Feb 4, 2010

early abstract animations

Oskar Fischinger's works were not driven by a narrative but by his fascination with music and his desire to express music in visual terms. He insisted on working abstractly to try to realize his vision. Many of his works are influenced by Jazz. He often used bright colors and purely geometric elements in his experimental short animations. Fischinger was not the only artist in his generation to be influenced by music in his visual works. Another artist that comes to mind is Vassily Kandinsky, who often used musical terms such as "composition", "improvisation", etc. to talk about his paintings. Another contemporaneous artist with Fischinger exploring music in his geometric abstract paintings is Piet Mondrian. The piece that has been quoted to be most directly influenced by the rhythm of Jazz is "Broadway Boogie Woogie". Fischinger's fellow animator from New Zealand, Len Lye shares his interest in visualizing music. Similar to Fischinger, Lye also often used bright colors, simplified geometric shapes and repetitive patterns. Unlike Fischinger though, Lye was using a "camera-less technique" and was directly working on film. He would draw and paint straight onto the celluloid film. One of his most stunning animations is "A Colour Box" was the first to be screened for the general public advertising cheaper parcel post. (I have found several versions of this online, with radically different colors. Here is the link that had the brightest colors...) "A Colour Box", 1935.
Another short experimental animation piece by him worth seeing is "Swinging the Lambeth Walk".

Posted by Eszter

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