Art documentaries

by asenjoreyes-603-506137 | created - 15 May 2017 | updated - 7 months ago | Public
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1. National Gallery (2014)

Not Rated | 180 min | Documentary

89 Metascore

A documentary that goes inside one of the great museums of the world: The National Gallery in London.

Director: Frederick Wiseman | Stars: Leanne Benjamin, Kausikan Rajeshkumar, Jo Shapcott, Edward Watson

Votes: 1,191 | Gross: $0.10M

2. Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child (2010)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

74 Metascore

Director Tamra Davis pays homage to her friend in this definitive documentary but also delves into Basquiat as an iconoclast. His dense, bebop-influenced neoexpressionist work emerged while... See full summary »

Director: Tamra Davis | Stars: Jean Michel Basquiat, Julian Schnabel, Larry Gagosian, Bruno Bischofberger

Votes: 1,888 | Gross: $0.26M

3. Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present (2012)

Not Rated | 106 min | Documentary, Biography, History

74 Metascore

A documentary that follows the Serbian performance artist as she prepares for a retrospective of her work at The Museum of Modern Art in New York.

Directors: Matthew Akers, Jeff Dupre | Stars: Marina Abramovic, Ulay, Klaus Biesenbach, David Balliano

Votes: 5,422 | Gross: $0.09M

4. Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (2012)

R | 91 min | Documentary

81 Metascore

A documentary that chronicles artist and activist Ai Weiwei as he prepares for a series of exhibitions and gets into an increasing number of clashes with the Chinese government.

Director: Alison Klayman | Stars: Weiwei Ai, Dan Ai, Lao Ai, Lee Ambrozy

Votes: 4,007 | Gross: $0.53M

5. Gerhard Richter Painting (2011)

Unrated | 97 min | Documentary

77 Metascore

A documentary on the German artist that includes glimpses at his studio, which has not been seen in decades.

Director: Corinna Belz | Stars: Gerhard Richter, Norbert Arns, Hubert Becker, Sabine Moritz-Richter

Votes: 611 | Gross: $0.24M

6. Tim's Vermeer (2013)

PG-13 | 80 min | Documentary, History

76 Metascore

Inventor Tim Jenison seeks to understand the painting techniques used by Dutch Master Johannes Vermeer.

Director: Teller | Stars: Tim Jenison, Penn Jillette, Martin Mull, Philip Steadman

Votes: 7,383 | Gross: $1.66M

7. The Cool School (2008)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary

68 Metascore

How LA Learned to Love Modern Art. A lesson in how a few renegade artists built an art scene from scratch.

Director: Morgan Neville | Stars: Eve Babitz, John Baldessari, Larry Bell, Billy Al Bengston

Votes: 224

8. Art Bastard (2016)

82 min | Documentary, Biography, Comedy

70 Metascore

What is art and how does it relate to society? Is its value determined by its popularity or originality? Is the goal profit or expressing one's personal vision? These are some of the ... See full summary »

Director: Victor Kanefsky | Star: Robert Cenedella

Votes: 67 | Gross: $0.02M

9. Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World (2014)

Not Rated | 95 min | Documentary, Biography

62 Metascore

A look at the life the dark surrealist Swiss artist, H.R.Giger shot a year before his death.

Director: Belinda Sallin | Stars: Leslie Barany, Sandra Beretta, Mia Bonzanigo, Tom Gabriel Fischer

Votes: 981

10. Beltracchi: The Art of Forgery (2014)

Not Rated | 93 min | Documentary, Biography, Crime

73 Metascore

A mesmerizing, thought-provoking yet surprisingly amusing documentary on the life and times of Wolfgang Beltracchi, who tricked the international art world for nearly 40 years by forging ... See full summary »

Director: Arne Birkenstock | Stars: Wolfgang Beltracchi, Helene Beltracchi, Henrik Hanstein, James Roundell

Votes: 1,372

11. The Barefoot Artist (2014)

Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary, Biography, Family

57 Metascore

Lily Yeh is a global artist who is fueled by a belief that art is a human right, and that artists can create a foundation for profound social change. Slight of frame, but large in spirit ... See full summary »

Directors: Glenn Holsten, Daniel Traub

Votes: 15

12. Cameraperson (2016)

Not Rated | 102 min | Documentary

86 Metascore

Exposing her role behind the camera, Kirsten Johnson reaches into the vast trove of footage she has shot over decades around the world. What emerges is a visually bold memoir and a revelatory interrogation of the power of the camera.

