".... the documentary is about American painting from the end of World War II through the 1960s. Specifically it was tied to a Metropolitan Museum of Art show titled “New York Painting and Sculpture: 1940-1970″ and comes with the sub-title “A Candid History of the New York Art Scene, 1940-1970″ and supplemented with a similarly titled book. "
"One thing it is not, however, is a look at painters painting. A better title is “Painters Talking” or even “Filmmaker Filming,” given that de Antonio appears in many interview scenes along with his crew, or sometimes there is at least a microphone extended into the frame. The director, who was a prominent part of the New York art scene (as promoter rather than artist) before becoming a filmmaker at the age of 43, took on this subject in part at the suggestion of his wife at the time, Terry Brook.
It was also, while familiar ground, nothing short of a challenge for de Antonio, who was conflicted about the art. He liked the paintings and their creators were his friends, but as a Marxist social critic he saw them as “essentially manifestations of a very conservative aspect of America … part of a machine which runs this country,” because they’re bought by the wealthy and corporate and the artists then too become wealthy and occasionally even corporate. He was also critical of abstract paintings being too uninvolved, socially and politically. Of the work of his close friend Frank Stella, he would say, “Tell me the politics of a stripe…”*"
"Artists appearing in the film include Willem de Kooning, Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol, Robert Rauschenberg, Helen Frankenthaler, Frank Stella, Barnett Newman, Hans Hofmann, Jules Olitski, Philip Pavia, Larry Poons, Robert Motherwell, and Kenneth Noland."