25 Best Abstract art documentaries

1. Gerhard Richter Painting

Gerhard Richter Painting

Release date: 8 September 2011 (Germany)
Director: Corinna Belz
Editor: Stephan Krumbiegel
Awards: German Film Award for Best Documentary Film
Nominations: German Film Award for Best Documentary Film, Prix Italia for TV Performing Arts – Music and Arts Documentary
Cinematography: Johann Feindt, Frank Kranstedt, Dieter Stürmer


The filmmaker is given access to an “inner circle” (for no apparent reason) and Richer colleagues, coworkers, spouse, employees, etc., speak to her casually like a close friend.
However, she doesn’t make the most of this chance. There aren’t any conversations that are intelligent but only casual conversations.
This isn’t enough.
It’s okay that Richter doesn’t want to speak about personal issues and isn’t able to open his arsenal of tricks as an artist (in the presence of a moving camera).


2. Beyond the Visible – Hilma af Klint

Beyond the Visible – Hilma af Klint

Release date: 5 March 2020 (Germany)
Director: Halina Dyrschka
Executive producer: Eva Illmer
Cinematography: Alicja Pahl, Luana Knipfer
Editors: Halina Dyrschka, Antje Lass, Mario Orias
Languages: English, German, Swedish


I often think of my top artworks as gifts that just keep giving because they unveil new layers of meaning each when I see them.

It is usually due to their talent for bringing people closer to the world of the unknown, as the master of surrealism David Lynch did in his experimental epic of 2006, which proved the fact that we have no idea about the different realities that lie just before our eyes.


3. Cutie and the Boxer

Cutie and the Boxer

Release date: 16 August 2013 (USA)
Director: Zachary Heinzerling
Box office: 1.99 lakhs USD
Cinematography: Zachary Heinzerling
Distributed by: The Weinstein Company


“Cutie and the Boxer,” as with all great films, takes you on a surprise with its surprising twists and surprises.

The film is about painting, but the evocative soundtrack propels it forward. It’s a documentary about a lasting marriage and an intimate love story that is full of feelings of resentment and love.

The most important thing is that it’s about the creative process, not the typical “artists struggling” theme, although it’s certainly there.

The art world is a monster that can control your life, according to one of the subjects in the film artist Ushio Shinohara.


4. Painters Painting

Painters Painting

Release date: 19 March 1973 (USA)
Director: Emile de Antonio
Cinematography: Ed Emshwiller
Editor: Mary Lampson
Producers: Emile de Antonio, Vincent Hanlon


Emile de Antonio’s document on postwar American painting blends footage from exhibitions and interviews with painting artists.

In addition to covering Abstract Expressionism in-depth, the film also discusses other important 20th-century art movements, including color-field painting as well as Pop Art.

The artists who have discussed their work are Andy Warhol, Willem de Kooning, Frank Stella, and Helen Frankenthaler.


5. Made You Look: A True Story About Fake Art

Made You Look- A True Story About Fake Art

Initial release: 2020
Executive producer: Jay S. Hennick
Production company: Melbar Entertainment Group, Inc.
Producers: Barry Avrich, Caitlin Cheddie
Screenplay: Barry Avrich, Melissa Hood


A documentary that talks about white, wealthy people who are being swindled into buying fake art using their pocket money.

1 hour and 30 minutes of waffling could’ve been edited down to 30 minutes.

The ‘poor and wealthy art buyer’ narrative for the majority of the narrative.

It would have been fascinating to look at other aspects of the art and perspectives regarding art forgery from different people of various status.

Also, slow clap to documentary filmmakers who have hosted appropriate interviews for the wealthy American while – suddenly using an intelligent approach in trying to locate Pei-ShenQian.

They literally show on his front door with no prior arrangement.


6. The Cool School

The Cool School

Release date: 28 March 2008 (New York)
Director: Morgan Neville
Editors: Chris Perkel, Dylan Robertson
Executive producers: Sally Jo Fifer, David Davis, Cedd Moses
Music director: Dan Crane, William Ungerman
Producers: Kristine McKenna, Morgan Neville


An examination of how observant artists have taught Los Angeles how to love and appreciate contemporary art.

Various artists are trying to get it noticed to receive its respect.


7. My Kid Could Paint That

My Kid Could Paint That

Release date: 5 October 2007 (USA)
Director: Amir Bar-Lev
Nominations: Gotham Independent Film Award for Best Documentary Feature
Cinematography: Nelson Hume, Bill Turnley, Matt Boyd
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics, Sony Pictures


The reality that lies beneath “My Kid Could Paint That” is that your child could not paint the image.

The documentary examines the baffling situation that involved Marla Olmstead.

A four-year-old girl who was born in Binghamton, N.Y., received a lot of attention because, at her age, she was making abstract paintings that were sold for hundreds at times thousands of dollars, were selected for gallery shows and caused a stir within the art world and was the subject of controversial segments of “60 Minutes.”


