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Lifeline: Clyfford Still

Clyfford Still, one of the most original contributors to abstract expressionism, walked away from the art world at the height of his career. Lifeline paints a picture of a modern icon, his uncompromising journey and the price of independence.
Lifeline: Clyfford Still is rated 5.0 out of 5 by 1.
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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Clyfford Still, Abstract Expressionist Art History SUMMARY My summary is that this is the best retrospective of American Abstract Expressionism (Ab Ex) I've encountered, and is a valuable ally to thinking about creative displays in the app, web page, and social media context. This offering details the life of Clyfford Still, mentor and friend (and fierce competitor) to Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko, and many of the other big names out of New York and the West coast. The unique contributions, and the "Ab Ex" era, are given a voice by not only the comparative works, but by photographs, home video, news video, interviews with those connected, and really incredible music tracks. The experience of hearing artists talking and writing about other artists and movements is art history at its best, and display composition at its most instructive. Still had the assumption that critics and art gallery owners with saleable works are not the best source of information about artists or their work, and the truth and problems of that approach are clearly presented. Having visited Paris and been extremely impressed by the classics and the impressionists, now I know where to find (and have a better sense of how to interpret) an expressionist master. COMMENTS I will indeed be visiting Denver in the near future, and look forward to visiting the Clyfford Still museum. If the museum doesn't have this "Lifeline" offering available, I'll inform them that they should. The reason I like the expressionists is that tech displays, like apps and web pages and social media photography and displays, do better with a sense of balance and composition; and tech work with displays is my background. Artists have that gift of sense, especially the color and size arrangements. My imitations are my sincerest attempt at flattery, indeed. The possibility that much of Still's vertically oriented work may derive from a traumatic childhood experience (he was lowered by his heels on a "lifeline" rope down a newly dug well on the Canadian prairie to check for water) boggles my imagination. Yes, I've had development projects like that, so I sympathize.
Date published: 2021-09-29
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Overview

Clyfford Still, one of the most original contributors to abstract expressionism, walked away from the art world at the height of his career. Lifeline paints a picture of a modern icon, his uncompromising journey and the price of independence.

About

Dennis Scholl
Dennis Scholl

Dennis Scholl is an award-winning documentary filmmaker focusing on arts and culture. His interview subjects have included Robert Redford, Frank Gehry, Wynton Marsalis, Ai Wei Wei, and Tracy Emin.
He is the director of the feature documentary The Last Resort, which won the Miami Jewish Film Festival Audience Choice Award, received a national theatrical release, and is currently available on Netflix.
He recently released Lifeline, the story of 50s Ab Ex Painter, Clyfford Still, distributed by Kino Lorber, and Singular, a documentary on Cecile Mclorin Salvant, three-time jazz vocal Grammy winner, which was awarded Best Documentary by the Haiti International Film Festival and it is currently screening in syndication on public television stations across the US, via American Public Television.
His first feature documentary, Deep City – The Birth of the Miami Sound premiered at the 2014 SXSW International Film Festival, screened at film festivals worldwide and was acquired by public broadcast station, WLRN for international distribution.
His second feature documentary, Queen of Thursdays, which he co-wrote and produced with noted Cuban filmmaker Orlando Rojas, had its world premiere at the Miami International Film Festival and was named Best Documentary.
He produced and directed Symphony in D, the story of America’s first crowd sourced symphony, performed by the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He also produced Sweet Dillard about the national champion Dillard High School jazz orchestra and their journey to the Essentially Ellington competition at Jazz Lincoln Center.
He has received 16 regional Emmys from the National Academy of Television Arts and Science, all for documentaries on art and artists.
He is the director of Inside My Studio, a series of fifteen short films, exploring the art-making practices of some of the greatest visual artists in the world, including Ai Wei Wei, Wangechi Mutu, Doug Aitken, Vik Muniz, Catherine Opie, Robert Longo, and Njideka Akunyili Crosby.
He is the executive producer of over a dozen films including six short films that debuted at the Sundance Film Festival and Yearbook, the winner of the 2014 Animated Short category at Sundance. He also produced the animated short, The Sun Like a Big Dark Animal, which premiered at Sundance, along with Glove, which also premiered at Sundance and won Best Animated Short at SXSW. He also produced the experimental film Hearts of Palm and was executive producer of Namour and Leave the Bus Through the Broken Window.
His short film, Sunday’s Best, won Best Documentary Short at the South Dakota Film Festival. His film, Dancing with the Trees, won the Audience Choice Award at the Magnolia Film Festival. His film, Everyone has a Place, about Wynton Marsalis’ Abyssinian Mass concert tour, was named Best Documentary Short at the Capital Cities Black Film Festival and is currently screening on public television stations across America.
He is currently working on documentary films about pinup photographer and model Bunny Yeager and Jay Fletcher, America’s greatest teacher of the art of blind tasting wines.

By This Director

Lifeline: Clyfford Still

01: Lifeline: Clyfford Still

Clyfford Still, one of the most original contributors to abstract expressionism, walked away from the art world at the height of his career. Lifeline paints a picture of a modern icon, his uncompromising journey and the price of independence.

76 min