Neelon Crawford, Filmmaker

Paths of Fire II. 1976. USA. Neelon Crawford. The Museum of Modern Art, New York
  • MoMA, Floor T2/T1, Film Center The Debra and Leon Black Family Film Center

Multimedia artist Neelon Crawford (American, born 1946) was a member of the 16-millimeter independent filmmaking scene in Ohio, San Francisco, and New York from the late 1960s through the early 1980s. Experimenting with light, movement, and what he termed “the geometry of abstraction made possible with a movie camera,” he produced 35 films, including a landscape series shot in Peru and Ecuador between 1973 and 1976. After a busy period of exhibition activity Crawford withdrew his films from circulation in the mid-1980s, turning away from the moving image to focus on photography and painting, in the footsteps of his father, abstract artist Ralston Crawford (1906–1978).

Neelon Crawford, Filmmaker presents nine pieces installed as a meditation on climate crisis and sustainability, inspired by encounters with the classical elements of nature: earth, water, air, and fire. These artist travel films reflect pleasure and respect for ambient sounds and the natural world; the bucolic character of the work is undercut by our heightened awareness of environmental fragility and the destabilizing presence of man and machinery.

Organized by Ron Magliozzi, Curator, and Brittany Shaw, Curatorial Assistant, Department of Film.

Film at MoMA is made possible by CHANEL.

Additional support is provided by the Annual Film Fund. Leadership support for the Annual Film Fund is provided by Debra and Leon D. Black and by Steven Tisch, with major contributions from The Contemporary Arts Council of The Museum of Modern Art, Jo Carole and Ronald S. Lauder, MoMA’s Wallis Annenberg Fund for Innovation in Contemporary Art through the Annenberg Foundation, the Association of Independent Commercial Producers (AICP), The Junior Associates of The Museum of Modern Art, the Samuel I. Newhouse Foundation, Karen and Gary Winnick, and The Brown Foundation, Inc., of Houston.

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