Sam (Joe Swanberg) has feelings for Juliette (Josephine Decker), the lead actress in a sexually explicit drama centered on a couple’s one night stand. He must maintain a professional relationship while directing her. All is going well until Juliette and her co-star Eric (Kent Osborne) develop feelings for each other that they explore off-camera. Sam is happy that his actors have such great chemistry, but simultaneously feels jealous. Juliette senses Sam’s shifting moods and does her best to show him affection, but his own inner struggles threaten to derail the production.
Swanberg describes Art History as being both the most beautiful and the most disgusting-looking movie he has ever made. Set entirely in one location over the course of a few days, ART HISTORY uses long static takes and minimal lighting to create a mood of claustrophobia and mystery. Despite the small space they’re living and working in, the characters often seem unaware of one another through their individual experiences.