Went to the Oskar Fischinger exhibition at EYE, Amsterdam a couple of weeks ago. EYE Film Institute Netherlands opened in 2012, it is another example of wonky iconic architecture (think gherkin, cheesegrater, walkie-talkie, shard) and it’s a very short ferry ride from the central station, across the IJ to Amsterdam-Noord.

Amsterdam EYE
The exhibition – Oskar Fischinger 1900 – 1967: Experiments in Cinematic Abstraction – is organised by EYE Filmmuseum and Center for Visual Music and surveys Fischinger’s work and career in Europe and America. The animation work is really well installed with large screens in properly dark rooms, sound proofing and a projection system which plays one film after another throughout the show. This is so much better than the admittedly bigger and more ambitious ‘Watch Me Move: The Animation Show’ at the Barbican in 2011 which was crowded, noisy and made viewing anything in its entirety very difficult to do.

Amserdam Fischinger 02
The individually painted gouache frames for ‘Quadrate’ (squares) 1934, are beautiful works of art in their own right and there is something about the simple materials; gouache paint on cheap animation paper (all though not a format I recognise) that is really attractive. And although it is really dull to forever go on about how long it takes to make animation, here the precision and physical quality of the hand-drawn and individually painted frames is kind of miraculous. Or maybe he had assistants.

At the end of the show there are examples of Fischinger’s graphical drawn sound experiments. Brilliant.

Amserdam Fischinger 04

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