Zane Bennett Contemporary Art

Christopher Felver: The Importance of Being, photographs and films of artists, writers, poets and musicians

Christopher Felver: The Importance of Being, photographs and films of artists, writers, poets and musicians

Friday, September 28, 2012Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Santa Fe, NM USA

Opening reception on Friday, September 28, 2012 from 5:00-7:00 pm.
Last Friday Art Walk in the Railyard Arts District.

Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is pleased to announce The Importance of Being, Christopher Felver's photographs and films of musicians, artists, writers and poets from the past 30 years. The opening is at the gallery, 435 South Guadalupe Street, across from the rail station, from 5:00-7:00 pm to coincide with the Railyard Arts District Last Friday Art Walk.

The creative spirit is Christopher Felver's impetus when it comes to his photography and film making. In Felver's exhibition, The Importance of Being, we are invited to meet the iconic artists, musicians, writers and poets of our time face to face. "These are our cultural heroes, they are creative revolutionaries, what is left of our thinking society," says Felver.

Felver's introduction to poetry began in 1961 when his grandmother, who worked on Kennedy's presidential campaign, took him by train from Akron, Ohio to Washington, D.C. for the inaugural ceremonies where he heard Robert Frost recite his poem "The Gift Outright." From that point on, "I felt the importance of poetry to society, how universal it is." Over 30 years, Felver has documented the writers and poets of the Beat Generation resulting in his book Beat, a comprehensive overview of the era. "The poets and artists of that generation still fire my enthusiasm for being a fellow traveler with this tribe of angels and anarchists. Their style reflects that of an earlier era, when communication was done in person and in cafes." Felver honors the imaginative genius of the individual which is in direct contrast to our society's insistence on a consumerist monoculture. In 1984, Felver moved to New York City to finish The Poet Exposed, and was introduced to the artists and writers of the New York School.

The Importance of Being, Felver's book by the same title, includes important European artists. As a visiting artist at the American Academy in Rome from 1988-90, Felver was introduced to the art world in Europe. He began photographing the European artists in earnest which established him as an important American photographer and catapulted him in to photographing the continent's renowned artists such as Georg Baselitz, Tony Cragg, Antoni Tapies and Gerhard Richter. This led to the solo exhibition of Felver's work at the Pompidou Center, in Paris in 1994. Felver's portraits can be seen as the Who's Who of western culture. His ability to give us an intimate view of our cultural icons reminds us that life in the arts is indeed honored and appreciated.


Four Films by Christopher Felver: Donald Judd's Marfa, Texas, Tony Cragg, a Celebration of Sculpture, Ferlinghetti, California Clay in the Rockies.

Saturday, September 29, 2012 - Donald Judd's Marfa, Texas and Tony Cragg, a Celebration of Sculpture - showing at 3-4:30 pm
Saturday, October 6, 2012 - Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder showing at 3-4 pm
Saturday, October 13, 2012 - California Clay in the Rockies showing at 3-4 pm
Admission is free.
Zane Bennett Contemporary Art is pleased to present four films by photographer and filmmaker Christopher Felver. The films in this three part series will be Donald Judd’s Marfa, Texas, Tony Cragg, a Celebration of Sculpture, Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder, and California Clay in the Rockies.

All films will be shown at the gallery, 435 South Guadalupe Street, across from the rail station, from 3:00‐4:30 pm on Saturday afternoons. Admission is free.

In conjunction with Christopher Felvers’ photography exhibition, The Importance of Being, we are presenting four films by Felver on significant artists and poets of our time. For Felver, “These are our cultural heroes, they are creative revolutionaries, what is left of our thinking society.”

Saturday, September 29, 2012 The first film showing at 3pm is Donald Judd’s Marfa, Texas. Judd (1928‐1994) an artist and critic, was a multidisciplinary conceptualist whose work was associated with the minimalist movement, although he disavowed that label. Judd believed that art should not represent anything, that it should stand on its own and simply exist. In the film, Judd is interviewed in various locations at his Manhattan SoHo district loft, the permanent installation and restored buildings at Marfa, Texas and his Chinati Foundation at Fort Russell, Texas. This is the last interview Judd gave before his death in 1994. Critic John Yau provides commentary in this overview of Judd’s career and his role in the development of post‐war contemporary art and architecture.

The second film showing at 3:30 pm. is about Tony Cragg, one of the most versatile sculptors working today. He has been shaping forms in plastic, glass, stone, wood, steel, fiberglass and found objects since the mid‐70s. Cragg speaks while installing exhibitions of his work internationally and moving around his Wuppertal studio in Germany. British born in 1949, Tony Cragg taught in Düsseldorf from 1988‐2001 and at the Universität der Künste in Berlin from 2001‐2006. Since 2009 he has been the Director of the Kunstakademie in Düsseldorf. Cragg likes to refer to himself as a “materialist,“ who explores and develops the materials he uses and with which he experiments.

Saturday, October 6, 2012 The third film, Ferlinghetti: A Rebirth of Wonder, features Lawrence Ferlinghetti, poet and writer, an iconic figure in the world of arts and letters for over half a century. This legendary poet ushered in the era of the Beat generation, publishing literary greats such as Allen Ginsberg, William S. Burroughs and Jack Kerouac and creating a platform for voicing the dissent against the Vietnam War, the sexual revolution and the country’s slide toward intellectual and political bankruptcy. Ferlinghetti’s ideological identity crystallized after visiting the ruins of Nagaskaki, just weeks after the atomic bomb was dropped in 1945, transforming him into “an instant pacifist.” In 1953 he opened his famous bookstore, City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco which became the cornerstone of America’s modern literary and cultural history. Winning the infamous censorship trial for publishing Allen Ginsberg’s Howl in 1956, Ferlinghetti set a precedent that secured the First Amendment rights of publishing in this country and preserved freedom of speech in literature. Generations of musicians, poets, writers and filmmakers are indebted to him for his clarity and intellectual strength. He has been considered by many to be the most influential artist in the history of American literature since 1950.

The film features archival photographs and historical footage with appearances of many literary and political figures.

Saturday, October 13, 2012 ‐ California Clay in the Rockies was filmed in 1983 at The Anderson Ranch Arts Center in Aspen Colorado; it is a documentary which assembles segments of interviews and demonstrations of the innovators in the California clay movement where anything was possible and no rules applied. The artist credited with starting the “West Coast Clay Revolution” is Peter Voulkos who is prominently featured. Voulkos’ colleagues include Robert Arneson, Paul Soldner, Richard Shaw, Viola Frey, Marily Levine, Michael Frimkess, Ron Nagel, Jerry Rothman and Phillip Cornelius. A very young Garth Clark, ceramic historian and critic, places these artists and their work in context and gives us an understanding of the importance of Voulkos in lifting clay art to a spiritual experience and signaling the upheaval of ceramic tradition and technique in the United States.

For further information, please contact:
Meg Hachmann, Special Project Coordinator, Zane Bennett Contemporary Art
505-982-8111, x1014;

For more information on this exhibition visit