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
ROGER GEORGES ANDRÈ DUVAL (1901-?) Meudon (Seine-et-Oise), France
La Chambré 1924
Oil on canvas
Signed and dated: ROGER DUVAL XXIV(lower left)
Exhbited: Paris, Salon des Indépendants, 1926, no. 1122
For more information see: Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, Vol. 4, E. Bénézit (Paris: Librairie Gründ, 1976).
Painting: H: 23 2/3” x W: 36 1/5”
Framed: H: 35” x 47 5/8”
Roger Duval painted in a modernist figurative style and beginning in 1920 regularly exhibited at the Salon d’Automne and the Salon des Indépendants in Paris. In 1925 he was awarded a prize by Paul Poiret for a painting entitled Conversation and again in 1926 for another painting entitled Bal Musette. Also in 1926, La Chambrée (1924) was exhibited in Paris at the Salon des Indépendants. By 1928 Duval’s technique had evolved into a moderninst/cubist style and a group of his paintings were featured in an Exposition of Painting and Sculpture in Boston, MA.
It is interesting to note Duval’s shared vision with Picasso in their depiction of peasant figures in repose. Their full-bodied, voluptuous and sensual forms illustrate both artists’ sculptural approach to painting in the early 1920s. However by the mid-1920s Duval and Picasso’s painting styles evolved from these softer, rounded shapes into more angular, abstracted forms.
BONNIE MACLEAN USA
Eric Burdon & The Animals, Mother Earth, Hour Glass, Holy See at the Fillmore October 19-21, 1967
Marked: B. MacLean © Bill Graham 1967 #89
H: 21” x W: 14”
*** An example of this poster is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York.
By 1967, Eric Burdon took the Animals into a harder, more psychedelic sound than the one listeners recognized from the band’s earlier incarnation. Burdon would later take this style even further when he teamed up with an obscure Los Angeles band known as War. The poster was printed only once before the concert