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Nathaniel Dorsky

Film and Film Stills

Intro

Nathaniel Dorsky shooting The Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Photo: Daniel Bogdanic

We are pleased to present Nathaniel Dorsky: Film and Film Stills. Surveying the experimental cinematic practice of the artist through film stills created from the 1960s-2010s, the online exhibition coincides with his newly published limited edition book of photographs, ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, each signed and numbered by the artist and published by Peter Blum Edition. Please click "Inquire" below the artwork details to contact the gallery for more information.

Nathaniel Dorsky was born in New York City in 1943 and has lived and worked in San Francisco since 1971. The artist creates 16mm silent films and photographic stills that elicit poetic and contemplative moments of observation; they are occasions for meditations on light, landscape, time, and consciousness. Capturing oftentimes quotidian or verdant settings, the luminous film stills reveal everyday existence as profoundly stimulating and sublime.

Dorsky has presented his work at numerous institutions, including the currently on view exhibition, Private Lives Public Spaces at the Museum of Modern Art, NY. Others include the National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.; Centre Pompidou, Paris; Tate Modern, London; Filmoteca Española, Madrid; Vienna Film Museum; Harvard Film Archive; Yale University; and the Whitney Biennial in 2000 and 2012. A complete retrospective of his films was shown at the 53rd New York Film Festival in 2015.

Grid
ND Quote

“In film, there are two ways of including human beings. One is depicting human beings. Another is to create a film form which, in itself, has all the qualities of being human: tenderness, observation, fear, relaxation, the sense of stepping into the world and pulling back, expansion, contraction, changing, softening, tenderness of heart. The first is a form of theater and the latter is a form of poetry.”

— Nathaniel Dorsky

Hours For Jerome (Part 1) 1, 1966-1970

Hours For Jerome (Part 1) 1, 1966-1970
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Hours For Jerome (Part 1) 2, 1966-1970

Hours For Jerome (Part 1) 2, 1966-1970
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 1, 1966-1970

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 1, 1966-1970
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 4, 1966-1970

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 4, 1966-1970
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 5, 1966-1970

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 5, 1966-1970
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Hours for Jerome Quote

Hours for Jerome (as in a Book of Hours) is an arrangement of images, energies, and illuminations from daily life. These fragments of light revolve around the four seasons. Part 1 is spring through summer; Part 2 is fall and winter. This footage was shot and edited from 1966 to 1970 and then edited to completion over a two year period ending in July 1982.”

— Nathaniel Dorsky on Hours for Jerome

Variations 2, 1992

Variations 2, 1992
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Variations 3, 1992

Variations 3, 1992
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
‚ÄčEdition of 3
$ 3,500

Variations Quote

“What tender chaos, what current of luminous rhymes might cinema reveal unbridled from the daytime word? During the Bronze Age a variety of sanctuaries were built for curative purposes. One of the principal activities was transformative sleep. Variations speaks to that tradition.”

— Nathaniel Dorsky on Variations

 

MoMA Quote

"Nathaniel Dorsky’s decades-long exploration of celluloid’s poetic and expressive properties captures quotidian settings— domestic, street-side, verdant—revealing themselves through montage and rhythm as simultaneously energetic and sculptural, deeply sensorial and transcendent."

— Five Films by Nathaniel Dorsky, Museum of Modern Art, New York, 2019

 

1

Arbor Vitae 3, 1999-2000
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500
Inquire

 

 

“Some of the happiest moments in my recent movie going life have been spent watching the cinematic reveries of Nathaniel Dorsky. Working in 16-millimeter film, Dorsky makes short, silent works filled with everyday ecstasies — shifting shadows, nodding flowers — that capture the magnificence and ephemera of both the medium and the larger world.”

