Monday, September 1, 2014

Film Looks at Modern Art That Caused a Stir in 1913


The Virginian-Pilot
© September 1, 2014
NORFOLK
IF YOU GO
What: Screening of documentary “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show”
Where: Naro Expanded Cinema, 1507 Colley Ave., Norfolk
When: 7:15 p.m. Wednesday
Cost: $9 adults, $7 seniors
More info: 757-625-6276, www.narocinema.com    
A vast art exhibition in downtown Manhattan just over a century ago launched modern art in the United States.
It went over like an exploding bottle rocket.
Neither the public nor the art critics were easily swayed to accept the new direction in painting and sculpture that had begun in Europe. President Theodore Roosevelt denounced the artwork as “repellent.”
The artists had shocking styles, but none more so than Marcel Duchamp. Of the thousands who attended that monthlong show in Manhattan, many expressed disgust regarding the French artist’s 1912 painting “Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2).”
The story of this most pivotal of art exhibitions is the subject of a documentary to be screened at 7:15 p.m. Wednesday at the Naro Expanded Cinema. “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show” was created by Connecticut-based independent filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton, who will introduce the feature-length film at the Naro.

The film recently was shown at the Smithsonian American Art Museum and at the National Gallery of Art, both in Washington.
The film’s creators attempted to re-create the experience of the show, including visuals that provide the layout of the 1,300-plus artworks.
Maglaras told the American Art Museum: “Everything in Gallery I, where most of the Cubist work was hung (it was called by the press the ‘Chamber of Horrors’) caused an immediate controversy.”
Cubistic art looks like real life fractured and somewhat flattened into geometric forms, often cubes.
“From the standpoint of sheer geography, Gallery I was hidden away in the upper left-hand corner of the armory space,” Maglaras said, “and if you had been strolling through the galleries in no particular order, coming upon the contents of that gallery would have taken you completely by surprise.”
His painting resembles a time-lapse photograph of a barely recognizable, robotic-looking figure walking down stairs. It evokes a type of photo that was more a study of movement than a purposely aesthetic image.
Duchamp’s painting was bought for $300 by a San Francisco dealer. Today, it’s a great modern treasure in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art.
Teresa Annas, 757-446-2485, teresa.annas@pilotonline.com     

Image credit:  “Man on a Balcony (Portrait of Dr. Théo Morinaud)” is a 1912 Cubist painting by Albert Gleizes from the Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. (Courtesy photo | 217 Films)


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

New Screening Date Added: Des Moines Art Center

217 Films just added a new winter screening date for "The Great Confusion:  The 1913 Armory Show." This film will screen March 26, 2015 at the Des Moines Art Center.  Director Michael Maglaras will be in attendance to introduce the film.  

The next chance to see this film is September 3 at the Naro Expanded Cinema in Norfolk, Virginia and October 26 at Gari Melchers Home & Studio in Falmouth, Virginia.  Michael Maglaras will introduce the screening at the Naro and Executive Producer Terri Templeton will introduce the film in Falmouth.

For a full list of screening dates, times and locations, follow this link.  

This film has been showing to standing room only audiences since it premiered in September 2013.

A recent review in The Dartmouth said of “The Great Confusion” that “Michael Maglaras...brought the drama of the original show back to life.”

To purchase the DVD, follow this link.  



Friday, August 8, 2014

Naro Cinema Presents 1913 Armory Show Film

Naro Cinema's New Non-Fiction Film Series concludes with “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show”

Filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton of 217 Films will screen their latest film “The Great Confusion: The 1913 ArmoryShow” at the Naro Expanded Cinema in Norfolk, Virginia on Wednesday, September 3 at 7:15 PM.

The filmmakers will introduce the film and participate in a Q&A following the screening. 

The Great Confusion:  The 1913 Armory Show” features works by more than 60 American and European painters and sculptors.  The film probes deeply into the history of how the 1913 Armoyr Show was organized; examines the critical efforts of American artists such as Arthur B. Davies, Walter Pach, and Walt Kuhn; and explores the impact that the show had on collectors of art as well as ordinary citizens.

A recent review in The Dartmouth said of “The Great Confusion” that “Michael Maglaras...brought the drama of the original show back to life.”

Excerpts from “The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show” can be viewed at this link.    

WHAT:  Screening of 217 Films’ “The Great Confusion:  The 1913 Armory Show.” The filmmakers will be in attendance and introduce the screening.   

WHEN:  Wednesday, September 3, 2014 at 7:15 PM
           
WHERE:  Naro Expanded Cinema
1507 Colley Ave.
Norfolk, Virginia
TEL:  757-625-6276

COST:  $9 Adults | $7 Seniors

On the Web:

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

National Gallery of Art Features "The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show"



















On Saturday, August 2 at 2:30pm the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. will screen 217 Films' "The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show."

Filmmaker Terri Templeton and leading Armory Show scholar Laurette McCarthy will introduce the film and take questions following the screening.  McCarthy is featured prominently in the film.

"The Great Confusion" will be shown in the West Building Lecture Hall.  More information at this link.

This is the fourth time 217 Films' work has been shown at the National Gallery.  Read more about 217 Films at this link.

View the full screening schedule at this link.

Executive producer, Terri Templeton, on location.

Director Michael Maglaras interviews Armory Show scholar Laurette McCarthy.