8. Beauty Is Embarrassing

Beauty Is Embarrassing

Release date: 7 September 2012 (New York)
Director: Neil Berkeley
Art directors: Wayne White, Neil Berkeley, Anthony Maiuri
Cinematography: Neil Berkeley, Chris Bradley
Editors: Kevin Klauber, Chris Bradley


Growing up in the Tennessee mountains, Wayne White started his career as a comic artist in NYC.

He quickly made a name for himself in his role as the co-creators of the popular Pee Wee’s Playhouse TV show, which later brought him to work on one of the more captivating and famous pop culture images.

Recently, his word paintings that feature sharp and often humorous words beautifully printed on classic landscape paintings make him a cult artist in the world of fine art.

The film chronicles the soaring highs and soaring bottoms experienced by an artist trying to find balance and peace between his professional life and his art.

This can be particularly challenging for a person struggling with the virtues he often ridicules in his art…Vanity fame, ego, and ego.


9. Driven to Abstraction

Driven to Abstraction

Initial release: 21 September 2019
Director: Daria Price
Producer: Daria Price
Production company: Under The Sign


Price’s documentary debuts at the beginning of the problems facing the famous Knoedler museum of art, which was one among the most prestigious of its kind in New York City at the time.

The buyers began getting their most expensive paintings by artists such as Jackson Pollock, and Mark Rothko confirmed, only to have the paintings rejected by our experts.

Some have cited historical mistakes, for example, such as paint that wasn’t invented until after the death of an artist and their signatures on the work were incorrectly spelled.


10. Lifeline: Clyfford Still

Lifeline- Clyfford Still

Initial release: 2019
Director: Dennis Scholl
Cinematography: Ed Talavera
Editor: Konstantia Kontaxis
Producer: Konstantia Kontaxis
Music director: Jake Hartmann, Shelton G. Berg


Lifeline Clyfford Still (2019) is a brand new documentary directed by Dennis Scholl, which will begin streaming via Kino Now, and provides a long-overdue correction.

The film provides a personal profile of Still’s work using thirty-four hours of Still’s rare diary-like audio recordings.

Scholl also spoke with Still’s two daughters, museum professionals who take care of his work, and contemporary artists his model inspired.

The film retells in vivid detail revealing events like the Ossorio dispute.

The importance of Lifeline has more to do with understanding the artist’s motives and more with highlighting his public views.


11. Pat Steir: Artist

Pat Steir- Artist

Director: Veronica Gonzalez Peña
Running time: 1h 17m
Cinematography: Fiorella Occhipinti
Editor: Ian Holden
Executive producer: Jack Turner
Music director: Lars Deutsch
Cast: Pat Steir


When creating an artist documentary There’s something to advocated for giving the subject a chance to speak in length.

So it’s only fitting that creator Pat Steir is allowed to talk for the entire duration in Pat Steir: Artist, the Veronica Gonzalez Pena film about her.


12. The 100 Years Show

The 100 Years Show

Initial release: 28 April 2015
Director: Alison Klayman
Cinematography: Alison Klayman
Cast: Carmen Herrera
Editors: Alison Klayman, Jennifer Fineran


This was a beautifully conceived and presented short Documentary about the artist Carmen Herrera.

A woman whose passion and determination to pursue her artistic viewpoint has finally brought her the respect and attention she deserves.

A powerful reminder that so long as you’re breathing, there’s no reason to wait to make your dream come true!


13. Freak Orlando

Freak Orlando

Initial release: 1 November 1981
Director: Ulrike Ottinger
Cinematography: Ulrike Ottinger
Costume design: Jorge Jara
Executive producer: Renée Gundelach


“Freak Orlando” by German documentary filmmaker Ulrike Ottinger is without doubt among the best bizarre films I’ve ever watched.

I can draw comparisons between this unstoppable surrealist film in the style of the film that was created by Alejandro Jodorovsky and John Waters.The film is clearly lacking a coherent storyline.

It’s a collection of bizarre stories that are set in a world of eccentricity filled with bizarre creatures and Siamese twins.There are plenty of zany humor within “Freak Orlando”

14. Timequest


Initial release: 13 April 2000
Director: Robert Dyke
Cinematography: Lon Stratton
Editor: Joseph Kleinman
Music director: Dan Kolton


A tale about one man who travels back in time to Fort Worth, Texas on November 22, 1963.

He stops the assassination attempt by President John F. Kennedy.


15. Gerhard Richter Painting

Gerhard Richter Painting

Release date: 8 September 2011 (Germany)
Director: Corinna Belz
Editor: Stephan Krumbiegel
Awards: German Film Award for Best Documentary Film
Nominations: German Film Award for Best Documentary Film, Prix Italia for TV Performing Arts – Music and Arts Documentary
Cinematography: Johann Feindt, Frank Kranstedt, Dieter Stürmer


She has also been given permission to enter”the “inner circle” (for no apparent reason) and Richer colleagues, coworkers staff members, wife and so on speak to her casually and almost like a family member.

However, she doesn’t fully take advantage of this chance. There aren’t any intelligent conversations just friendly conversations. It’s not enough.

It’s okay that Richter doesn’t want to discuss personal issues. He doesn’t open up his tools as artist (in front of a moving camera).

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