— Manohla Dargis, 10 Most Influential Films of the Decade, The New York Times, 2019

 

3

Song and Solitude 1, 2005-2006
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500
Inquire

 

 

“Most filmmakers think about light when making films. All film is light, after all; every image in every film needs the light that illuminates it in order to exist – for capture, and for projection. Yet few think about it quite as much as artist-filmmaker Nathaniel Dorsky. As he writes in his book-cum-manifesto Devotional Cinema, 'beyond everything else, film is a screen, film is a rectangle of light, film is light sculpture in time'; to not consider it deeply would be to disregard film’s most essential property.”

— Matt Turner, The Photosynthesis of Film, Sight & Sound Magazine, 2018

 

2

Winter 3, 2007
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500
Inquire

 

 

"The films of Nathaniel Dorsky blend a beauteous celebration of the sensual world with a deep sense of introspection and solitude. They are occasions for reflection and meditation, on light, landscape, time and the motions of consciousness. Their luminous photography emphasizes the elemental frisson between solidity and luminosity, between spirit and matter, while his uniquely developed montage permits a fluid and flowing experience of time. Dorsky’s films reveal the mystery behind everyday existence, providing intimations of eternity."

— Steve Polta, San Francisco Cinematheque

 

NYer Quote

"In these small stills from Dorsky’s experimental silent movies at Peter Blum Gallery, people appear as reflections and shadows or obscured by a scrim. Like the films themselves, the pictures thwart narratives, but the meditative slowness of the moving images is hard to convey frame by frame. Dorsky’s best shots pinpoint the pleasures of absorbed attention—on an overblown rose, an orange lizard, a shoe falling apart under water. Trees and flowering branches, usually seen in double-exposed layers, are nothing less than an exploration of bliss."

— Galleries, The New Yorker, 2016

Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2
$ 70,000
 

Elohim 3 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Elohim 3 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Epilogue 6 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Epilogue 6 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Epilogue 8 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Epilogue 8 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Epilogue 17 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Epilogue 17 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Epilogue 18 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Epilogue 18 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Monody 5 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Monody 5 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Monody 6 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Monody 6 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Monody 19 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Monody 19 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Ode 13 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Ode 13 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Ode 21 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Ode 21 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Ode 26 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Ode 26 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Ode 29 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Ode 29 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Ode 30 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Ode 30 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

September 9 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

September 9 from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Portfolio box from Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Portfolio box from Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2

Nathaniel Dorsky

 “In walking distance from my apartment is San Francisco’s Arboretum located in Golden Gate Park. I decided that I would make a film now on a single subject and that subject would be the light – not the objects, but the sacredness of the light itself in this splendid garden. What I did not know is that the great beauty of this magnificent spring would bring forth not one, but seven films, each one immediately following the previous. I began to photograph on the second week of February and finished the editing of the seventh film during the last days of December.

These seven films spontaneously manifested as the stages of life: early childhood, youth, maturity, old age, and death. Elohim was photographed in early spring, the week of the lunar new year, the very spirit of creation. Abaton was photographed a few weeks later in the full ripeness of spring, the very purity and intoxication of passion. Coda was photographed in late spring, in the aftermath of this purity, the first shades of mortality and knowledge. Ode, photographed in early summer, is a soft textured song of the fallen, the dissonant reds of death, seeds, and rebirth. September is indeed, Indian summer, the halcyon swan song of earthly blessings. Monody, shot in the fading autumnal glory is an energized declaration of the end. And Epilogue, photographed in early December, rests in quietude, the garden’s energy now descending into the dark, damp earth.”

— Nathaniel Dorsky on Arboretum Cycle

1

Ode 30, 2017
Archival inkjet print
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm)
Edition of 2
$ 6,500 including framing
Inquire

 

 

“With their gently nodding, brilliantly colored flowers and shifting shadows, Dorsky’s heart-soaringly beautiful films [Arboretum Cycle] are reminders that cinema is also about light and form.”