Director: Kirsten Johnson | Stars: Jacques Derrida, Kirsten Johnson, Roger Phenix

Votes: 1,976 | Gross: $0.10M

13. Exit Through the Gift Shop (2010)

R | 87 min | Documentary, Comedy, Crime

85 Metascore

The story of how an eccentric French shop-keeper and amateur film-maker attempted to locate and befriend Banksy, only to have the artist turn the camera back on its owner. The film contains... See full summary »

Director: Banksy | Stars: Banksy, Mr. Brainwash, Space Invader, Debora Guetta

Votes: 59,319 | Gross: $3.29M

14. I Am Sun Mu (2015)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary, Animation, Biography

The life and work of North Korean defector turned political pop artist Sun Mu.

Director: Adam Sjöberg | Stars: Angela, Ho Bin, Il Gon, Liang Kegang

Votes: 178

15. Floyd Norman: An Animated Life (2016)

Not Rated | 94 min | Documentary, Biography

68 Metascore

Animator. Storyman. Troublemaker. At 80 years old, see how Disney Legend Floyd Norman, the first African-American animator at Disney, continues to impact animation and stir up "trouble" after the company forced him to retire at age 65.

Directors: Michael Fiore, Erik Sharkey | Stars: Cosmo Anzilotti, Jane Baer, Dave Bossert, Suzanne Bothke

Votes: 487

16. Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang (2016)

76 min | Documentary

73 Metascore

Trace the rise of contemporary artist Cai Guo-Qiang from childhood in Mao's China to global art world superstar, and join his quest to realize his lifelong obsession: Sky Ladder.

Director: Kevin Macdonald | Stars: Ian Buruma, Guo-Qiang Cai, Wen-You Cai, Wenhao Cai

Votes: 930

17. Abstract: The Art of Design (2017– )

TV-14 | 45 min | Documentary

A look beyond blueprints and computers into the art and science of design, showcasing great designers from every discipline whose work shapes our world.

Stars: Platon, Cas Holman, Ian Spalter, Elisabeth Biondi

Votes: 3,693

18. The Art of the Steal (2013)

R | 90 min | Comedy, Crime, Thriller

53 Metascore

Crunch Calhoun, a semi-reformed art thief, agrees to get his old gang back together to pull off one last heist.

Director: Jonathan Sobol | Stars: Kurt Russell, Jay Baruchel, Katheryn Winnick, Chris Diamantopoulos

Votes: 22,348 | Gross: $0.06M

19. Guest of Cindy Sherman (2008)

Not Rated | 88 min | Documentary

64 Metascore

A documentary on art-scene commentator Paul Hasegawa-Overacker's relationship with enigmatic photographer Cindy Sherman.

Directors: Tom Donahue, Paul Hasegawa-Overacker | Stars: Cindy Sherman, John Waters, Eric Bogosian, Danny DeVito

Votes: 194

20. Finding Vivian Maier (2013)

Not Rated | 83 min | Documentary, Biography, Mystery

75 Metascore

A documentary on the late Vivian Maier, a nanny whose previously unknown cache of 100,000 photographs earned her a posthumous reputation as one of the most accomplished street photographers.

Directors: John Maloof, Charlie Siskel | Stars: Vivian Maier, John Maloof, Daniel Arnaud, Simon Amédé

Votes: 12,243 | Gross: $1.51M

21. Nostalgia for the Light (2010)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary

91 Metascore

A documentary about two different searches conducted in the Chilean Atacama Desert: one by astronomers looking for answers about the history of the cosmos, and one by women looking for the remains of loved ones killed by Pinochet's regime.

Director: Patricio Guzmán | Stars: Gaspar Galaz, Lautaro Núñez, Luís Henríquez, Miguel Lawner

Votes: 4,347

22. Pina (2011)

PG | 103 min | Documentary, Music

83 Metascore

A tribute to the late German choreographer, Pina Bausch, as her dancers perform her most famous creations.

Director: Wim Wenders | Stars: Pina Bausch, Regina Advento, Malou Airaudo, Ruth Amarante

Votes: 13,662 | Gross: $3.52M

23. Helvetica (2007)

Not Rated | 80 min | Documentary

A documentary about typography, graphic design, and global visual culture.

