Video Data Bank's On Art and Artists Interviews & Portraits

About VDB's On Art and Artists Interviews and Portraits

On Art and Artists is a unique collection of interviews and portraits of artists, musicians, performers, architects, theorists, and critics, spanning 1970 to the present. The OAA collection represents four decades of producing and acquiring interviews by the Video Data Bank, and features more than 400 available titles, of which at least half are interviews produced by the Video Data Bank and its co-founders Lyn Blumenthal and Kate Horsfield. In addition, the collection offers artist interviews produced by external producers and producing organizations—including Artists Television Network, Long Beach Museum of Art, and the University of Colorado—and experimental documentaries and portraits, many of them produced by other artists.

Over the last forty years the On Art and Artists collection has grown into an archive of considerable cultural and historical significance, comprised of interviews and portraits of some of the most noteworthy contemporary practitioners and thinkers from the U.S. and beyond. Originally conceptualized as a tool by which to provide art students with insight into their chosen creative fields, and the methodologies and processes available to them, the OAA collection now stands as a compelling testimony for wider audiences as to what it means to be an artist.

Recording interviews with artists has played a central role in the activities of the Video Data Bank since its founding, even while the resources were not always available to allow for editing and post-production. For the past several years VDB has been working to remedy this situation and to increase educational access to this significant body of work. With the assistance of funds from the Lyn Blumenthal Memorial Fund, many of the Blumenthal/Horsfield interviews, often unseen for decades, were finally digitized, preserved and edited. As part of an extensive and ongoing drive to preserve and digitize the entire collection, VDB has worked to make scores more of these unique interviews available through its distribution program.

From Abramović to Wodiczko, the On Art and Artists collection offers those interested in art history, contemporary practices and education a rare and rewarding study guide, offering insight into the lives, practices and methodologies of some of the most vital practitioners of our time.



Browse On Art and Artists Interviews and Artist Portraits

In addition to a complete listing of the OAA collection, we have provided four distinct sub-divided listings:

Blumenthal/Horsfield Interviews

Ninety historic artist interviews produced by VDB founders Lyn Blumenthal and Kate Horsfield between 1974 and 1988.

Video Data Bank Interviews

Interviews with artists and creative practitioners in conversation with VDB staff, SAIC colleagues and others, recorded from 1976 to the present.

Independently Produced Interviews

Artist interviews and documentaries produced by independent producers and producing organizations.

Artist Portraits

Experimental works by artists, focusing on fellow artists and the artistic process.


Samples of the On Art and Artists Collection

In the 1960s and '70s, Hollis Frampton (1936-1984) emerged as one of the most important experimental filmmakers, creating structuralist works such as Zorns Lemma (1970), Poetic…

Audrey Flack uses an airbrush to produce large photorealistic paintings and works from slides for her precision.

Louise Fishman (b.1939) is an abstract painter who uses knives rather than brushes to apply her undiluted colors. Her complex compositions place architectural shapes within other shapes.

Robert Cumming (b. 1943) is an American photographer/sculptor/bookmaker who borrows from the artifice of theatrical sets to construct his elaborate and often absurd images.

Ron Gorchov (b. 1930) is an American artist who has been working with curved surface paintings and shaped canvases since 1967.

John Cage’s compositions and performances have had a profound influence on generations of musicians and artists.

Roger Brown's (1941-1997) quirky, stylized paintings were influenced by such disparate sources as comic strips, hypnotic wallpaper patterns, medieval panel paintings, and early works of Magritte.…

Phyllis Bramson (b.1941) is a Chicago painter whose post-imagist style emphasizes content and the deeply personal.

A major figure among underground filmmakers, Stan Brakhage (1933-2003) boasted a prolific career that spanned more than 50 years and 300 films.