In the documentary film Art House,
photographer and filmmaker Don Freeman explores the
handmade homes created and lived in by eleven distinguished American artists, shedding light on a unique architectural typology characterized by a D.I.Y. aesthetic, the appropriation of building techniques from art practice, and a fierce spirit of individual expression that deserves deeper examination in this age of architectural standardization.
The film reveals the inventiveness derived from the dialogue between each artist's practice and the construction
of their handmade homes. The results range from the
romantic (Hudson River School painter Frederic Church's Olana, framing views of the Catskills to echo his paintings),
to the futuristic (Urbanist Paolo Soleri's silt-casted structure Cosanti growing out of experiments in bellmaking in the
Arizona desert). Commentary from cultural critic Alastair Gordon and an original score by Jamie Rudolph help to evoke the spiritual dimension of the locations and argue the case that the intuitive vision of artists cancreate great architecture.
Featuring the hand-built homes of George Nakashima,
Henry Chapman Mercer, Wharton Esherick, Paolo Soleri,
Byrdclife Arts Colony, Frederic Church, Henry Varnum Poor, Russel Wright, Raoul Hague and Eliphante.