JULES ENGEL: SPATIAL CONCERNS
A RETROSPECTIVE of SIXTY YEARS: 1939 - 1999
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Jules Engel, "Spacial Concerns"
A retrospective of sixty year, 1939-1999
March 6th to May 8, 1999
Reception for the Artist: Saturday, March 6, 1999 3 to 6 pm
Special Film Showing: Sunday, March 14th - By reservation only
TOBEY C. MOSS GALLERY
7321 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-5523, fax (323) 933-7618
Web site, http://www.tobeycmossgallery.com
Jules Engel has been part of the creative art community in Los Angeles since the late 1930s. At WaltDisney Studio, he was brought in to do choreographic storyboards for segments of Fantasia; Disney's animators had never viewed a live ballet! He also innovated the use of the strong palette and the black background; dramatic contrasts in 'Bambi' are a good example. This was not the beginning of his artistry. Since school days he had been making abstract compositions on paper-images that challenged his teachers. At least one of his teachers had the foresight to allow his free expression...and abstraction it was. Abiquiu and Circles c.1939 reveal Engel's early vision.
In the 1940s he used facets of colors to create prisms of light and form. In Interior, 1947 he abstracts architectural elements to create light filled space. This painting was included in Turning the Tide, an exhibition mounted at six museum venues between 1990-1992.
As one of the original members of UPA Studios, Jules Engel was involved with Gerald McBoingBoing, Madeleine and Jaywalker among the 'stable of characters'. His storyboards were brilliant color abstractions and the combination of talents made UPA a prominent creative center. In 1959, he joined Herb Klynn to form Format Films where, among many projects, he produced Icarus Montgolfier Wright, scripted by Ray Bradbury. Engel was nominated for an Oscar. In 1962, Jules Engel left for Paris to direct an animated film The World of Sine, which achieved La Belle Qualite Award and was released throughout Europe. In 1965, Coaraze - a live action film - won the Prix Jean Vigo Award for him. These many kudos did not exclude his attentions from his paintings and constructions.
The 1950s and '60s were fertile decades for Engel. Paintings on paper, board and canvas, sculptures, wood constructions, lithographs at Tamarind and Gemini, etchings - he has created in all media. Though color was important to him, he is very successful in basic blacks and whites or structural materials and form. Some of his most poetic paintings - the 'Window' paintings of the 1960s - inspired Michel Seuphor (Paris, 1964) to write "The black windows of Engel are not black. Their surroundings are secretly permeated by the ardent fire smouldering within them. ..."
Collage is another technique used, as seen from the '50s to the '90s in This Way, Direction or UnBalanced and PlayPen, to mention a few. That third dimension extends also into wood and cardboard constructions like Beverly Hills Hillside Living, Vacancy or Baby Sitter and sculptures in bronze and painted woods: Anatomy of Silence, Column, etc.
Jules Engel's creative concepts for his films have generated fascinating sequential drawings, each of which can 'stand on its own' or can be grouped to carry out the intended rhythms. These films - animated abstractions and/or live action - his paintings, his drawings and his prints are often interrelated. Train Landscape, a multi-fold screenprint, 145 inches long(!), also has an existence as a fascinating, sonorous film. These works have been exhibited in museums, private galleries and festivals throughout his career and are in numerous institutional as well as private collections. He has received grants, including those from the Ford Foundation and the American Film Institute.
His life took a new turn in 1970 with the organization of California Institute of the Arts in Valencia. At CalArts he was the founding Director of the Department of Experimental Abstract Animation on Film; today, almost thirty years later, he still holds that very active position. In addition to being a great artist and innovator, he is also a great communicator and teacher - attested to by generations of students and professionals throughout the world.
Press glossies, color slides and color photographs are available to your request.
We also urge your reservation for the film showing on March 14th. Full information for this off-site 90
minute daytime show will be sent upon reservation.
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