Art on screen

Art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel in their kitchen. Photo by Katsuyoshi Tanaka, courtesy of Arthouse Films.
Art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel. Photo by Katsuyoshi Tanaka, courtesy of Arthouse Films.

 

La creme de la Toronto art crowd packed into the AGO’s Baillie Court last night for the gala screening of Megumi Sasaki’s utterly charming film Herb and Dorothy, about two unlikely New York art collectors. The film’s Canadian premiere was the kick off to Canadian Art‘s Reel Artists Film Festival, on this weekend. Usually these parties are Michelle Bilodeau’s bailiwick, but I couldn’t resist checking out the new building (why yes, I am the last one in Toronto to see it) and trying chef Anne Yarymowich’s nibblies.

Herb and Dorothy Vogel, respectively a postal clerk and a librarian, met, went on a museum date and embarked on amassing one of the most important collections of minimal and conceptual art–thousands of pieces they packed into their one-bedroom apartment. The film chronicles the couple and their collection, but Sasaki also talks to some of the artists whose work the Vogels have collected–Sol LeWitt, Richard Tuttle, Christo and Jeanne-Claude–and who have known the couple for decades. It’s a fascinating look, not only at an important group of American artists, but also a what a shared passion can bring. It’s also a pretty great love story.

The Reel Artists Film Festival runs tonight, Saturday and Sunday (Al Green Theatre, 750 Spadina Avenue, canadianart.ca) and features documentaries on Jean-Michel Basquiat, Yves Klein, Keith Haring, Canadian collective General Idea and more. Herb and Dorothy screens on Sunday at 4 p.m. Advance tickets are sold out, but there will be rush seats available.

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