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Exclusive: Clip from Leslie Buchbinder’s ‘Westermann: Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea’

By IDA Editorial Staff

Still image from 'Westermann: Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea,' depicting one of Westermann's wood sculptures against a black background.

Documentary is happy to debut an exclusive clip from Leslie Buchbinder’s 3D documentary Westermann: Memorial to the Idea of Man If He Was an Idea ahead of its premiere at Art21 at the Movies this weekend. The film profiles H.C. “Cliff” Westermann, a marine veteran whose anti-war stance and social commentary are humorously transformed in his art practice, and who influenced a generation of renowned artists. The film features interviews with Westermann’s friends, including Ed Ruscha, Frank Gehry, William T. Wiley, and Billy Al Bengston, along with his sister Martha Westermann Renner. 

Commenting on the clip, Buchbinder explained, “It is no surprise that our art heroes have their art heroes. As a filmmaker, to have the opportunity to share that passion for an artist, in this case, Cliff Westermann, with several of my art heroes, including Ed Ruscha & Frank Gehry, is a rare privilege. In this clip, Frank Gehry is rhapsodic when he talks about ‘falling in love’ with Cliff.”

After the Art21 at the Movies screening, Westermann travels to museum screenings at the Hammer, Art Institute of Chicago, and elsewhere.