Neelon Crawford, Filmmaker

Jul 24, 2021–Oct 10, 2022


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.


  • Press release 0 pages
  • Press release 0 pages


Installation images

How we identified these works

In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].