Biopics on artists influence the popular perception of artists' lives and work. Projected Art History highlights the narrative structure and images created in the film genre of biopics, in which an artist's life is being dramatized and embodied by an actor. Concentrating on the two case studies, Basquiat (1996) and Pollock (2000), the book also discusses larger issues at play, such as how postwar American art history is being mediated for mass consumption. This book bridges a gap between art history, film studies and popular culture by investigating how the film genre of biopics adapts written biographies. It identifies the functionality of the biopic genre and explores its implication for a popular art history that is projected on the big screen for a mass audience.
Doris Berger is a curator at the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles, USA. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles and the director of the Kunstverein Wolfsburg, Germany. Her practice includes writing, teaching, curatorial and audiovisual work focusing on intersections of art and film in modern and contemporary American and European art.