video)
Woman as Protagonist: The Art of Nancy Spero is an invigorating look at the 40-year career of acclaimed feminist artist Nancy Spero, who, in her own works, is concerned with “rewriting the imaging of women through historical time.” The film tracks her development as she matured against the grain of abstract expressionism, minimalism, and pop art when “there wasn’t room in the art world to make way for political or activist art.” (Irene Sosa, 1993, 46 min., digital video)
Gordon Quinn is the co-founder and Artistic Director of Kartemquin Films. Since his first film Home for Life (1966), Gordon has been a mentor and inspiration to hundreds of filmmakers and associates who have passed through Kartemquin’s studio in Chicago. He has produced, directed and/or been cinematographer on over 55 documentaries across five decades. A longtime activist for public and community media, Gordon was integral to the creation of IVTS, public access TV in Chicago, The Documentary Filmmakers Statement of Best Practice in Fair Use, and in forming the Indie Caucus to hold PBS accountable to independent voices on public television. Gordon was the 2015 Career Achievement Award Winner from the International Documentary Association (IDA).
Judy Hoffman is Professor of Practice in the Department of Cinema and Media Studies. She has worked in film and video for more than 25 years. In addition to her many other credits, she was a member of Kartemquin Films and served as associate producer and additional cinematographer on Golub.
Co-presented by Kartemquin Films and the Smart Museum of Art in conjunction with Kartemquin Films’ 50th anniversary and the exhibition Monster Roster: Existentialist Art in Postwar Chicago.