Oskar Fischinger Characteristics

Oskar Fischinger is considered to be a pioneer of experimental filmmaking. He was an extraordinary abstract animation filmmaker who used many different techniques to create his work including Wax Experiments. He had a strong influence on American Avant-Garde filmmakers. Fischinger had a love for music and for graphic arts and combined the two mediums very beautifully. Fischinger created a three dimensional space with his geometric shapes that would jump and fly about the screen. According to Malcolm LeGrice, Fischingeršs animations take on an anthropomorphic quality, as the shapes seem to synchronize with music.

To understand Oskar Fischinger's work is to realize that Fischinger was reluctant to have his films accompanied with music, however he respected music as an abstract art form and felt he could learn from the thousands of years in which music has had to grow and develop. Dr. William Moritz explains that: "Both visual abstract art and the kinetic, temporal art of cinema, on the other hand, had begun almost from scratch in the early years of our own century, and Fischinger felt he could use the advice and learned advantages to be gained by constructive analogy with auditory abstract space-time art: music." Fischinger's choice of popular music as accompaniment was so that the audience would understand and accept the abstract images. Although Fischinger worked for several Hollywood studios and animated for several commercials he was best known as an experimental filmmaker. He joined the ranks of artists who rejected Hollywood and became independents. At Fischinger's prime he was right in the middle of art movements such as de stijl, in which Piet Mondrian was a major influence. Malcolm LeGrice states that Fischinger's film Allegretto has a similarity in feeling as Mondrian's New York "Optical" paintings. Michael Duncan of Art In America feels that Fischinger's works "are important precursors for the hard-edged 60s school of Los Angeles painting represented by Lorser Feitelson, John McLaughlin, Frederick Hammersley," just to name a few. "Fischinger's multifaceted career also provides a crucial link between hard-edged geometric painting and nonobjective experimental filmmaking," Duncan said. Few animators are able to create a three-dimensional space, especially abstractionists, the way that Fischinger did. "To try to describe these shapes and their movement through space in figurative terms is to demote them to the realm of interpretation," according to Byron Grush. Many artists and critics who admire Oskar Fischinger's work seem to feel that he had an incredible influence on future artists, filmmakers, and animators of his time.

--Jennifer McHale, 2001

Oskar Fischinger