Drips of paint, brushstrokes, the glow of an untreated canvas–we want to see all the details in a work of art by Miró.
We can’t get too close, however. Stanchions, framed glass, floor tape and vitrines protect the art. But we have one way to really zoom in–the HD video camera at UNC-TV, our public television network of North Carolina. The video camera captures what the human eye just can’t see on its own. UNC-TV’s 30-minute documentary, Miró: The Experience of Seeing, premieres on Monday, October 20, at 9 PM. The documentary will air many times throughout the exhibition, until February 22. (Peruse the UNC-TV schedule.)
The program will provide an artistic and historical context to the artist’s works through stunning high-definition video, historical footage and photographs of Miró at work in his studio, and in-depth interviews with Nasher Museum Director Sarah Schroth and Marshall N. Price, Nancy Hanks Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Nasher Museum, who coordinated the Miró exhibition. The third expert on the show is Robert Lubar, associate professor of fine arts at New York University, who is also director of NYU Madrid and a trustee of the Miró Foundation. The program features an original score by Fred Story
We asked Scott Davis, Producer/Director, a few questions for a behind-the-camera report.
Nasher Museum: Why were you interested in this documentary on the later years of Miró’s work?
Scott Davis: What fascinated me about this special exhibition of Miró’s work is how creative he was throughout his lifetime. UNC-TV has had Miró prints on the walls for many years that were provided by a member of our Board of Trustees. Of course, I was always intrigued by them. This project, UNC-TV’s third co-production with the Nasher Museum of Art, gave me the opportunity to learn more about Miró from very knowledgeable curators and art historians.
NM: During filming, what surprised you most about Miro’s work?
SD: I think what surprised me most about seeing Miró’s art in the galleries was how striking it is. Whether he paints it with bold, heavy lines and bright colors or subtle and refined gestures, there’s something very compelling in Miró’s art that makes you want to look at it. And his sculptures are so strange and surprising. I found myself totally intrigued by his creative imagination and process.
NM: Do you have any more thoughts to share?
SD: One of the things that really impressed me about Miró, and I hope this comes through in the documentary, is that even though he really pushed his creative boundaries, he also stayed very true to his own personal artistic expression. In this exhibition, whether its a painting, a drawing, or a sculpture, it is clearly a Miró work of art. Our Miró scholar, Robert Lubar, calls this exhibition a Miró mode, a Miró world. And having the chance to step into that world during the making of this documentary was quite an amazing experience.
IMAGES: At top, Mike Burke, director of photography (left), films Joan Miró’s 1966/1973 oil on canvas painting, Woman, Bird and Star (Homage to Pablo Picasso), which is more than 8 feet tall. Executive Producer/Director Scott Davis looks on with Debora O’Neill, associate producer. At middle, Burke captures details of the 1981 sculpture by Miró, Femme (Woman), made of patinated bronze.
Above, Wendy Hower, co-producer of the documentary and director of engagement and marketing at the Nasher Museum, walks alongside Mike Burke, who operates the camera on a dolly driven by Mike Milstead, the “grip.”
Special thanks to the UNC-TV crew: Scott Davis, Producer/Director; Debora O’Neill, Associate Producer; Steve Price, Lighting Director; Steve Johnson, Grip; and Mike Milstead, Grip. Special thanks, also, to the Nasher Museum staff.