Born 1926, Detroit, Michigan
Lives and works in Tappan, New York
For more than 40 years, Robert Breer has been making films that push the
aesthetic and technical boundaries of conventional animation. Incorporating
variation, repetition, rhythm, and motion, his animations are moving collages, a
playful mix of drawings, cartoons, photographs, and ephemera from everyday life.
Expressive and downright delightful, Breer's work varies in tone from kinetic
explorations of abstraction to poetic mediations on life and death. He extracts the
element of parable from the simplest of human activities and natural occurrences.
His most recent film, What Goes Up, cycles through several intervals framed by the
drawn animations of an ascending plane and a variety of images that offer a succinct
summary of the joys of being alive—photographs of the artist's family, home and studio,
food, drink, the changing leaves, and a drawing of a voluptuous woman. Breer gives us
his personal take on the everyday in images that zoom past us like a flashback of a
thousand perfectly lived moments rolled into one four-minute epic. The final scene of
a derailed train provides a metaphor for the absurdity of the notion that a big,
beautiful, well-lived life simply runs out.
Burford, Jennifer L. Robert Breer. Paris: Paris Expérimental/Re:Voir Vidéo, 1999. Includes videotape.
Film Culture, nos. 56–57 (Spring 1973): 39–70. Special section, including interviews by Jonas Mekas and P. Adams Sitney, and Charles Levine.
Hoberman, J. "Robert Breer's Animated World." American Film 5 (September 1980): 46.
Maldonado, Guitemie. "Robert Breer: &: gb agency." Artforum 40, no. 5 (January 2002): 149–50.
Smith, Roberta. "Art in Review; Robert Breer." New York Times, January 7, 2000.
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