— Manhola Dargis, Best Movies of 2018, The New York Times, 2018

 

2

Ode 21, 2017
Archival inkjet print
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm)
Edition of 2
Sold
Inquire

 

 

“Dorsky is now an extremely young 75 years old, and the Arboretum Cycle expresses this in both directions. It is astonishing to watch an artist, long a master of his craft, challenge himself to find new modes of articulation, as he has done here in building a new film grammar for himself from the ground up. Inversely, it is astonishing to see films of such formal vibrancy which radiate such wisdom regarding their scale as objects of art, as visions of the world.” 

— Phil Coldiron, Light on Leaves, Notebook MUBI, 2018

 

3

Epilogue 18, 2017
Archival inkjet print
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm)
Edition of 2
$ 6,500 including framing
Inquire

 

 

“For the viewer, the Arboretum Cycle may prove more medicinal, accentuating those meditative, pastoral aspects of Dorsky’s filmmaking that go against the grain of a culture that would only capitalize on our attention. In this sense the most important thing about the arboretum is not that it is beautiful, but that it is close at hand. Cinema has from its earliest beginnings promised the moon, but the Arboretum Cycle asks what it’s like having nowhere to be. There is very little sky across these seven films, but the golden light suffusing Epilogue’s final shots leaves little doubt that heaven is everywhere you look.”

— Max Goldberg, The Sacred Wood, The Brooklyn Rail, 2018

 

NEW PUBLICATION ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020

NEW PUBLICATION

ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020
Book printed by Edition One, Berekley, CA
Book published by Peter Blum Edition, New York, NY
Edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the artist
163 pages, 157 color image reproductions, cloth hardbound book
9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 3/4 inches (23.5 x 18.5 x 2 cm)
$ 150

NEW PUBLICATION ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020

NEW PUBLICATION

ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020
Book printed by Edition One, Berekley, CA
Book published by Peter Blum Edition, New York, NY
Edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the artist
163 pages, 157 color image reproductions, cloth hardbound book
9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 3/4 inches (23.5 x 18.5 x 2 cm)
$ 150

NEW PUBLICATION ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020

NEW PUBLICATION

ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020
Book printed by Edition One, Berekley, CA
Book published by Peter Blum Edition, New York, NY
Edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the artist
163 pages, 157 color image reproductions, cloth hardbound book
9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 3/4 inches (23.5 x 18.5 x 2 cm)
$ 150

NEW PUBLICATION ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020

NEW PUBLICATION

ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020
Book printed by Edition One, Berekley, CA
Book published by Peter Blum Edition, New York, NY
Edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the artist
163 pages, 157 color image reproductions, cloth hardbound book
9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 3/4 inches (23.5 x 18.5 x 2 cm)
$ 150

NEW PUBLICATION ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020

NEW PUBLICATION

ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020
Book printed by Edition One, Berekley, CA
Book published by Peter Blum Edition, New York, NY
Edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the artist
163 pages, 157 color image reproductions, cloth hardbound book
9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 3/4 inches (23.5 x 18.5 x 2 cm)
$ 150

NEW PUBLICATION ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020

NEW PUBLICATION

ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020
Book printed by Edition One, Berekley, CA
Book published by Peter Blum Edition, New York, NY
Edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the artist
163 pages, 157 color image reproductions, cloth hardbound book
9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 3/4 inches (23.5 x 18.5 x 2 cm)
$ 150

NEW PUBLICATION ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020

NEW PUBLICATION

ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020
Book printed by Edition One, Berekley, CA
Book published by Peter Blum Edition, New York, NY
Edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the artist
163 pages, 157 color image reproductions, cloth hardbound book
9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 3/4 inches (23.5 x 18.5 x 2 cm)
$ 150

NEW PUBLICATION ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020

NEW PUBLICATION

ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020
Book printed by Edition One, Berekley, CA
Book published by Peter Blum Edition, New York, NY
Edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the artist
163 pages, 157 color image reproductions, cloth hardbound book
9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 3/4 inches (23.5 x 18.5 x 2 cm)
$ 150

Nathaniel Dorsky
“This past summer I began to look through my album of personal snapshots, ones that I had sent out to accompany my email correspondences over the last decade. I was thinking of the possibility of doing some test printings of these images for a potential show when it was suggested to me by my printer, Nina Zurier, that a small book might be a more appropriate context for this project.

