Saint Louis University

An exhibition of paintings and drawings by a pioneering German abstract painter and filmmaker whose genius was recognized by many of the 20th century’s great luminaries in art, film and music.

Fischinger exhibition logo
March 31  - June 24, 2007
     exhibition extended through July 1, 2007
Opening Weekend Events
     Friday, March 30, 2007, 7 p.m.
     An Oskar Fischinger Tribute
     screening of films by Fischinger and lecture by exhibition curator Peter Frank
     NOTE: This event will be held at the Saint Louis Art Museum auditorium. 
     Click here for more information.

     Saturday, March 31, 2007, 2 - 4 p.m.
     Opening reception at MOCRA
     free public opening reception 

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General Exhibition Information
Hours: Tues - Sun, 11 am - 4 pm
Admission: free, with suggested donation of $5/adults, $1/students and children
Directions and Parking information
Group visit information

Oskar Fischinger - Space Abstraction No. 3, 1966

Space Abstraction No. III, 1966.
Oil on canvas. Image courtesy of
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles.

Oskar Fischinger (1900–67) was a significant figure in the early days of filmmaking, attracting attention for his technological innovations, imaginative animation techniques, and the sheer bravura of his non-objective films, many of them keyed to classical music in a way that sought to expand dimensions in both visual and auditory experience—that is, visual music. Exhibition curator Peter Frank notes that Fischinger "insisted on an indelible sensory relationship between color and form on the one hand and sound and motion on the other. It was music for the eyes."

Fischinger’s approach to abstraction in his films and paintings bears comparison to Kandinsky, Kupka, and other early abstractionists. Fischinger’s artistic work was also a spiritual pursuit consistent with his interest in Theosophy, Buddhism, and Anthroposophy. Pressure from the Nazi regime forced Fischinger to flee to Hollywood in 1936, where he worked on the fringes of the commercial movie industry but continued to earn the appreciation of filmmakers and aficionados even after his death.

Recently his work has been increasingly included in American museum exhibitions, including the blockbuster 2005 group exhibition Visual Music, held at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles and the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, D.C. MOCRA is pleased to host the first exhibition of Fischinger’s work in St. Louis, a city with significant ties to modern and contemporary German art.
The MOCRA exhibition will feature paintings and drawings by Fischinger. It also celebrates the newly released DVD Oskar Fischinger: Ten Films. The DVD includes many of Fischinger's great film projects, including Motion Painting No. 1 (1947), which features dazzling animated patterns coordinated to Bach’s Brandenburg Concerto No. 3 and received the Grand Prix at the Brussels Film Festival in 1949.

Movement and Spirit is part of MOCRA: Sources, an occasional series of exhibitions presenting those seminal artists who have influenced the development of modern and contemporary art, and whose impact is seen in the artists of our time who engage the religious and spiritual dimensions in their work.

MOCRA thanks Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Inc., Los Angeles, Barbara Fischinger, The Elfriede Fischinger Trust, and the Center for Visual Music. MOCRA also thanks the Saint Louis Art Museum for assistance in the Oskar Fischinger Tribute evening.

MOCRA is grateful for financial support from the Regional Arts Commission.

Oskar Fischinger - Outward Movement, 1948

Outward Movement, 1948. Oil on
canvas. Image courtesy of
Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles.

Additional links
  • Movement and Spirit in the media
  • Fischinger artwork at Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles
  • The Fischinger Trust and Archive
  • Fischinger resources at the Center for Visual Music
  • Optical Poetry, a Fischinger biography by William Moritz
  • Sounding Visual website (resources about Visual Music)