press release

A survey of paintings and drawings by Oskar Fischinger (1900-1967), the German-born pioneer of abstract animation, opens at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts on Friday, March 11, 2005, with a preview reception from 7 to 9:30 PM. Fischinger is prominently represented in "Visual Music: 1905 ˆ 2005," at the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in Los Angeles, February 13 through May 22. The Fischinger survey at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts is curated by art critic Peter Frank, who has also collaborated on the educational component of "Visual Music." According to Peter Frank, "we now understand Oskar Fischinger not only as a link between the geometric painting of pre-war Europe and post-war California but as a grandfather of the digital arts."

Oskar Fischinger's earliest drawings and paintings were first created as sequential components in his films to evoke various states of consciousness, often using music as a springboard to syncopate lines, forms and color. His work also reflects his interest in spirituality, especially Buddhism and Theosophy. Fischinger‚s influence on the development of avant-garde abstract films is profound, with the genius of his vision acknowledged by 20th Century luminaries such as Orson Welles, Wassily Kandinsky, Moholy Nagy, Lyonel Feininger, Leopold Stokowski and John Cage.

Fischinger's artistic innovations in film, recognized in Hollywood where he moved to work in 1936, eventually evolved exclusively into painting. In that medium he distilled his ideas in non-objective abstraction, presaging and significantly influencing Los Angeles‚ contemporary hard-edge abstract painters.

Jack Rutberg Fine Arts represents the Oskar Fischinger estate. In addition to organizing a number of comprehensive exhibitions of his work, the gallery also produced the first American video of seven of Fischinger‚s visionary animated films from the 1920, 30s and 40s.


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Kurator Peter Frank