Commissioned by the Kimbell, Philip Haas’s series of film installations interpret and elaborate upon selected works in the Museum's permanent collection. At the heart of each installation is a short film, between 5 and 20 minutes long, that gives form to ideas and feelings suggested by the piece in question—an essentially poetic and sensuous response rather than the more purely factual, informative one of a documentary. In most cases, the film is projected on multiple screens within a specially designed environment and enhanced by original music, surrounding and immersing the visitor in the experience. On occasion, the filmed images form themselves into an uncanny re-creation of the given work from the collection.


The subjects are: the Red-Figure Cup Showing the Death of Pentheus and a Maenad by the ancient Greek vase painter Douris (c. 480 b.c.), Annibale Carracci’s The Butcher’s Shop (early 1580s), Apollo and the Continents by Tiepolo (c. 1739), Skeletons Warming Themselves by James Ensor (1889), and a Chinese scroll painting, Arhat Taming the Dragon (early 14th century). The installations will complement a full display of the Kimbell’s permanent collection, each occupying a space near the work to which it relates.


Before becoming a filmmaker, Philip Haas studied art history at Harvard. He has made films with contemporary artists ranging from David Hockney and Gilbert & George to Australian aboriginal ground painters and Malagasy funerary sculptors. His work has been shown in retrospectives at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.; the Boston Museum of Fine Arts; the Film Society of Lincoln Center, New York; the Tate Gallery, London; and the Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris. He has directed six feature films, including the Oscar-nominated Angels and Insects (1995) and Up at the Villa (2000), starring Sean Penn and Kristin Scott Thomas.