You do not need to be a professional designer or some such expert to enjoy this documentary about one of the greatest graphic designers of the 20th century, Herbert Matter. The life of the artist, who was born in Switzerland in 1907 and whose career was mostly made in New York City, is engaging and involves relationships with famous American artists such as Jackson Pollock, Alexander Calder, and Charles Eames.

As for the man’s own art: Matter’s black-and-white nudes, many of which are featured in this doc, are just too wonderful for words. These images force language to surrender, to give up, to drop everything—and all you can do is look at them in a defenseless silence. The doc concludes with a helicopter shot of the Swiss Alps. We see snow, mountains, and a clear sky as a jazz trio (piano, bass, drums) plays a sad, pretty melody. The image: an old Europe; the music: a young America. These two worlds form the soul of this great artist. recommended

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