Abstraction Artist: Oskar Fischinger (American, born Germany, 1900–1967)


Prints and Drawings

Oskar Fischinger made experimental abstract films independently in Germany before being recruited to Hollywood by Paramount Pictures in 1936. His 1933 Kreise (Circles) had been the first color-on-film movie in Europe, and he later employed his innovative animation techniques at MGM, Disney (where he worked on Fantasia), and Orson Welles’s Mercury Studios. In the 1940s, Fischinger screened his films at the Nierendorf Gallery, in New York, where Katherine Dreier obtained this gouache. Dreier may have recognized a formal link to Marcel Duchamp’s Anemic Cinema (1925–26)—for which he had filmed early versions of his spinning Rotoreliefs—in the abstract patterns formed by circles in motion in Fischinger’s animated films.


Gouache and watercolor


sheet: 17 7/8 × 11 13/16 in. (45.4 × 30 cm)

Credit Line

Gift of Collection Société Anonyme

Accession Number



Modern, 20th century


Note: This electronic record was created from historic documentation that does not necessarily reflect the Yale University Art Gallery’s complete or current knowledge about the object. Review and updating of records is ongoing.



Nierendorf, New York
  • Ruth L. Bohan et al., The Société Anonyme: Modernism for America, ed. Jennifer Gross, exh. cat. (New Haven, Conn.: Yale University Art Gallery, 2006), 173, ill
Object copyright
Additional information

Object/Work type



Signed LR: "O.S. Fischinger, 36"

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