A few days ago, I mentioned a couple books that Chronicle Books will be publishing this winter in honor of Pixar’s twentieth anniversary. Equally exciting, the Museum of Modern Art in New York has just announced a major Pixar retrospective that will take place December 14, 2005-February 6, 2006. The exhibit is being organized by MoMA’s Steven Higgins (Curator, Department of Film and Media) and Ron Magliozzi (Assistant Curator). It is rare for an animation studio to receive such recognition at MoMA; the only other major studio exhibition at MoMA that comes to mind is when United Productions of America (UPA) was honored in the mid-50s. There’s perhaps a few other examples, but it’s certainly not an everday occurrence. Fortunately, I can’t think of a modern animation studio more deserving of the honor.
Here’s the MoMA press release:
The Museum of Modern Art presents Pixar, in the most extensive theater and gallery exhibition it has ever devoted to the art of animation. Pixar Animation Studios has had worldwide critical and box office success with its feature films, from Toy Story (1995) to The Incredibles (2004). The exhibition marks the first time Pixar is lending its art collection and films. In addition to six features and a number of shorts that will be screened in MoMA’s Roy and Niuta Titus Theaters, the Yoshiko and Akio Morita Gallery will be devoted to moving image work created especially by the studio for this exhibition, illustrating the processes involved in creating their signature works. Paintings, concept art and other works on paper will be installed in the Theater Gallery and on the first floor, showing the multiple evolutions that characters and environments go through before their final on-screen incarnation. Pixar illustrates the artistry and craft of a studio devoted to making believable animated imagery and acknowledges computer-generated animation as a moving image art form.