Friday, January 15, 2010

Herb and Dorothy.

Technically, and I guess, aesthetically—although bits of it are incredibly beautiful—I think this is a fairly squirrelly, haphazard documentary.

See the film’s website here. Available through Netflix. (I checked, and it’s available at the NPL, for you Nashvillians)

On the whole however, it’s a rather remarkable document about passion and art...and passion AS art. This fairly innocuous seeming New York couple—the Vogels—he a postal service employee, she a librarian, put together a phenomenal collection of thousands (!?!?) of pieces of modern American art. In New York fashion, most of the pieces are small enough for a person to carry home walking or in a cab. Their rent-controlled apartment grew to be nearly bursting at the seams with it all.

They’ve quietly, almost unwillingly garnered quite a lot of press over the years, and the story of where their collection is to ultimately reside is an interesting (and still unfolding) one.

Some of the art they have collected, I could personally take or leave, but it is undeniably important in the arc of the development of later 20th century American art. If you care about art...or collecting...or people, this is a great little film.