Anthology Film Archives

AMERICANS IN PARIS

March 29 – April 25

In connection with the exhibition, “Americans in Paris: Artists Working in Postwar France, 1946-1962”, which will be on view at the Grey Art Museum at NYU from March 2-July 20, 2024, Anthology hosts four programs featuring artists who are showcased in the exhibition.

“Americans in Paris” is the first major exhibition to examine the historical impact of the expatriate art scene in Paris after WWII, and delves into the various circles of artists who made France their home during an era of intense geopolitical realignment. The exhibition covers a seventeen-year period beginning in 1946, when the U.S. Embassy in Paris began processing applications from ex-service members for the new GI Bill. A monthly stipend of $75 allowed many artists, such as Norman Bluhm, Robert Breer, Ed Clark, Harold Cousins, Sam Francis, Al Held, Ellsworth Kelly, Kenneth Noland, Shinkichi Tajiri, and Jack Youngerman, to opt for a foreign rather than a domestic learning experience. Seasoned artists, such as Beauford Delaney, Claire Falkenstein, Carmen Herrera, Joan Mitchell, Kimber Smith, and Mark Tobey, like the GIs, were drawn to the storied modernist traditions that still flowed from this fabled City of Light. Intense experimentation among these closely knit, if shifting, circles of artists generated a variety of formal inventions and personal artistic styles.

For this cinematic sidebar to the exhibition, we’ll be showing work by Melvin Van Peebles, Robert Breer, and Kenneth Anger, all of whom made some of their most important early films in France. We’re also taking the occasion to shed light on two artists whose films are very rarely shown in the U.S. – Carmen D’Avino and Shinkichi Tajiri – and to present some of the rarest items in the filmography of the great photographer and filmmaker William Klein: the short documentaries he made for French television in 1962-64.

For more info about the exhibition at the Grey Art Museum at NYU, which is curated by the independent scholar Debra Bricker Balken with Lynn Gumpert, visit https://greyartgallery.nyu.edu/exhibition/americans-in-paris/

Special thanks to Leah Sweet (Grey Art Museum); and to Brian Belovarac (Janus Films); Christopher Forte; Bob Hunter (Icarus Films); Simona Monizza (EYE Filmmuseum); Sandra Schulberg (IndieCollect); Giotta Tajiri (Shinkichi Tajiri Estate); Mark Toscano & Edda Manriquez (Academy Film Archive); Nosh van der Lely; and Matthew White (4th Coast Productions).

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