Robert Breer “Untitled” Oil on canvas 1950
ROBERT BREER (1926-2011) USA
Oil on canvas, white-gold leaf and lacquer frame
Marks: Untitled, 1950, Robert Breer, 26×32, No. 29 in a circle (paper label)
Provenance: Robert Breer, Private Collection, Chicago
Canvas: H: 25 3/4” x W: 32”
Framed: H: 32 1/4” x W: 39″
“Breer acknowledges his respect for this purist, “cubist” cinema, which uses geometric shapes moving in time and space”
Robert Breer’s career as an artist and animator spans 50 years and his creative explorations have made him an international figure. He began his artistic pursuits as a painter while living in Paris from 1949-59. Using an old Bolex 16mm camera, his first films, such as “Form Phases”, were simple stop-motion studies based on his abstract paintings.
Breer has always been fascinated by the mechanics of film. Perhaps it was his father’s fascination with 3-D work that inspired Breer to tinker with early mechanical cinematic devices. His father was an engineer and designer of the legendary Chrysler Airflow automobile in 1934 and built a 3-D camera to film all the family vacations. After studying engineering at Stanford, Breer changed his focus toward handcrafted arts and began experimenting with flip books. These animations, done on ordinary 4″ by 6″ file cards have become the standard for all of Breer’s work in fim.
Like many of his generation, Breer did early work influenced by the various European modern art movements of the early 20th century, ranging from the abstract forms of the Russian Constructivists and the structuralist formulas of the Bauhaus, to the nonsensical universe of the Dadaists. As a result of his association with the Denise René Gallery, which specialized in geometric art, he saw the abstract films of such pioneers as Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling, Walter Ruttmann and Fernand Léger. Breer acknowledges his respect for this purist, “cubist” cinema, which uses geometric shapes moving in time and space.
In 1955, he helped organize and exhibited in a show in Paris entitled “Le Mouvement” (The Movement), which paved the way for new cinema aesthetics. During this period, Breer also met the poet Allen Ginsberg and introduced him to his film “Recreation” (1956), which made use of frame-by-frame experiments in a non-narrative structure. Although Breer resisted being labeled a beatnik, the film does capture some aspects of beat poetry and music.
When Breer returned to the United States in the late 1950s, the American avant-garde was thriving and films by Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Peter Kubelka and Maria Menken were creating a new visionary movement. Breer found kindred spirits within the New York experimental scene. As Pop Art emerged as a phenomenon in the 1960s, Breer befriended Claes Oldenburg and others. He worked on the TV show, “David Brinkley’s Journal”, filming pieces on art shows in Europe; at the same time, he made his debut documentary on the sculptor Jean Tinguely in 1961.
Robert Breer “Untitled” Oil on canvas 1950
HUBERT SCHMALIX (1952-) Austria
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated on back: Schmalix 89
Exhibited: Galerie Krinzinger Vienna 1990 (Solo exhibition)
Illustrated: Nach Schiele, Tobias G. Natter and Thomas Trummer (Köln, Germany: Atelier Augarten, DuMont, 2006), p 142.
Provenance: Private Collection Vienna
For related works by Hubert Schmalix see: Hubert Schmalix, Lóránd Hegyi exhibition catalog (Museum Moderner Kunst StiftungLudwig Wien) November 19, 1994 – January 1995.
H: 85” x W: 49”
Hubert Schmalix was born in Graz, Austria, on December 17, 1952 and studied at the Vienna Art Academy from 1971 to 1976. By 1979 Schmalix was showing work at the forward-looking exhibition ‘Europa 79 – Kunst der 80er Jahre’ in Stuttgart. In 1983 the London Tate Gallery invited Schmalix to present work at ‘New Art’, an important survey of contemporary art. Schmalix has become well-known world-wide as an exponent of ‘New Art’, working with a retrospective glance at both classical art history and modern art. Schmalix focuses on the world of things and the human figure. Although the expressive gesture was the dominant feature of his 1980s work, it yielded early in the 1990s to stringent tectonic composition. In 1984 Hubert Schmalix went to the Philippines and on to the US, moving to Los Angeles in 1987. In 1986-87 Schmalix taught at the Academy for the Decorative and Applied Arts in Vienna and from 1997 he has been a professor at the Vienna Art Academy. Schmalix is a visiting professor at the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA). In 1993 his work was featured at the Venice Biennale and in 1998 he was awarded the Fine Art Prize of the City of Vienna. Schmalix has done several large fresco cycles in Salzburg and his work has been shown extensively at numerous international solo and group shows and most recently at Art Basel 2006.
The Kunstforum in Vienna is dedicating a major retrospective show to Hubert Schmalix from May 6th – July 12th, 2015.
“I’m not nervous or angry when I paint, but well rested and concentrated. Each stroke of the brush is important! I’ve painted a whole lot of beautiful pictures this way.” (Hubert Schmalix)
WALTER LANTZ (1899-1994) California, US
Woody Woodpecker cookie jar 1967
Marks: 1967 Walter Lantz, All Rights Reserved, A Registered Trademark Of And Licensed By Walter Lantz Productions Inc. (bottom of jar), Woody Woodpecker copyright (on back)
Walter Benjamin Lantz (1899– 1994) was an American cartoonist, animator, film producer, and director, best known for founding Walter Lantz Productions and creating Woody Woodpecker.