Emile de Antonio

Elaine and Willem De Kooning

On a recent trip to the U.S. I had a chance to get up close to a bunch of Abstract Expressionist paintings at the Dallas Museum of Art. It brought to mind Painters Painting, still one of the best films about painting, which coincidently featured in the very over crowded ‘a painting show’ at Berlin’s Autocenter. De Antonio,(1919-1989), one of America’s most influential political and avant-garde filmmakers, started making documentary films in the mid-1960s, and all his work had wide success in theatrical release. His often-controversial work focuses on the United States during the Cold War and sharply criticizes American institutions and government officials. Films on Joseph McCarthy, Richard Nixon, and the conduct of the Vietnam War led to de Antonio’s becoming the object of FBI surveillance. De Antonio was of course also involved with the New York art world of the 1960s, which he documented in Painters Painting.   

Posted by Fergus Feehily

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