The Four Seasons
Part of The Baker Museum Lecture Series
Philip Haas, artist
Artist and filmmaker Philip Haas discusses his unique process of “sculpting by thinking,” its manifestation in the exhibition The Four Seasons and its impact on his art.
This lecture accompanies the exhibition Philip Haas: The Four Seasons.
Internationally renowned filmmaker and contemporary artist Philip Haas was born in San Francisco in 1954. At age 11, he moved to Rome where he and his family lived until he graduated from high school. Haas returned to the US to study at Harvard University, earning a bachelor of arts in Folklore & Mythology. It wasn’t until after another move—this time to the United Kingdom—that Haas began to develop a great interest in filmmaking.
Haas’ career as a filmmaker began with documentaries about visual artists such as Richard Long, David Hockney and Gilbert & George. A few years later, he began directing historical dramas, including Up at the Villa, The Situation and his 1995 Academy Award and Cannes Film Festival Palme d’Or-nominated film Angels and Insects. As he progressed in his career, Haas began to blur the lines between his strong ties to film and to fine art.
In 2008, the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas commissioned a film installation titled The Butcher’s Shop in which Haas recreated a depiction of a 1582 Annibale Carracci painting of the same name. A year later, Haas developed a series of film installations at the Kimbell Art Museum called Butchers, Dragons, Gods and Skeletons which displayed moving images next to the artwork that inspired them. His monumental 2012 set of sculptures, collectively named The Four Seasons, is Haas’ own three dimensional creation inspired by Giuseppe Arcimboldo’s paintings titled Spring, Summer, Winter and Autumn. The exhibition has been on a five-year, nine-venue tour of museums and gardens throughout the US and Europe.
By exploring the intimate connections between sculpture, painting, film and architecture, Haas has developed his own artistic thumbprint that is immediately apparent in all of his work.