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campaign image Oskar Fischinger – Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction

Exhibtion, films, talks & events

Oskar Fischinger

(1900-1967) – Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction

16 December 2012 — 17 March 2013

exhibition interior Oskar Fischinger – Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut

The exhibition Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967) – Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction also focused on his earliest experiments and inventions and was accompanied by an extensive film program.

From 16 December 2012 through 17 March 2013, Eye presented a major exhibition on the work of Oskar Fischinger 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 and that remain a source of inspiration for the makers of music videos and computer graphics.

exhibition interior Oskar Fischinger – Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut
exhibition interior Oskar Fischinger – Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut

Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967) was also the 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.

Director of exhibitions Jaap Guldemond gives an introduction to the work of Oskar Fischinger:

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placeholder Jaap Guldemond on Oskar Fischinger

“Decades before computer graphics, before music videos, even before Fantasia, there were the abstract animated films of Oskar Fischinger, 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.”

John Canemaker, New York Times

exhibition interior Oskar Fischinger – Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut

The exhibition showed many of Fischinger’s films and some original, never previously displayed animation drawings. Fischinger used these drawings to shoot his films frame for frame, supplemented by paintings, notated music scores and documents.

The exhibition also included rarely shown fragments of Fischinger’s experiments from the 1920s and 30s, which have been restored

“Masterworks of pure non-figurative, cinematic expression.”

Variety on Oskar Fischinger

exhibition interior Oskar Fischinger – Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut
poster Oskar Fischinger – Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction

Films, talks & more

For the duration of the exhibition, Eye organized a rich accompanying program of films and activities in the auditoria. Furthermore, Eye presented a game installation in reference to the exhibition in which geometric figures play the leading role.

Take a virtual tour through the exhibition:

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exhibition interior Oskar Fischinger – Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut
publication Oskar Fischinger – Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction (© Studio Hans Wilschut)
© Studio Hans Wilschut

Publication

The exhibition is accompanied by a comprehensive and richly illustrated monograph on Fischinger. It is the first major retrospective work in which attention is paid to the position of his work within the international avant-garde, to animation, music, painting, to Hollywood and his influence on today’s filmmakers, artists and animators. Furthermore, the book contains documents never previously published, such as correspondence with other artists, filmmakers and musicians, essays by Fischinger himself and it also includes a filmography, bio- and bibliography. The publication is co-edited by Cindy Keefer and Jaap Guldemond.

Buy it via the Eye shop

credits

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.

Director of exhibitions / Curator

Jaap Guldemond

Associate curator

Marente Bloemheuvel

Project managers

Sanne Baar; Claartje Opdam

Technical production

Rembrandt Boswijk; Martin Schrevelius

Installation

Landstra & De Vries

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