Director: Gary Hustwit | Stars: Manfred Schulz, Massimo Vignelli, Rick Poynor, Wim Crouwel

Votes: 7,107 | Gross: $0.20M

24. Objectified (2009)

Not Rated | 75 min | Documentary

A feature-length documentary about our complex relationship with manufactured objects and, by extension, the people who design them.

Director: Gary Hustwit | Stars: Paola Antonelli, Chris Bangle, Andrew Blauvelt, Erwan Bouroullec

Votes: 3,276 | Gross: $0.01M

25. Urbanized (2011)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary

A documentary about the design of cities, which looks at the issues and strategies behind urban design and features some of the world's foremost architects, planners, policymakers, builders, and thinkers.

Director: Gary Hustwit | Stars: Rem Koolhaas, Jan Gehl, Ricardo Scofidio, Norman Foster

Votes: 1,951

26. Between the Folds (2008)

G | 56 min | Documentary

Depicts a cast of fine artists and eccentric scientists (from MIT and NASA) who have devoted their lives to the unlikely medium of modern origami. Through their determination to reinterpret... See full summary »

Director: Vanessa Gould | Stars: Erik D. Demaine, Martin L. Demaine, Vincent Floderer, Miri Golan

Votes: 784

27. Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight (2008)

Not Rated | 73 min | Documentary, Biography

Profiles Milton Glaser (1929- ), America's foremost graphic designer: designer of the iconic "I [heart] N.Y." logo, teacher, and humanitarian. Interviews with Glaser are arranged to take ... See full summary »

Director: Wendy Keys

Votes: 185

28. Design & Thinking (2012)

74 min | Documentary

A documentary on design thinking and its impact on society and businesses.

Director: Mu-Ming Tsai | Stars: Sal Alito, Sara Beckman, George Beylerian, Andrew Brandeis

Votes: 64

29. Art & Copy (2009)

TV-PG | 89 min | Documentary

62 Metascore

ART & COPY is a powerful new film about advertising and inspiration. Directed by Doug Pray (SURFWISE, SCRATCH, HYPE!), it reveals the work and wisdom of some of the most influential ... See full summary »

Director: Doug Pray | Stars: Mary Wells, Dan Wieden, Hal Riney, Lee Clow

Votes: 1,684

30. Eames: The Architect & The Painter (2011)

Not Rated | 85 min | Documentary, Biography

63 Metascore

The husband-and-wife team of Charles and Ray Eames were America's most influential and important industrial designers. Admired for their creations and fascinating as individuals, they have ... See full summary »

Directors: Jason Cohn, Bill Jersey | Stars: Charles Eames, Ray Eames, James Franco, Jeannine Oppewall

Votes: 900 | Gross: $0.15M

31. American Masters (1985– )
Episode: Sketches of Frank Gehry (2005)

PG-13 | 83 min | Documentary, Biography

71 Metascore

A look at the life and work of the renown architect.

Director: Sydney Pollack | Stars: Frank Gehry, Sydney Pollack, Julian Schnabel, Charles Arnoldi

Votes: 1,474 | Gross: $0.44M

32. Regular or Super: Views on Mies van der Rohe (2004)

Not Rated | 56 min | Documentary

REGULAR OR SUPER is a fascinating and informative introduction to the work of Mies van der Rohe (1886-1969), one of the 20th century's most influential architects, and a thought-provoking ... See full summary »

Directors: Patrick Demers, Joseph Hillel

Votes: 38

33. The Visual Language of Herbert Matter (2010)

78 min | Documentary

Feature length documentary film about graphic designer, photographer and visual artist Herbert Matter.

Director: Reto Caduff | Stars: Robert Frank, Massimo Vignelli, John Cohen, Alex Matter

Votes: 16

34. The Salt of the Earth (2014)

PG-13 | 110 min | Documentary, Biography, History

83 Metascore

The life and work of photographer Sebastião Salgado, who has spent forty years documenting deprived societies in hidden corners of the world.

Directors: Juliano Ribeiro Salgado, Wim Wenders | Stars: Sebastião Salgado, Wim Wenders, Lélia Wanick Salgado, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado

Votes: 17,635 | Gross: $1.34M

35. Cathedrals of Culture (2014)

165 min | Documentary

Six directors tackle the question "If buildings could talk, what would they say about us?" by capturing iconic buildings with narration from the perspective of the buildings.

