The shifting universe of Robert Breer traversed several major French and American avant-garde movements. Working as an abstract painter in the 1950s—influenced by Vasarely, Tinguely, and Soto—Breer quickly turned to making animated films then, in the mid-1960s, began inventing moving objects, as though to assert his desire to take painting out of the frame and avoid all static images.
Float, 1970 / 2014
Résine, structure métallique, bois, moteur, roues, batteries / Resin, metallic structure, wood, motor, wheels, batteries
183.0 x 180.0 cm
Collection Fondation Louis Vuitton, Paris
© The Estate of Robert Breer
Crédit photo : © Fondation Louis Vuitton / Marc Domage
In 1970, for the American pavilion at the World’s Fair in Osaka, Breer created seven mobile sculptures—Floats (floating sculptures)— whose constant, random ballet both desacralized the artwork and the exhibition space. The Floats, created in simple shapes and neutral colors, activate the space around them.
Placed directly on the ground, they move imperceptibly on small invisible wheels. In abolishing the distance between center and periphery, past and present, abstraction and figuration, and movement and stillness, the sculptures, with a kind of passive resistance, establish a renewed relationship between the viewer and time and space.