William Moritz

Optical Poetry: The Life and Work of Oskar Fischinger


Optical Poetry is the first critical biography of the painter and experimental filmmaker Oskar Fischinger. Active in avant-garde art circles in Germany between the two world wars, Fischinger and his family would emigrate to Los Angeles just ahead of the Nazis' denunciation of degenerate art. Fischinger's pioneering experiments in Visual Music and the melding of graphic arts, abstract design, and sound were instrumental in shaping animation into an art and cinematic form and inspiring animators to pursue its aesthetic potential. An accomplished representational animator who eventually worked uneasily under contract for Paramount, MGM, and Disney, Fischinger produced numerous abstract animated films over his lifetime, invented machines such as the "Wax Machine" and the "Lumigraph" for creating images, and became an accomplished and influential abstract painter.
A labor of love for author William Moritz and the product of decades of research, Optical Poetry also includes an extensive filmography and testimonials from those who knew or were influenced by Fischinger.