I became very excited by this idea, as I have always been a lover of books of illuminated manuscripts or books of hours. The idea of designing a book that would be a purely visual object to behold and contemplate took hold. I did not want the book to be an 'art book' as such, but rather an actual object of and for contemplation. I thought of something that did not at all depend on spoken or written language. I chose a size and proportion of page that brought out the beauty of the photos within the context of the page. I wanted the book as an object to be light and a joy to hold in the hand. I pictured a monk slowly walking in a cloister in contemplation.

ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence is a selection of the quotidian and various. As a filmmaker I wanted to bring my sensibility to the page and organize the images in a way as to offer the poetic pleasures of juxtapositions and rhymes that occur in my 16mm films. Each spread contains two images that offer both poetic and visual resonance. In addition, each page turn is considered in the same manner. I believe I have made a book of static images that, through the openings of synapse, comes alive as a cinematic experience.”

— Nathaniel Dorsky on ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence
 
 
 
Hours For Jerome (Part 1) 1, 1966-1970

Hours For Jerome (Part 1) 1, 1966-1970
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Hours For Jerome (Part 1) 2, 1966-1970

Hours For Jerome (Part 1) 2, 1966-1970
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 1, 1966-1970

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 1, 1966-1970
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 4, 1966-1970

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 4, 1966-1970
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 5, 1966-1970

Hours For Jerome (Part 2) 5, 1966-1970
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Variations 2, 1992

Variations 2, 1992
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Variations 3, 1992

Variations 3, 1992
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
‚ÄčEdition of 3
$ 3,500

Arbor Vitae 3, 1999-2000

Arbor Vitae 3, 1999-2000
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Song and Solitude 1, 2005-2006

Song and Solitude 1, 2005-2006
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Winter 3, 2007

Winter 3, 2007
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

August and After 2, 2012

August and After 2, 2012
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Compline 1, 2009

Compline 1, 2009
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Song 1, 2013

Song 1, 2013
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Intimations 2, 2015

Intimations 2, 2015
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Prelude 1, 2015

Prelude 1, 2015
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Threnody 1, 2004

Threnody 1, 2004
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Pastourelle 1, 2010

Pastourelle 1, 2010
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

August and After 1, 2012

August and After 1, 2012
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

February 1, 2014

February 1, 2014
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Loves Refrain 2, 2000-2001

Loves Refrain 2, 2000-2001
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Summer 3, 2013

Summer 3, 2013
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

The Return 1, 2011

The Return 1, 2011
Archival pigment print
9 x 12 inches (22.9 x 30.5 cm)
Edition of 3
$ 3,500

Arboretum Cycle, 2017

Arboretum Cycle, 2017
Portfolio of 14 archival inkjet prints
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm), each
Edition of 2
$ 70,000
 

Ode 30, 2017

Ode 30, 2017
Archival inkjet print
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm)
Edition of 2
$ 6,500 including framing

Ode 21, 2017

Ode 21, 2017
Archival inkjet print
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm)
Edition of 2
Sold

Epilogue 18, 2017

Epilogue 18, 2017
Archival inkjet print
24 x 28 inches (61 x 71.1 cm)
Edition of 2
$ 6,500 including framing

ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020

ECLOGUES: Letters and Correspondence, 2020
Book printed by Edition One, Berekley, CA
Book published by Peter Blum Edition, New York, NY
Edition of 100, each signed and numbered by the artist
163 pages, 157 color image reproductions, cloth hardbound book
9 1/4 x 7 1/4 x 3/4 inches (23.5 x 18.5 x 2 cm)
$ 150

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