The Cool School (2008) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Cool School (2008)

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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.

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Critic Reviews for The Cool School

All Critics (26) | 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.

August 15, 2008 | Rating: 3/6 | Full Review…

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.

May 22, 2008 | Full Review…

Diverting.

March 28, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

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 | Rating: 3.5/5

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

March 28, 2008 | Rating: 3/4

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.

March 26, 2008 | Rating: A- | Full Review…

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