Academic Session 16: Loughborough 2017

43rd Annual Conference & Art Book Fair
Loughborough University
6th to 8th April 2017

Modern and Contemporary Art History through the Lens of Animation


Jorgelina Orfila, Texas Tech University,

The art historians who in the interwar period extended art history’s disciplinary field of study to encompass modern art, adapted the methodologies and classificatory tools they had inherited (which had been developed for the study of old masters’ art) to the demands of the new art. Nevertheless, these scholars tended to circumscribe their attention to modern artists’ output in traditional techniques (painting, drawing, sculpture, engraving) disregarding creators’ interest in new media such as film. The institutionalization of film studies in the 1960s reinforced the understanding of cinema and the fine arts as discrete fields of practice and theorization.

A form of cinematic representation, animation differs from live action film in that the animated form involves the “sustained creation of a self evidently artificial, constantly evolving but pertinent aesthetic of pictorial mediation”(Wells). Most animators use art media such as oil painting, watercolor, collage, sculpture, drawing, and etching for the production of their primary images. Animation scholar Suzanne Buchan advocates that animation theory be considered both fine-art practice and cinematic representation as central to animation. Furthermore, she notes that animation increasingly permeates today’s digitized visual culture. Thus, animation and animation theory offer a stimulating standpoint from which to rethink modern and contemporary art history.
This session explores the intersection of animation and modern and contemporary art since the turn of the twentieth century. The papers examine instances where both artistic practices coalesced or influenced each other as well as the propinquity between animation studies and the discipline of art history.

Click here to download a .pdf of this session's paper abstracts

Fran Lloyd (Kingston University, London) Re-thinking the Place of Animation in Art History through the Work of Peter Sachs (1912-1990)

Barnaby Dicker (Cardiff Metropolitan University) Robert Breer, Cinematographic Collage and the 'Flatbed Picture Plane', c.1954-59

Pamela Taylor Turner (Virginia Commonwealth University, Virginia, USA) Art Brut in Motion; the Surrealistic Musings of James Gore

Luke Skrebowski (University of Manchester, Manchester) Animation in Antony McCall’s Solid Light Works