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Prints and Drawings
Photo credit: Yale University Art Gallery
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Artist: Oskar S. Fischinger, American, born Germany, 1900–1967

Abstraction

1936

Gouache and watercolor

sheet: 45.4 × 30 cm (17 7/8 × 11 13/16 in.)
Gift of Collection Société Anonyme
1941.473

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.

Geography: 
Made in United States
Culture: 
American
Period: 
Modern, 20th century
Classification: 
Works on Paper - Drawings and Watercolors
Provenance: 

Nierendorf, New York

Bibliography: 

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.

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 such records is ongoing.