MAD will be open on Mon, May 6.

Get the Latest News

* indicates required

Avant Garde Animation Cinema Series to Play at MAD this Fall

Fall MAD Cinema Series features rarely seen in 16mm abstract films by Robert Breer and John and James Whitney, Selection of works by the Hubleys the first family of independent animation, cutting edge contemporary animation, and a special screening of Ralph Bakshi's Heavy Traffic

New York, NY (August 22, 2012)

A cinema series surveying the evolution of avant-garde animation will play at MAD from September 27 to November 16, 2012. Adults in the Dark: Avant-Garde Animation will include a wide-range of animated works that will showcase the breadth and the potential of animation as something more than a cinematic medium reserved for children, starting from the pioneering abstract cinema of John and James Whitney to the emotional realism of John and Faith Hubley; from the adult-themed, feature-length cartoons of Ralph Bakshi, mixed-media politically charged works by Martha Colburn, to more contemporary artists utilizing animation techniques in their work.

“This series continues MAD’s presentation of animation works as part of our year round cinema programming. Launching last fall with our Korean animation series [Unbridled Energy: Korean Animation] we look to present animation each and every fall,” said Jake Yuzna, MAD’s Manager of Public Programs. “MAD seeks to celebrates and champion the rich history, techniques, and continued cultural influence of a very unique creative discipline. With Adults in the Dark, we pay homage to these avant-garde and pioneering voices whose approaches have, and continue to, broaden the possibilities for animation.”

Since its birth around the turn of the 20th century, animation has long been a medium that catered to children—from Betty Boop and Popeye to Walt Disney features to today’s Pixar films. In the early days, a few pioneers began experimenting with more abstract and non-narrative work, most notably German animator Oskar Fischinger, who in the 1930s made “visual music” films. In the mid-20th century, alongside the counterculture, experimental films of Maya Deren, Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, and Jonas Mekas, a number of artists began making use of animation to challenge societal boundaries, accepted aesthetic tastes, and narrative practices. Animation artists like Robert Breer and James and John Whitney established striking new directions in the use of stop-motion, hand-drawn, in-camera, and computer-generated animation. The impact of these experimental and cerebral animations spurred a younger group of animators like Sally Cruikshank,
known for her surrealistic and psychedelic animation for Sesame Street,
and Jim Trainor, known for his stripped down, hand drawn style.

Expanding on the impact of these early experiments in animation, Adults in the Dark will also screen works developed for online viewing, 3D works, as well as mash-ups of hand drawn and computer-generated examples. Featured emerging innovators in animation practice are Canadian Amy Lockhart, known for her cut-out animation; Austrian artist Oliver Laric, who is known for letting people tweak his videos and images; Irish filmmaker David O’Reilly who creates 3D animation; Brooklyn-based artist Peter Burr who presents site-specific events that is part live theater and part road show; and Portland-based artist Brenna Murphy who creates hyper-real images using digital editing programs.

With the cinema series Adults in the Dark, MAD traces the beginnings of avant-garde animation to its influence in current animated works and makers—continuing our celebration of the medium, the process, and the ever-continuing experimentation in the field of animation.

Adults in the Dark: Avant Garde Animation is a cinema survey presented by the Museum of Arts and Design.

Screenings will be held at 7pm in the Theater at MAD, at 2 Columbus Circle, unless otherwise noted.

All screenings are $5 for MAD Members and students with valid ID, $10 for the general public.

Adults in the Dark: Avant-Garde Animation is organized by Jake Yuzna, Manager of Public Programs, with Aaron Anderson.

Thursday, September 27, 2012
James and John Whitney
Five Film Exercises (1943-1944), Yantra (1957), Permutations (1966), Lapis (1966), Matrix III (1972), Arabesque (1975)

Friday, October 19, 2012
The Hubleys
Adventures of an Asterisk (1957), The Hat (1964), Eggs (1971), Cockaboody (1973), The Tender Game (1958), Time of the Angels (1989), Her Grandmother’s Gift (1995), Witch Madness (2000), Pigeon Within (2000), Northern Ice Golden Sun (2001), Set Set Spike (2002), And/or (2012)

Thursday, October 25, 2012
Robert Breer
Recreation (1956), A Man and His Dog Out For Air (1957), Jamestown Baloos (1957), Eyewash (1959), Eyewash (1959), Fist Fight (1964), 69 (1968), Fuji (1964), What Goes Up (2003)

Friday, October 26, 2012
Martha Colburn
Zig Zag (1995), Hey Tiger (1996), Evil of Dracula (1997), There’s a Pervert in Our Pool (1998), Spider’s In Love: An Arachnogasmic Musical (2000), Cat’s Amore (2002), Secrets of Mexuality (2003), Cosmetic Emergency (2005), Meet Me in Witchita (2006), Triumph of the Wild (2008)

Friday, November 2, 2012
Jim Trainor
The Fetishist (1997), The Bat and the Virgin (1997), The Moschops (2000), The Magic Kingdom (2002), Harmony (2005), The Presentation Theme (2008)

Saturday, November 3, 2012, 3 PM
Sally Cruikshank
Fun on Mars (1971), Chow Fun (1972), Quasi at the Quackadero (1975), Make me Psychic (1978), Face Like a Frog (1987)

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
2D/3D/4D: Contemporary Artist Animations
Walk for Walk (2005), Dir. Amy Lockhart; Versions (2010), Dir. Oliver Laric; The External World (2010), Dir. David O’Reilly; Alone With the Moon (2011), Dir. Peter Burr; I Was A Teacher (2012), Dir. Brenna Murphy

Friday, November 16, 2012
Heavy Traffic (1973)
Dir. Ralph Bakshi


Get Updates from MAD

* indicates required
Let us know if you're interested in: