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Lot 121: Robert Breer, American (1926 - 2011), abstract, 1965, pencil, pastel, crayon, 16 1/4"H x 20"W(frame), 12"H x 15 3/4"W(paper)

Est: $700 USD - $900 USDPassed
Ripley AuctionsMarch 02, 2024Indianapolis, IN, US

Item Overview

Description

Robert Breer
American, (1926 - 2011)
abstract, 1965
pencil, pastel, crayon
Signed verso.

Biography from Butler Institute of American Art: Robert Breer's career as artist and animator spans 50 years and his creative explorations have made him an international figure. He began his artistic pursuits as a painter while living in Paris from 1949-59. Using an old Bolex 16mm camera, his first films, such as "Form Phases", were simple stop-motion studies based on his abstract paintings.

Breer has always been fascinated by the mechanics of film. Perhaps his father's fascination with 3-D inspired Breer to tinker with early mechanical cinematic devices. His father was an engineer and designer of the legendary Chrysler Airflow automobile in 1934 and built a 3-D camera to film all the family vacations. After studying engineering at Stanford, Breer changed his focus toward hand-crafted arts and began experimenting with flip books. These animations, done on ordinary 4" by 6" file cards have become the standard for all of Breer's work, even to this day.

Like many of his generation, Breer did early work influenced by the various European modern art movements of the early 20th century, ranging from the abstract forms of the Russian Constructivists and the structuralist formulas of the Bauhaus, to the non-sensible universe of the Dadaists. Through his association with the Denise René Gallery, which specialized in geometric art, he saw the abstract films of such pioneers as Hans Richter, Viking Eggeling, Walter Ruttman and Fernand Léger. Breer acknowledges his respect for this purist, "cubist" cinema, which uses geometric shapes moving in time and space.

In 1955, he helped organize and exhibited in a show in Paris entitled "Le Mouvement" (The Movement), which paved the way for new cinema aesthetics. During this period, Breer also met the poet Alan Ginsberg and introduced him to his film Recreation (1956), which made use of frame-by-frame experiments in a non-narrative structure. Although Breer disdains being labeled a beatnik, the film does capture some aspects of beat poetry and music.

When Breer returned to the United States in the late 1950s, the American avant-garde was thriving and films by Kenneth Anger, Stan Brakhage, Peter Kubelka and Maria Menken were creating a new visionary movement. Breer found kindred spirits within the New York experimental scene. As Pop Art emerged as a phenomenon in the 1960s, Breer befriended Claes Oldenburg and others. He worked on the TV show, David Brinkley's Journal, filming pieces on art shows in Europe; at the same time, he made his debut documentary on the sculptor Jean Tinguely in 1961.

Titled Homage to Tinguely and screened at the Museum of Modern Art, it reflects Breer's interest in mechanical forms and the fine art of moving sculpture; techniques he used in his work, as his own kinetic sculpture was sparked by Tinguely's keen interest in mechanical gadgets, kinetic movement and abstract forms.

The work, Swiss Army Knife with Rats and Pigeons, Robert Breer, 1981 by Robert Breer is in the collection of the Butler Institute, courtesy of Robert Breer.

Breer was influenced by the new performance art and "happenings", which was making waves in the avant-garde of Europe and New York. He worked briefly with Claes Oldenburg and his performance pieces resulting in a 13 minute film, Pat's Birthday (1962). Breer also befriended artists including Nam June Paik, Charlotte Mormon and others exposed to the new trends in multimedia events.

While he was working on the film Fist Fight, he met Stockhausen, then working in Cologne on Originale, a performance piece. The composer's work soon came into vogue in American circles, and he was asked to perform his piece in New York's Judson Hall in 1964. Breer presented Fist Fight as part of this performance, making the film a visual event in its own right.

Always whimsical, Breer soon developed a line technique related to the free-form work of Swiss painter Paul Klee. Such short narrative pieces as A Man with his Dog Out for Air (1958) and Inner and Outer Space (1960) use the dynamics of drawing and line to capture the essence of humor and motion. Time and time again, he relies on the roots of simple techniques of pencils or 4 x 6 cards for inspiration. While Breer rarely uses conventional storytelling techniques, these films have a sense of the quick movements of a Tex Avery cartoon and the wit of an electric comic strip.

