Skip to main content

Nathaniel Dorsky

Born in 1943 in New York
Lives and Works in San Francisco

In his 2003 treatise Devotional Cinema, Nathaniel Dorsky writes that “the more film expresses itself in a manner intrinsic to its own true nature, the more it can reveal to us.” His own works constitute a search for metaphysical experience through images of the everyday world. They engage the viewer within the act of perception itself, each frame capturing a complex interplay of shadows, reflections, and movement, cut to a precisely measured pace that plays off the body’s metabolic rhythms, and edited, as he describes it, in the service of “the delicate necessities of meaning.” Compline is his final piece shot on Kodachrome—the medium he used exclusively prior to its discontinuation—while Aubade and The Return are his first films shot with Eastman and Fuji color negative, respectively. Works of great subtlety, these films contend with the expressive potential of each stock, their textures, tones, and relationships to light.



A 30-second online art project:
Ryan Kuo, Hateful Little Thing

Learn more

Vaccination required. All visitors aged 5+ must show proof of COVID-19 vaccination, in accordance with NYC requirements. Visitors aged 18+ must also show photo ID. Face coverings are required. Review the Whitney’s safety guidelines.