July 07, 2012
Whitney Museum of American Art
|"Raumlichtkunst," installation view at the Whitney Museum of American Art.*|
This summer, the Whitney Museum of American Art presents an exhibition of Raumlichtkunst (Space Light Art), a triple screen film environment by Oskar Fischinger. Debuted in Germany in 1926, Raumlichtkunst was radical in format, creating, in Fischinger's words, "an intoxication by light from a thousand sources." Fischinger (1900–1967) worked in animation, filmmaking, and painting. An influential pioneer of abstract cinema, he began his career in Weimar-era Germany. Working with multiple-projector formats in Munich, he redefined abstraction in the moving image with films that explore the interplay of abstract shapes, color, and light. Inspired by the German painter Walter Ruttman's 1921 film experiments with "painting with time," Fischinger, working with Hungarian composer Alexander László, first combined film and music with projections of abstract color in the mid-1920s, before moving on to present independent multiple screen film events.