"Master of Animation"


JULES ENGEL: Master of Animation
July 14 - August 31, 2007

7321 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036
(323) 933-5523, fax (323) 933-7618
E-mail, tobeymoss@earthlink.net
Web site, http://www.tobeycmossgallery.com
Hours, Tuesday - Saturday, 11am-5pm

This exhibition focuses upon JULES ENGEL - his animation creativity and JULES ENGEL as a source of visual animation history.  

Jules Engel brought fine art aesthetics through structure and abstraction to the art of animation.  His line was kinetic, his forms pulsed rhythmically, he created visual music, even in his geometric structures and paintings. Bold colors - even black backgrounds(!) - were ‘signatures’ of his compositions.

After groundwork at the Charles Mintz Studio in Hollywood in the early 1930s, he was brought into Walt Disney Studios to replace Oskar Fischinger, who had left the current production of Fantasia due to personality conflicts. Engel taught the ballet movements of the Disney menagerie to the animators who had never seen a live ballet!  The Chinese Mushroom Dance' and the Russian ‘Thistle Dance' confirmed the power of black backgrounds; Bambi reiterated that strength.

In early 1940s Engel joined the Army Air Force's motion picture division.  He worked on training films for the military, applying his experience and style.  In 1944 he joined the newly founded United Productions of America.  With the close of the war, UPA began to garner honors....as ?Oscars for productions of Gerald McBoing-Boing and Mr Magoo attested.  Engel's hand guided both projects.

By the late 1950s, Jules Engel and partner Herb Klynn formed Format Films, creating such notable films series as Madeline, Alvin and the Chipmunks and Icarus Montgolfier Wright - the latter was nominated for an Academy Award in 1962.

In 1969 he joined the new California Institute of the Arts, founding the Department of Experimental Abstract Animation for film.  Jules Engel always felt that his greatest achievements were in the classroom - his students have gone on to reach extraordinary goals in the 20th and 21st centuries animation history.  Former students include John Lassiter (Toy Story), Tim Burton, Henry Selick (The Nightmare Before Christmas), Mark Kirkland (The Simpsons) and Stephen Hillenberg (SpongeBob Squarepants). In addition to teaching, Engel continued to produce animated films including Accident (1973), Mobiles (1978) and The Meadow (1994).  In 2001, Engel was honored by CalArts and named Institute Fellow for his lifetime of achievement.

The Tobey C. Moss Gallery presents drawings, paintings and prints related to Engel’s long and illustrious career in the field of abstraction and animation.  Independent paintings, constructions and drawings created between the 1930s and 2001 will also be shown.

Digital images available upon request.

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