Segments in this Video

"The Music of Regret" Act I (03:42)


Laurie Simmons began using photography to capture stillness in New York in the '70s. She discusses bringing her characters to life in a movie featuring puppets.

"The Music of Regret" Act II (02:50)

Simmons kept her theatrical work secret during the conceptual art era. She used dummies in a film and decided to cast a human actor as the music and emotions became more complex.

Romantic Element (03:40)

Simmons discusses casting Meryl Streep, and being inspired by the American Songbook to create a love story. Streep reflects on Simmons' songwriting talent.

"The Music of Regret" Act III (03:30)

Simmons discusses filming objects on legs in an audition setting. A pocket watch steals the show, reflecting her interest in starting and stopping time.

Transporting Viewers (02:36)

Lari Pittman thrives on the chaos of American culture and enjoys artistic freedom in Los Angeles. He discusses how his paintings are visually available to everyone.

Gay Artistic Identity (03:30)

Pittman describes his childhood in Colombia; his family supported his decorative creativity. Despite a comfortable life, his work is radicalized by homophobia in American culture.

Retablo Inspiration (02:18)

Pittman describes an urge to "fix up" paintings. He collects Mexican religious art and borrows from its decorative technique.

Life Cycle Metaphor (03:27)

Pittman interprets an abstract painting containing a cactus. He uses landscaping to push back against chaos in nature, and discusses how gardening highlights plant mortality.

From Painting to Sculpture (02:27)

Judy Pfaff describes her love affair with welding and uproots a tree stump for a galley piece.

Light and Dark (03:54)

Pfaff hated school; her Yale art teacher turned her on to sculpture. She is basing a new show on recent personal losses. She discusses using tools to interact with material.

Assembling an Exhibit (02:47)

Pfaff explains a plaster form technique. Witness her assistants put together sculptures in a New York gallery.

Romanticism in Sculpture (01:59)

Pfaff walks through her exhibit. Viewers perceive a sense of sadness and loss; she discusses trying to balance emotion with aesthetics in her work.

"Celebration Park" (02:09)

Pierre Huyghe's work involves creating worlds. His Tate Museum exhibition circulates stories and explores boundaries.

Antarctica in Central Park (04:21)

Huyghe recreated his journey in search of an albino penguin in a conceptual piece in New York. He wants viewers to experience emotion, rather than narration.

"This is Not a Time for Dreaming" (03:56)

Huyghe explains a piece on Le Corbusier's Carpenter Center at Harvard. Using puppets, he created a film echoing Le Corbusier's difficulties with the commission. He talks about using humor as a buffer against criticism.

"Streamside Day" (04:08)

Rather than filming reality or building fiction, Huyghe sets up and documents "realities." In one film, he organized a town celebration and encouraged residents to start an annual tradition. He sees the exhibition as a starting point for his work.

Credits: Romance (02:32)

Credits: Romance

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Romance: Art 21—Art in the Twenty-First Century (Season 4)

Part of the Series : Art 21: Art in the Twenty-First Century (Season 4)
3-Year Streaming Price: $169.95



The "Art in the Twenty-First Century" documentary “Romance” explores questions about the role of emotion, regret, fantasy and nostalgia in contemporary art in the work of the four artists. In “The Music of Regret,” Laurie Simmons stages scenes with puppets, ventriloquist dummies and dancers costumed as everyday objects to create a nostalgic world that explores sentiments of love and romance. Lari Pittman draws inspiration from a creative childhood and an awareness of our country's attitude toward the gay community to create meticulously layered paintings transforming decoration, pattern and signage into elaborate scenes. Sculptor Judy Pfaff balances planning with improvisational decision making to design an exhibition around the sadness and loss she experienced following the deaths of friends and family members. Pierre Huyghe creates new worlds through films, installations and public projects. From an expedition in Antarctica to a small-town parade, he thrives on the production and documentation of new and scripted realities. Distributed by PBS Distribution.

Length: 56 minutes

Item#: BVL93415

Copyright date: ©2007

Closed Captioned

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