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Shapes and Gestures


The Vase 1947                    gouache               18 7/8 x 13 5/8 inches

  JULES ENGEL's work speaks for itself.

Direct and lucid, it requires no paraphrase. The language, which is universal-Clarte, vivezza, elegance, ubereinstim mung, monumentality, calm--- comes from the center of his being.

Architectonic, congruous and genuinely contemporary, his larger pieces relate to modern edifices and open space in the same way that grouped statuary and the horses of Neptune fit in the piazze and against the rusticated walls of Florence.

Like Mies van der Rohe and Mondrian, with whom he shares a mutual pact to express the essential, his presence is unambiguous and emotionally affective without excess.

Distinguished as a painter, lithographer and film maker, as well as a sculptor, Jules Engel's work is relevant to all that has become in the past few decades quintessentially American in the arts. Of this place and time, sensitive to a rapidly advancing future, his roots are nonetheless firmly planted on personal territory: his own past, which embraces many media and many continents.

His work is never approximate. It is, rather, a summation and deftly summons the inner as well as the outer eye.

-Lucretia Cole March/67

What l found so wonderfully compelling about your work was how it captured the best of what choreography can accomplish, but generally fails to when performed live in the theater. Not only is your work constructed to direct the audience's eye to a subtle, minute and particular gesture or shape, but in a manner which can be achieved in a fleeting instant. With just a few images a rhythm is generated that elaborates upon itself; five images which began moving in unison, subsequently break Ho a canon and then a fugue. These images, while still retaining their initial quality, permutate, providing 1 2 5 variations on a theme, each compelling and mesmerizing. This use of repetition and the subtle variations that naturally arise, embodies choreography at its most successful.
-Janice Margolis

Selected Exhibitions
1950 "American Abstract Art", Art Institute of Chicago 
1950/51 San Francisco Museum of Art- Purchase Prize
Los Angeles County Museum - Purchase Prize
Caravan Gallery, New York an Prize, 
Art Digest Award
1951 Denver Museum of Art - 1st Watercolor Award
1951/52 Whitney Museum of American Art, New York
1952 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
1952/53 R. H. deYoung Museum, San Francisco
1952/54/56/58 Paul Kantor Gallery, Los Angeles
1955 Sao Paulo Bienal, Brazil
1955 Saidenberg Gallery, New York
1955 American Institute of Architects Fine Arts Award
1960 Fifteen American Painters" - University of
1960 Tamarind Lithography Workshop Fellowship
1961/62/64/66 Esther Robles Gallery - Los Angeles
1962 Dallas Museum of Contemporary Arts, Texas
1963 Walker Art Center, Minnesota
1963 Art Institute of Chicago
1963 Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
1964 Cornell University, New York
1964 Galleria Zetlo, Verona, Italy
1966/67 Ruth White Gallery New York
1968 Artist in Residence, Utah State University
1971/73 Comsky Gallery, Los Angeles
1976 Montgomery Art Center, Claremont, California
1978 "Film Als Film"-Cologne, Stuttgart, Germany Bern, Switzerland
1990/91 "Turning the Tide: Early Los Angeles Modernists"
Santa Barbara Museum of Art, California
Palm Springs Desert Museum, California
Laguna Art Museum, California
Nora Eccles Harrison Museum of Art, Utah
M.K. McNay Art Museum, San Antonio, Texas
Oakland Art Museum, California
1992 Williams Gallery Princeton, New Jersey
1993/96 Tobey C. Moss Gallery Los Angeles
1994 Sid Deutsch Gallery, New York
1996/97 "On the Edge of America-California Modernist Art", Jack Rutberg Fine Arts, Los Angeles
1997 Tobey C. Moss Gallery, Los Angeles
1999 Tobey C. Moss Gallery, Los Angeles
2001 Tobey C. Moss Gallery, Los Angeles
Selected Animated Films
1960 Icarus Montgofier Wright - Oscar Nomination
1963 Carnival
1967 Centipede
1968 Silence (silent)
1971 Landscape (Music Stan Levine)
1973 Accident  ( Music: Carl Stone)
1974 Train Landscape (Music: Stan Levine)
1975 Rumble (Music: David Shoemaker)
1975 Swan (Music: Saint-Sens)
1976 Shapes and Gestures (Music: Steve Goldman Gold J)
1977 Wet Paint  (Music: Nikolaj Bogatirev)
1978 Mobiles (Music: Barry Schroder)
1978 Hors d" Deuvres (Music: Roy Sablosky)
1978 Celebration (Music: Mel Powell)
1986 Play Pen  (Music Rob Miller)
1987 Interior  (Computer Generated)
1987 Gallery 3  (Music: Elizabeth Bartfai)
1987 Dance - Lines in Spare (Music: Elizabeth Bartfai)
1988 Villa Rospigliosi (Music: Elizabeth Bartfai)
1988 Times Square (Music R. Dennis Wiancka)
1992 Papillion (slent)
1992 The Meadow (Music Cassanda Hawk)
1995 Aviary (Music Cassanda Hawk)
1996 Toy Shop (Music: Gooch)


Live Action Films
1965 The Ivory Knife
First Prize, Venice International Film Festival
Outstanding Color Film Award: Guadalajara, Mexico 

1965 Coaraze
Jean Vigo Award (French Film Critics)
First Prize: Mannheim International Film Festival
French Government Award 

1966 The Torch and the Torso
Short Film Award: Edinburgh Film Festival, Scotland

1967 New York I00
Commissioned by Martha Jackson Gallery, New York 

1967/68 American Sculpture of the Sixties
Venice Film Festival, Italy

1968 The Look of a Lithographer
Sponsor ford foundation

1969 Light Motion
Commissioned by Esther Rubles Gallery Los Angeles

1976 Max Bill
Commissioned by Comsky Gallery, Los Angeles

In 1939 he created choreography and color for Fantasia and, after serving in the Army Air Force Motion Picture Unit in World War 11, was one of the original members of U PA Studios-bringing Mr. Magoo, Gerald McBoing Boin g, Madeline, Icarus Montgolfier Wright Iscripte d by Ray Bradbury; Oscar nomination for Engel) and other notable characters to the screen. Simultaneously h e painted, printed, constructed, traveled and taught. This exhibition of his work opens with drawings of 1939 and extends through films of the 1990s.

He has received many awards-most recently the Norman McLaren Heritage Award in 1992 and a 'Lifetime Achievement' Award at the Cardiff International Film Festival in Wales, 1994. From February to April 1997, The Donnell Media Center, New York celebrates the art of Jules Engel and the CalArts Film /Video Departments with a series "The Animated Film: A tribute to Jules Engel and CalArts Animation."

JULES ENGEL was founding director of the Experimental Animation Department at California Institute of the Arts in 1971; he still is!