Release from Reason
“In a world where reason is the goal, I think that art is the release from reason.” — Arthur Polonsky
Arthur Polonsky has been called “one of the most important Boston painters of the 20th century.” He went from a tailor’s son in Lynn, MA., to a traveling fellowship to Paris, international exhibits, and features in Time and LIFE Magazine. Yet Arthur’s journey to renowned artist was a mystery to his son Gabriel. So when Arthur turned 85, Gabriel set out to discover a side of his father that he never knew.
Release from Reason uncovers the triumphs and sacrifices of a life devoted art for 75 years. Filled with Arthur’s breathtaking art, revealing interviews, and cinema vérité footage, it digs deep into his fiercely creative mind, artistic process, and and major role in the Boston Expressionist movement.Gabriel talks with Arthur’s colleagues, museum curators, and former students that he profoundly influenced. Katherine French, Head of the Danforth Museum calls Arthur, “one of the most practical fantastical people I know, an intellectual without being an academic, who creates his own reality.”
The victorian house Gabriel grew up in was a ferment of chaos and creativity, their lives and art were inseparably intertwined. The film includes their respective journeys to become accomplished artists of different types. Dr. Howard Gardner, who wrote a chapter about the Polonskys in his 1978 book, “Artful Scribbles” returns for an interview to shed light on their unique world.
Release from Reason is the epic story of a man who has had international acclaim and success, and at 87, still lives in the now over-grown victorian house, creating new work for major solo exhibitions. The film is a fascinating exploration of art and life — and the mysterious forces that fuel creativity.