Standish Lawder was a film artist and an art historian. This book is an attempt both to appreciate Lawder as an artist and to make his singular achievement as an art historian more available.
Two essays on his films accompany the complete text of his pioneering study of the European avant-garde of the 1920s, The Cubist Cinema.
Links are provided to some of Lawder’s films as well as many of the seminal works in the early history of experimental film.
From the Preface:
Standish Lawder was a film artist.
In November 1965 at the Film-Makers' Cinematheque, he participated in an early “expanded cinema” event organized by Jonas Mekas and the "New American Cinema Group.” Over the following decade, Lawder made a series of provocative, visually ingenious films which are as compelling now as they were a half century ago.
Standish Lawder was an art historian.
If the activity of Mekas and the New York “underground” have now come to be seen as the beginning of the second major chapter in the history of experimental film, unquestionably the first chapter was the European avant-garde of the 1920s. Lawder was a pioneer in serious art historical research on the subject.
But Lawder’s relatively brief burst of 16mm filmmaking and his sole foray into serious scholarship ended with the 1970s. He continued as a teacher, for many years at the University of California at San Diego, and then at a community darkroom he founded in Denver, Colorado, all the while conducting research which he described as focused “on the nature of optical space and the psychology and physiology of perception with a particular interest in stereoscopy.” But few traces of it remain.
This book is an attempt to appreciate Lawder as an artist and make his singular achievement as an art historian more available.