Mar 17, 2010 0
For me, the loveliest discovery of Armory Week (which is not, by and large, the time to chance upon new art) were the kinetic sculptures of Robert Breer. The avant-garde animator / rotoscoper par excellence also makes motorized, tongue-in-cheek specimens that made me smile, especially in the midst of an abundance of morbid assemblage art and limp attempts at appearing revolutionary. Most of these pieces trembled just so, making me doubt the source of their movement and forcing me to take a second look. The genius of these sculptures, I think, is the way that Breer bestows everyday items with a slight animism, turning household objects into these kooky/creepy minimalist robots. It’s almost as if Breer was inspired by my favorite childhood movie, (which is an unparalleled surrealist MASTERPIECE which has yet to be recognized as such):
Here are some exhibition views kindly sent to me by gb agency, the Parisian gallery that represents Breer. Still images obviously can’t do these sculptures justice, but I will try to describe their movement below.
My favorite piece was a simple nugget of gold foil, motorized to slowly crinkle and uncrinkle itself. It was shown next to Breer’s virtuosic Recreation, which also features a dynamic square of paper.
I feel like Breer is overdue for a mini-retrospective, perhaps at a smaller venue like The Drawing Center or a place where hand-drawn animation is still practiced in earnest. In this era of Illustrator, Pixar and sophisticated CGI modeling, the imaginative potential of a sketch drawn with an oh-so-human hand should not be overlooked.