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Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967): Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction

Exhibition
16 December 2012 through 17 March 2013

From December 16th 2012 through March 17th 2013, EYE presents a major exhibition on the work of Oskar Fischinger, a pioneer of the animation film and abstract cinema, in collaboration with the Center for Visual Music in Los Angeles. This German-American avant-garde filmmaker made short films that were highly influential in the development of the animation film, music video and computer graphics. The exhibition Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967): Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction, which also focuses on his earliest experiments and inventions, is accompanied by an extensive film program.

‘Wizard of Friedrichstrasse’
Oskar Fischinger was also an inventor of all sorts of ingenious cinematic devices, such as the wax-slicing machine and other special effects. He was one of the first animators to couple abstract images with music and rhythms, long before the arrival of the music video. The eye-catching animations by the “Wizard of Friedrichstrasse,” as he was known, also attracted the attention of directors, such as Fritz Lang and Ernst Lubitsch, the latter of whom invited him to Hollywood. 

Never previously exhibited animation drawing
The exhibition shows many of his films and some original, never previously displayed animation drawings that Fischinger used to shoot his films frame for frame, supplemented by paintings, notated music scores and documents. The exhibition also includes rarely shown fragments of Fischinger’s experiments from the nineteen twenties and thirties, which have now been restored.

Accompanying program
For the duration of the exhibition, EYE organises a rich accompanying program of films and activities in the auditoria. There is a guided tour on Oskar Fischinger at 14:00 o’clock every Sunday throughout the exhibition (free on entry to exhibition). Furthermore EYE presents the game installation Abstractimation that relates to the exhibition. The American press about Oskar Fischinger:

John Canemaker, New York Times: 'Decades before computer graphics, before music videos, even before "Fantasia" (the 1940 version), there were the abstract animated films of Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967), master of "absolute" or nonobjective filmmaking. He was cinema's Kandinsky, an animator who, beginning in the 1920's in Germany, created exquisite "visual music" using geometric patterns and shapes choreographed tightly to classical music and jazz.'

Variety called his films 'Masterworks of pure non-figurative, cinematic expression.'

The exhibition is co-curated by EYE’s Director of Exhibitions Jaap Guldemond and Cindy Keefer of the Center for Visual Music. It is co-organized by EYE and Center for Visual Music. Watch Fischinger on the CVM channel on Vimeo.

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Attention: this exhibition was on display from 16 December 2012 through 17 March 2013.

Jesper Just

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Attention: this exhibition has ended. View the current exhibition Jesper Just