Dimensions

16 1/4"H x 20"W(frame), 12"H x 15 3/4"W(paper)

Artist or Maker

Medium

pencil, pastel, crayon

Payment & Shipping

Payment

Accepted forms of payment: ACH, American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Money Order / Cashiers Check, Personal Check, Visa, Wire Transfer

Shipping

SHIPPING: Large or fragile items will require a third party shipper. Items that require third party or local pickup are indicated within the lot description. If we cannot ship your item, email [email protected] for a list of recommended shippers. Buyer is responsible for obtaining quotes and arrangement of third party shipping.
Successful bidders will receive an invoice following the auction that will include payment details. Please check your spam/junk folder if you do not receive an invoice.
After payment is made, your order will go to our shipping department if it does not require third party. Buyers will not automatically receive a shipping invoice. You will be sent a separate invoice for shipping once your initial invoice is paid and your items are packed and ready to ship. We guarantee that we will provide the highest standards in packing and handling available, in a time frame that allows attention to every detail to protect the items you have purchased.
It will ask you to verify your address before paying by credit card.
PICKUP: Items are subject to storage fees if they are not removed from premises within 10 business days. If items require third party shipping, arrangements and removal must be completed within 15 business days.

Auction Details

March Fine Art & Antiques: Featuring the Estate Collection of Evelyn Farber

by
Ripley Auctions
March 02, 2024, 11:00 AM EST

5564 N Rural Street, Indianapolis, IN, 46220, US

Terms

Buyer's Premium

25.0%

Bidding Increments

From:To:Increment:
$0$99$10
$100$199$20
$200$499$25
$500$999$50
$1,000$2,999$100
$3,000$4,999$200
$5,000$9,999$500
$10,000$29,999$1,000
$30,000+$2,500

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Successful bidders will receive an invoice following the auction that will include payment details. Please check your spam/junk folder if you do not receive an invoice.
After payment is made, your order will go to our shipping department if it does not require third party. Buyers will not automatically receive a shipping invoice. You will be sent a separate invoice for shipping once your initial invoice is paid and your items are packed and ready to ship. We guarantee that we will provide the highest standards in packing and handling available, in a time frame that allows attention to every detail to protect the items you have purchased.
It will ask you to verify your address before paying by credit card.
PICKUP: Items are subject to storage fees if they are not removed from premises within 10 business days. If items require third party shipping, arrangements and removal must be completed within 15 business days.

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Payment Information

Payments are accepted by Cash, Check, Money Order, Visa, MasterCard, Discover, AMEX, ACH, and Bank Wire Transfer. Gold jewelry or purchases over $5,000 will require confirmed funds, such as ACH or Wire Bank Wire Transfer. The full purchase price plus all applicable taxes, processing fees, and storage fees are expected before removal or shipping of any of the items. Guaranteed payment may be required for removal of goods for new or out-of-town bidders.

Shipping Information

SHIPPING: Large or fragile items will require a third party shipper. Items that require third party or local pickup are indicated within the lot description. If we cannot ship your item, email [email protected] for a list of recommended shippers. Buyer is responsible for obtaining quotes and arrangement of third party shipping.
Successful bidders will receive an invoice following the auction that will include payment details. Please check your spam/junk folder if you do not receive an invoice.
After payment is made, your order will go to our shipping department if it does not require third party. Buyers will not automatically receive a shipping invoice. You will be sent a separate invoice for shipping once your initial invoice is paid and your items are packed and ready to ship. We guarantee that we will provide the highest standards in packing and handling available, in a time frame that allows attention to every detail to protect the items you have purchased.
It will ask you to verify your address before paying by credit card.
PICKUP: Items are subject to storage fees if they are not removed from premises within 10 business days. If items require third party shipping, arrangements and removal must be completed within 15 business days.

Buyer's Premium

A buyer's premium of 25% will be added to all lots.

Condition Statement

Most items in our auction are estate consigned. All items should be considered "as-is". We make every effort to accurately describe each lot using complete descriptions and detailed photographs. You may email or call us with any questions prior to bidding. All sizes, weights and ages of lots are approximate. We encourage you to visit and inspect all lots during preview and/or carefully examine all additional images provided with onlne catalog and ask for more information, when needed. It is your responsibility to know what you are bidding on prior to placing any bids. Please note that any lot listed with "attributed" or "style" cannot be guaranteed to be the work of the noted artist or period. All sales are final.

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