Monday, August 13, 2012

Twin Puppeteers: Quay Brothers Retrospective at MoMA

Went to see Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist's Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets at MoMA on Sunday...

Retrospective includes their work in print, theater, graphic design, calligraphy and both live action and animated film...

Stephen Quay and Timothy Quay, are identical twins most famously known as both either Brothers Quay or the Quay Brothers. Indeed their collaborative stop-motion animations are extremely well known for the ways in which they have been influential to the field. They were born in 1947 in Norristown, Pennsylvania, just outside Philadelphia.They are now based in London.

The Quay twins are most known for the avant-garde style of stop-motion puppet animation in the Eastern European tradition of filmmakers like (my longtime favorite) Jan Svankmajer and have ardently put forth a design aesthetic influenced by the graphic surrealism of  Polish poster art of the 1950s and 1960s. (Posters are on display in the exhibit as well)

Beginning with their student films in 1971, the Quay Brothers have produced over 45 moving image works, including two features, music videos, dance films, documentaries, and signature personal works, including The Street of Crocodiles (1986) which is on view in a side gallery and well worth watching for a spell.

Exhibit runs til January 7, 2013 in Theater 2 Gallery, Theater 1 Gallery, First floor, and Second floor.

A catalog of the exhibit is for sale for $25.00 in the MoMA Store

Here is a great biography of the Brothers Quay on the European Graduate School website.

Here is a nice piece on the Brother's Quay and this MoMA exhibition in Time Out New York.

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