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Weekly Watchlist: Adam Milner Collects Vibrant Matter

As a documentary filmmaker, you always hope for a bit of unplanned, on-location magic to happen. For Art21’s first production with artist Adam Milner, which premieres today, it actually did—at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.

When we first arrived at the Arms and Armor galleries, the communications team assumed we wanted to just shoot the swords and suits that the Met is so well known for. But Adam was actually much more interested in the hidden supports that hold up those objects. Amazingly, we ran into two of the highly-skilled staffers who make those supports; they were in the middle of removing, for restoration, an armored glove of Henry IV of England. Adam was a total fan and treated them like celebrities. They were appreciative and humbled.

It was such a poignant moment of respect, paid from one artist to others, for work that’s always subordinated to more celebrated art objects. The experience also pointed to the larger joys of documentary filmmaking, especially for Art21 (this is my third time directing and editing for the New York Close Up series). Not only are we granted access to the thoughts and feelings of artists like Adam, but also to the people, places, and things in their lives.

Though this interaction didn’t make the final cut of the film, my big goal was to express that sense of intimacy and good will that this special moment embodied for me. I hope I pulled it off!

Lorena Alvarado
Director & Editor
July 14, 2021

Deepen your connection to Art21

Four new films investigate the relationship between memory and materials

Clockwise from top-left: Phyllida Barlow, Wangechi Mutu, Guadalupe Maravilla, and Adam Milner. © Art21, Inc. 2021.

Fresh from the four-film run of our spring programming season, we are thrilled to launch into our summer season with yet another batch of new films across our Extended Play and New York Close Up series.

Stream the first two releases of the season today.

This season features four artists—Phyllida Barlow, Guadalupe Maravilla, Adam Milner, and Wangechi Mutu—whose practices investigate the complex interconnectedness between artistic materials and personal experiences.

Tune in for a new premiere every Wednesday in July at 12:00 p.m. ET on Art21.org and our YouTube channel.

See the film guide.

Upcoming workshops for educators

We are proud to offer professional development opportunities to engage teachers with the work of contemporary artists. See our education calendar for upcoming sessions taking place this August.

All programs are free and take place via Zoom.

Thank you for supporting our work

More than ever, online access to the lives and stories of artists is crucial, and Art21 is proud to share them with an ever-growing number of visitors including students, teachers, parents, and art enthusiasts alike from around the globe. If you are able at this time, please consider supporting the work of Art21. Every dollar makes a difference.