The Cool School (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cool School (2008)



Critic Consensus: A breezy and lively modern art documentary, revealing that LA is not a cultural wasteland when it comes to fine art.

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The Cool School is an object lesson in how to build an art scene from scratch and what to avoid in the process. The film focuses on the seminal Ferus Gallery, which groomed the LA art scene from a loose band of idealistic beatniks into a coterie of competitive, often brilliant artists, including Ed Kienholz, Ed Ruscha, Craig Kauffman, Wallace Berman, Ed Moses and Robert Irwin. The Ferus also served as launching point for New York imports, Andy Warhol (hosting his first Soup Can show), Jasper Johns and Roy Lichtenstein as well as leading to the first Pop Art show and Marcel Duchamp's first retrospective. What was lost and gained is tied up in a complex web of egos, passions, money, and art. This is how L.A. came of age.
Documentary , Musical & Performing Arts
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Critic Reviews for The Cool School

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (12)

Morgan Neville's 'The Cool School' is a slickly packaged document of the burgeoning modern art scene in LA during the late '50s and early '60s which sadly submerges its fascinating subject matter in technical clutter and contrived set-ups.

Full Review… | August 15, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Veteran documentarist Morgan Neville's illustrated history of the painters and sculptors associated with Venice's Ferus Gallery (1957-1967) is at once lively and analytical.

Full Review… | May 22, 2008
L.A. Weekly
Top Critic


Full Review… | March 28, 2008
New York Post
Top Critic

The Cool School, a breezy, lively documentary about a thin slice of the Los Angeles fine art scene in the 1950s, is easy on the eyes, and the ears too.

March 28, 2008
New York Times
Top Critic

Cool School is a must for anyone interested in 20th century American art.

March 28, 2008
Top Critic

Documentarian Morgan Neville takes an appropriately lively, left-field approach to The Cool School's eye-opening history of the Beat-era Left Coast art scene -- a lesser-known chapter in the story of American modern art.

Full Review… | March 26, 2008
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Cool School

A lot of information, very well done, and made me wish I was not a sparkle in my mother's eye at that time. I think I would have gotten into it more if I was a part of that generation.

Lenore S
Lenore S

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