Michael Blackwood Film Series

Michael Blackwood founded Blackwood Productions Inc. in 1966 with a vision to create compelling documentaries about leading figures in contemporary culture spanning art, music, dance, history, science, and architecture. Blackwood rarely used narration and never allowed the filmmaking to compete with his subjects.

 “There are no film portraits in existence of the artists of the early [twentieth] century... it seemed urgent to build up a documentation of the New York art scene as it developed around me. I therefore set out to record on film, with synchronous sound, the artists, their work and their ideas, on the spot and at the height of their careers.” 

The recipient of a host of awards, in 2010 Blackwood became a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

The Norton presents three of his films, each followed by a virtual post-screening Q&A. 

$15 Member / $30 Non Member tickets

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Monday, November 16 / 2pm 

Claes Oldenburg: The Formative Years, 1975, 54 min.

Directed by Michael Blackwood

Produced by Michael Blackwood Productions
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Q&A led by J. Rachel Gustafson, Assistant Curator


About This Film

Gathering inspiration from the world around him, Claes Oldenburg has dedicated his career to giving objects life. What many would see only as their mundane, everyday tools Oldenburg sees as an opportunity for art. His famed large scale sculptures stand with such stature and force that the viewer has no choice but to become involved with the piece. From clothespins to ice cream, Oldenburg draws our attention to the smaller details of life by giving the power of size. Infatuated with the pop art movement, Oldenburg solidified himself as a staple of the genre as he continually finds new ways to show us the tangible things we are surrounded by but often discard. 

Film preview

Film still from Claes Oldenburg: The Formative Years by Michael Blackwood