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Press Release: Art21 to Release New Film: “Amy Sillman: To Abstract”

Art21 to Release New Film: “Amy Sillman: To Abstract”

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Thursday, May 30, 2024

New York, New York—Art21 is proud to announce the release of a new film: “Amy Sillman: To Abstract,” premiering Wednesday, June 12, at 12:00 p.m. ET on Art21.org and YouTube. The third 2024 release of Art21’s digital film series, Extended Play, “Amy Sillman: To Abstract,” steps into the Brooklyn studio of the renowned artist and celebrated writer.

Watch the trailer.

“Not knowing is a state that I think abstraction is really, really important for addressing,” says Amy Sillman in the film. “Because it’s not an illustration, it’s not a representation; it’s an experience of understanding certain kinds of physical and formal relations.”

Marking, whittling, struggling, scumbling, contradicting, and abstracting, artist Amy Sillman wrestles with the history and materiality of painting, reinvigorating the medium with new references and perspectives. Sillman works improvisationally using various nontraditional and ad-hoc tools to scrape, wipe, and wash off the paint she applies to the canvas in an ongoing process of editing and revision. 

“Much like Amy Sillman’s improvisational painting process, our new film went through many iterations before reaching its final form,” says Ian Forster, director and Art21 senior producer. “Collaborating closely with Amy, we reshuffled the narrative, added and removed biographical anecdotes, filmed additional exhibitions, and visualized her sources of inspiration. Those struggles and reworkings made for a better film — one that I am immensely proud of.”

Tune in to the premiere of “Amy Sillman: To Abstract” on Wednesday, June 12, 2024, at 12PM ET at Art21.org and on Art21’s YouTube channel at www.youtube.com/art21org. To learn more email Art21 Senior Manager of Communications Hannah DeGarmo at [email protected]


About Extended Play

Art21’s Extended Play digital series provides unmediated, behind-the-scenes access to today’s leading artists. Through process-revealing footage and intimate interviews, these curatorially-driven films chronicle a diverse scale of international projects, ranging from major commissions to exploratory sketches. Produced in close collaboration with artists, Extended Play uncovers the provocative ideas, timely cultural influences, and biographical anecdotes that inspire the artists featured throughout the series.

Extended Play is presented by the Marina Kellen French Foundation, with support from Lauren and Tim Schrager, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Every Page Foundation, public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, the New York State Council on the Arts with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature, the Henry Nias Foundation, and individual contributors.

About Art21

Art21 is the world’s leading source to learn directly from the artists of our time. A nonprofit organization, the mission of Art21 is to educate and expand access to contemporary art, producing documentary films, resources, and public programs. Learn more at Art21.org.