Robert Breer (1926-2011) Robert Breer (1926-2011)

Robert Breer (1926-2011)

Experimental animator Robert Breer has passed away. Breer was a fine art painter who became interested in creating films as art in the 1950s. In his early shorts he experimented with the form by creating films using distinctly different images photographed one frame at a time. He became one of the most important figures in the 60’s New York experimental scene. In his later years he taught at Cooper Union in New York and created films for PBS’ The Electric Company. His longest piece, an experiment using the rotoscope, Fuji (1974), was added to the National Film Registry in 2002.

You can watch a nice selection of his shorts at UBUweb. Below is one of his most celebrated later films, Swiss Army Knife With Rats and Pigeons (1980):

  • He is an Independent Legend. His films showed us all, in the 60’s, how one person could make “Art” in animation. His love of the medium, as a new way of expression, was contagious, and from him an Independent movement was born.

  • Saturnome

    Thank you for the short interview, this is the first time I hear Robert Breer in his own words, outside of his work.

  • bob kurtz

    i always looked forward to seeing a robert breer film. there was so much fun and originality. he will be missed.

  • Spencer

    Wow. Jeff Scher must be really sad right now. What a brilliant man.

  • Malcolm Cook

    Brew readers looking to commemorate Breer, or those wanting to find out more about him, would do well to visit the Baltic art gallery in Newcastle here in the UK, which has a Breer exhibition on until mid September. Excellent retrospective, I found his moving sculptures especially interesting and an aspect of his work I was unaware of. If you want to expand your understanding of what “3D Animation” means this is the place to do it.