Friday, July 18, 2014

Armory Show Film Screened at the Smithsonian American Art Museum


On Wednesday, July 16th, filmmakers Michael Maglaras and Terri Templeton screened their film "The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show" at the Smithsonian American Art Museum.   Hundreds of art enthusiasts turned out to see the film in this truly superb venue.  

Read more about the film at this link.  

The next chance to see "The Great Confusion" in DC is Saturday, August 2 at 2:30 at the National Gallery of Art

For the full screening schedule, visit this link.  

Can't make it to a screening?  Purchase the film on Amazon.  













































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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Eye Level: Smithsonian American Art Museum Interviews Michael Maglaras







July 15, 2014

On July 16th, the American Art Museum welcomes writer and director Michael Maglaras, who will introduce his documentary,
The Great Confusion: The 1913 Armory Show. The film examines the New York exhibition that exposed Americans to modern art by Cézanne, Renoir, van Gogh, and Duchamp, as well works by Americans such as Hartley, Marin, and Sheeler. A special pre-screening tour of the American Art collection, highlighting works by artists who were in the Armory Show, meets in the G St. lobby at 5:30 p.m. The film begins in the McEvoy Auditorium at 6:30 p.m. A light reception will follow the screening and Q&A. Additional details for this event can be found on our museum's calendar. Program Coordinator Alli Jessing discussed the film and the impact of the Armory show with Michael Maglaras for Eye Level.

Eye Level: Of the artists featured in the 1913 show, do you have a favorite artist or artwork?

Michael Maglaras: This is a tough one; with as many as 1,300 works there was much to choose from, and much of it of exceptional quality. I have a soft spot for the painting Family Group by William Glackens, which we feature prominently in the film. Glackens is a singular artist, and it seems to me that this painting has one foot planted firmly in the legacy of 19th century painting, with its particular elegance of spirit (look at the line of the leg leading to the end of his daughter's shoe on the left side of the canvas) and the other foot planted firmly in the 20th century with Glackens' Fauvist-like use of color. It is really a masterpiece of its kind.

EL: The 1913 Armory was quite a pivotal one, and introduced American audiences to a more experimental style. Tell us a little about how the critics and audiences reacted to this unfamiliar visual style.

MM: The reaction was a surprising combination of delight and disgust. The press, of course, had a field day reporting about the varied reactions of the public to the works of Matisse, Gleizes, Duchamp, and others. And it became a kind of social and, for its time, important media event. The public came in droves: 4,000 on the first day and 12,000 on the last. It would be difficult to imagine a reaction today more varied and more provocative at the most basic level than the reaction provoked by the Armory Show in 1913. Of course, the evidence is clear that in 1913 we held strong views about what we liked and didn't about art, and the debate then, pro and con, about Modernism, was seldom tinged by the kind of political correctness we sometimes exhibit today. Three months after the close of the Armory Show, in May of 1913, at the premiere of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring in Paris, fistfights broke out before the orchestra had finished playing the first page of the score.
Many who came to see the work in the Amory Show had their views changed about what art is and what it should mean to us. In 2014, the way we look at what hangs on a wall, how we perceive its value, whether it speaks to us on multiple levels, and the role of the artist in our society, are all ideas that are a result of the 27 days that the public flocked to the Armory Show in New York.

EL: When you visit an art museum, what kinds of works do you gravitate towards?

MM: I've made five films about American Modernism, and I have to confess that if a museum has works by American painters who were active from about 1900 through the 1950s, I'm immediately drawn to whatever is in that collection. John Marin, for example, is in my view the undisputed poet of American Modernist painting. Whenever I encounter a Marin, all I do is simply stand there and smile at the sheer joy that his work represents to me.

EL: Marcel Duchamp's painting Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2) famously caused some furor during the show. What were some of the other controversial artworks, and what about them caused such an upset?

MM: Everything in Gallery I, where most of the Cubist work was hung (it was called by the press the "Chamber of Horrors") caused an immediate controversy. From the standpoint of sheer geography, Gallery I was hidden away in the upper left-hand corner of the armory space, and if you had been strolling through the galleries in no particular order, coming upon the contents of that gallery would have taken you completely by surprise. Several works by Matisse hung in Gallery H, including his exquisitely delicious Blue Nude of 1907, which Kenneth Clark called the first painting of the modern era. If you actually made your way through the Armory Show galleries alphabetically (they started with A, B, etc., and ended with the letter R) you would, of necessity, have had an intimate encounter with Blue Nude. Nothing like it had ever been seen before in America by so many people in such a brief span of time. The reaction of the public to the painters of French Modernism was only what it could have been in 1913: a complete shock.

EL: Are you working on any new film projects at the moment?

MM: Our next film is now in production. It's entitled Enough to Live On: The Art of the WPA. This film is in honor of the 80th anniversary of the Federal Art Project of the WPA. As we travel the country deciding which art to use —individual paintings, murals, sculpture— we discover that this will be a film full of surprises: surprises about the overwhelming quality of some of the work, how much of it was created under the auspices of the federal government, and how the making of art was used by Franklin Roosevelt's administration as a tool to reinvigorate our national spirit at a time of national depression.

For additional information about the 1913 Armory Show and to view original source material from that exhibition, take a look at the Smithsonian Archives of American Art's website: 1913 Armory Show: The Story in Primary Resources.