Painted Landscapes of the Times: The Art of Sue Coe

Preview of the Documentary Film
January 1, 1986

Restored in 2K!

25 minutes / Color
Closed Captioned
Release: 1987
Copyright: 1986


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To this day, Sue Coe continues to shock and inform the art establishment with her graphic depictions of the world around her. This energetic and moving film introduces Coe’s passionate art and explores her vision. Produced early in her career, it remains the only film on her work. In the tradition of Käthe Kollwitz, George Grosz, and Otto Dix, Coe’s visual journalism has a keen ideological thrust that identifies and addresses aberrations in our society. With a fierce precision Coe uncovers the base violence inherent in a range of political and social issues – from apartheid and the arms industry, to rape and gentrification. Yet, as the film reveals in a spirited exchange between the artist and young people, Coe’s work is accessible to everyone.

PAINTED LANDSCAPES OF THE TIMES features one of Coe’s most memorable works, “Woman Walks into Bar — Is Raped by Four Men on the Pool Table — While 20 Watch." First exhibited at PPOW Gallery in 1983, this powerful and prescient painting now belongs to the Museum of Modern Art.


"The forthrightly titled PAINTED LANDSCAPES OF THE TIMES roams her visions to chilling effect... her paranoid vistas look as they might after a blow to the head, through curtains of blood." —Village Voice

"This vivid documentary shows how Coe's obsessive art calls viewers in art classes and public libraries to take action." —Booklist

"[Coe's paintings] are undeniably works of great imagination and skill, richly painted and collaged... Perhaps it's that in a land of universal political indifference her rage and frightening moral exhortation are the only serious response. Recommended." —Calvin Reid, Library Journal

"Should prove useful for college courses dealing with contemporary art or with the social and political tradition in art." —M. Nilsen, Choice

"Even if we disagree with Coe's remarks or the stridency of her methods, this film is terribly interesting and could serve as a way to raise issues about the relationship between art and social activism." —Ballast Quarterly Review


Gold Ducat for Best Film, Mannheim International Film Festival, Germany 1987Jury Prize for Best Educational Film, Mannheim International Film FestivalGold Apple Award, National Film and Video festival, Oakland California, 1987Gold Prize in the Fine Arts Category, Yorkton Film Festival, Saskatchewan, 1987Gold Prize for Best Original Music Score, Yorkton Film Festival, Saskatchewan, 1987Special Jury Prize, Visual Arts, San Francisco Intl. Film Festival, 1987