Directors: Karim Aïnouz, Michael Glawogger, Michael Madsen, Margreth Olin, Robert Redford, Wim Wenders | Stars: Meret Becker, Gennadi Vengerov, Benedicte C. Westin, Jonas Salk

Votes: 199

37. Visual Acoustics (2008)

Unrated | 83 min | Documentary

67 Metascore

Visual Acoustics celebrates the life and career of Julius Shulman, the world's greatest architectural photographer, whose images brought modern architecture to the American mainstream. ... See full summary »

Director: Eric Bricker | Stars: Frances Anderton, Wim de Wit, Beth Edwards Harris, Frank Escher

Votes: 575 | Gross: $0.10M

38. Design Is One: The Vignellis (2012)

86 min | Documentary, Biography

63 Metascore

Italian-born Massimo and Lella Vignelli are among the world's most influential designers. Throughout their long career, their motto has been, 'If you can't find it, design it' The work ... See full summary »

Directors: Kathy Brew, Roberto Guerra | Stars: Paola Antonelli, Barry Bergdoll, Michael Bierut, Peter Eisenman

Votes: 122 | Gross: $0.02M

39. Herb & Dorothy (2008)

Not Rated | 87 min | Documentary, Biography

74 Metascore

Herb and Dorothy Vogel redefine what it means to be an art collector.

Director: Megumi Sasaki | Stars: Paula Antebi, Will Barnet, Robert Barry, Lynda Benglis

Votes: 802 | Gross: $0.19M

40. Bill Cunningham: New York (2010)

Not Rated | 84 min | Documentary, Biography, History

76 Metascore

A profile of the noted and extraordinarily cheerful veteran New York City fashion photographer.

Director: Richard Press | Stars: Bill Cunningham, Anna Wintour, Michael Kors, Editta Sherman

Votes: 4,930 | Gross: $1.51M

41. Style Wars (1983 TV Movie)

Not Rated | 69 min | Documentary, Music

A documentary that exposes the rich growing subculture of hip-hop that was developing in New York City in the late '70s and early '80s, specifically focusing on graffiti art and breakdancing.

Director: Tony Silver | Stars: Demon, Kase 2, Eric Haze, Spank

Votes: 2,484

42. Beautiful Losers (2008)

Not Rated | 90 min | Documentary, Music

59 Metascore

This documentary follows the lives and careers of a collective group of Do-it-yourself artists and designers who inadvertently affected the art world.

Directors: Aaron Rose, Joshua Leonard | Stars: Thomas Campbell, Shepard Fairey, Jo Jackson, Chris Johanson

Votes: 1,273 | Gross: $0.06M

43. The Line King: The Al Hirschfeld Story (1996)

Not Rated | 86 min | Documentary, Biography

The childhood, adolescence, and incredible adult years of Al Hirshfeld, celebrated creator of thousands of line drawings of famous people - many in the entertainment industry - over a span ... See full summary »

Director: Susan Warms Dryfoos | Stars: Julie Andrews, Lauren Bacall, Carol Channing, Cy Coleman

Votes: 221

44. How Much Does Your Building Weigh, Mr Foster? (2010)

Not Rated | 78 min | Documentary, Biography

51 Metascore

The film traces the rise of one of the world's premier architects, Norman Foster, and his unending quest to improve the quality of life through design.

Directors: Carlos Carcas, Norberto López Amado | Stars: Norman Foster, Deyan Sudjic

Votes: 647 | Gross: $0.01M

46. Clean Lines, Open Spaces (2012 TV Movie)

56 min | Documentary

"Clean Lines, Open Spaces" looks at mid-century modern architecture in Arkansas and how the post war building boom brought modern design to the state. Talking to home owners, architects and... See full summary »

Director: Mark Wilcken

Votes: 5

47. The Life and Times of Frida Kahlo (2005 TV Movie)

90 min | Documentary

A documentary feature about the life of the Mexican painter Frida Kahlo.

Director: Amy Stechler | Stars: Heinz Berggruen, Estela de Bassagoda, Lila Downs, Arturo Estrada

Votes: 164

48. Why Beauty Matters (2009)

59 min | Documentary

Contemporary philosopher Roger Scruton presents a fascinating argument for the importance of beauty in our art and in our lives, and explores what truly is and is not beautiful, regardless of its beholder.

Star: Roger Scruton

Votes: 247

49. John Portman: A Life of Building (2011)

Not Rated | 52 min | Documentary, Biography