Videoart.net is proud to present a short documentary on prominent video artist and sculptor Buky Schwartz (1932 – 2009).
Commentary by John Henhardt
Schwartz was invited to reconstruct his video installation piece “Spring, 1981” in New York City at the Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery as part of an interactive video installation exhibition in April of 2007. This exhibition showcased the work of emerging video artists as well as historically important artists who have influenced and inspired the following generation.
Schwartz was born in Jerusalem and originally trained as a sculptor in Israel. Schwartz moved to London in 1959, where he played an important role in the hotbed of new sculptural directions at St. Martin’s School of Art during the 1960s. In 1971 Schwartz moved to New York, where he continues to reside part of each year. During the 1960’s and 1970’s, Schwartz’s inventive use of sculptural materials, such as mirrors and wooden timbers, involved an interplay between illusory appearances and the actual, physical presence, weight, and structure of his work. This playful interaction between sculptural appearance and physical reality quickly became a central aspect in much of his video installation work as he added that modern medium to his vocabulary in the late 1970s.
In the documentary, Schwartz discusses the time in which his video constructions were conceived and eventually discovered by John Hanhardt, the curator and head of the Film and Video Department at the Whitney Museum of American Art, in 1977. At this time Schwartz was living and working in the Soho district of Manhattan. It was in his studio in Soho where he began to add new dimensions to his sculptures by integrating a stationary video camera and a monitor to his installations, thus changing the language of his art making while exploring a relatively new and unexplored medium of video installation.
Videoart.net has also included special commentary on Buky Schwartz’s
work by John Hanhardt, the former curator of film and video at the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City from 1974-1996. He is renowned for the incorporation and further integration of video into the Whitney’s exhibition program, as well as its program in independent film.
Acclaimed in three worlds – Europe, Israel, and the United States – Schwartz’s work has been included in the Venice Biennale (1966), the Whitney Biennial (1981) in New York, the Carengie International (1982) in Pittsburgh, and Documenta (1987) in Kassel. He was also represented in such leading historical surveys of video art as A History of Video Art (1984) at the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and Video Skulptur (1989), Cologne. His work has had numerous presentations in one-person and group exhibitions at galleries and museums throughout the world and is included in several private and public collections.
Please enjoy this compelling short documentary which explores an artist’s creative process and his relationship with his curator in a very unique time in American art history.
-Dianna Ekins, Associate Producer
-Dan Fine, Executive Producer and Director