[Frameworks] Robert Breer 1926-2011

From: Pip Chodorov <frameworks_at_re-voir.com>
Date: Sat, 13 Aug 2011 10:03:47 +0200

Dear FrameWorkers,

Very sad to relate that Bob Breer passed away yesterday.

He was a good friend, a very funny man, and a great artist.
He chose film, at a time when his painting career was taking off.
He lived in Paris for ten years and showed at
Denise René's gallery - big abstract paintings.
Then he made a flipbook and got interested in abstract animation.
He felt that his abstract compositions were maybe
just steps in a continual flow of motion from one
to another.
In the 1950s, gallery artists didn't show films.
(I guess that changed in 1966 when Warhol made Chelsea Girls).
His fellow painters became big: Oldenberg, Lichtenstein, Rauschenberg...
But Breer loved movement.
He made sculptures that move v-e-r-y s-l-o-w-l-y.
He made films that move very fast.
He was ahead of his time.
His films were not popular...
He was an inventor.
His father made cars (his father made the first
streamlined car for Chrysler after having
demonstrated, in the Wright brothers' wind
tunnel, that their cars were designed to go
faster backwards than forwards!)
And his father also made home movies - in 3D - with a Bolex.
Breer moved back to America and made experimental
films that pushed film art into new directions.
He was one of the founding filmmakers of the New York Filmmakers' Cooperative.
He also made big sculptures that would creep
around the art space, for example at Expo '70 in
He taught at Cooper Union for many years and
sensitized a new generation of artists to
experimental film.
Over the last 15 years, many museum shows
combined his paintings, moving sculptures
("floats"), and films. He felt that finally he
could have a career as an artist and as a

We will miss Bob Breer.

-Pip Chodorov
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Received on Sat Aug 13 2011 - 01:04:03 CDT