Roots & Elements of Modern Art

July 30th - August 27th, 2011

This film series is presented in honor of Adi Da Samraj's upcoming solo exhibition at the Sundaram Tagore Gallery in Beverly Hills, from September 8th - October 8th, 2011. These film selections give an overview of art history and introduce some of the techniques and subjects used in Avatar Adi Da's image art. We conclude with a rare documentary about modernist painter Piet Mondrian, whose impulse to the spiritual dimensions of abstraction and non-representation in art is, in some sense, continued by Avatar Adi Da's Orpheus and Linead One suites, which are featured in this exhibition.

How Art Made the World: Part 1
Saturday, July 30th, 2pm

The documentary series How Art Made the World is a landmark. Host Dr. Nigel Spivey, a Classical Archaeology professor from Cambridge, asserts that not only have cultures thrived according to their abilities to communicate visually, but also that, though art, we can historically trace human needs and desires because our minds drive us to create images. (60 minutes)

Episode Two - The Day Pictures Were Born: 
The discovery of prehistoric cave paintings in the last century led to the shocking realisation that humans have been creating art for over 30,000 years. Episode two reveals how the very first pictures ever made were created, and how images may have triggered the greatest change in human history.

How Art Made the World: Part 2
Saturday, August 6th, 2pm

Questioning how and why art influences society, Dr. Nigel Spivey employs art criticism, archaeology, political theory, and anthropology in order to posit theories in each hour-long segment. Potent, smart, and interdisciplinary, this series, filmed mostly on-location for full-effect, really does prove that culture dictates art. (60 minutes)

Episode Four - Once Upon a Time
: Over seven billion people across the world are drawn to see the latest feature films in the cinema. This episode reveals how the most powerful storytelling medium ever created exploits visual techniques invented by artists in the ancient world.

Calligraphy & Photography
Saturday, August 13th, 2pm

A Look at the History of Calligraphy; the Art of the Written Word: This documentary gives a brief overview of the history and development of calligraphy. The various influences are presented, from landmark achievements such as the Book of Kells to the artistic revival of Edward Johnston. However, the objective is not only to look at history; with the help of three experienced calligraphers, look at the current and future potential of this unique art form. (24 minutes)

George Eastman House: Picture Perfect: 
Located on the estate of the man who made Kodak a household word, the George Eastman House celebrates the art, technology, and impact of photography and motion pictures. This program goes behind the scenes with curators and archivists at Eastman’s colonial revival mansion in Rochester, New York—now the oldest photography museum in the world—to showcase its famous collections. The Eastman House is a vital stop on the journey to understanding visual literacy. (28 minutes)

The Nude in Art
Saturday, August 20th, 2pm

If there is one genre of art that seems to have played a greater role than any other, it is the nude. For at least 30,000 years, humans have represented the naked form in a variety of ways. From the ideal to the real, the Romantic to the Surrealist, there has been almost no end of works devoted to the unclothed human body. This series will examine those artworks, the societies that produced them, and the artists that made them. (50 minutes)

Piet Mondrian (Mr. Boogie-Woogie Man)
Saturday, August 27th, 2pm

An in-depth look at influential 20th-century Dutch painter Piet Mondrian and his works, from early rural landscapes to his masterpiece, "Broadway Boogie-Woogie," rendered in his signature style, Neo-Plasticism. Includes commentary from "Time" art critic Robert Hughes, composer Louis Andriessen, and designer Terence Conran on Mondrian's influence both within and outside the art world. This rare and stirring portrait of Dutch painter Piet Mondrian explores how jazz music inspired his art, and how his style exerted international influence on painting, architecture, interior decor, furniture, design, and typography. (49 minutes)