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View of “Robert Breer,” 2016. Photo: Aurélien Mole.

Robert Breer

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View of “Robert Breer,” 2016. Photo: Aurélien Mole.

In the early 1950s, Robert Breer, at the time a geometric abstract painter living in Paris, came to the realization that his interest lay in “the process of painting rather than any fixed composition.” This epiphany, which would eventually lead the artist to abandon painting altogether, inspired his first films, a tetralogy of short animations in which forms previously locked down on canvas were freed to morph and dance about the frame. Thematically bookended by Form Phases 4, 1954, and a 16-mm film from Breer’s mature period, Fuji, 1974, the recent exhibition “Between Cinema and Fixed Imagery” drew attention to Breer’s materials and experimental process. Featuring work made between 1953 and 2009, including handmade mutoscopes, scores of drawings, and a gaggle of kinetic sculptures, this survey presented Breer’s oeuvre as a multimedia exploration of the tension between stillness

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