Quay Brothers. On Deciphering the Pharmacist's Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets
For more than 30 years, internationally renowned moving image artists and designers the Quay Brothers have been in the avant-garde of stop-motion puppet animation. Creating work in the tradition of Czech Surrealists Jan Svankmajer and Jiri Trnka, Russian animator Yuri Norstein and Polish animator Walerian Borowczyk, the twin brothers practice a design aesthetic influenced by the graphic surrealism of Polish poster artists of the 1950s and 1960s such as Jan Lenica, Roman Cieslewicz, Franciszek Starowieyski and Henryk Tomaszewski. Since 1971, they have produced more than 45 moving images, including features, music videos, dance films and documentaries, and have designed sets and projections for opera, drama and concert performances. Published to accompany an exhibition at The Museum of Modern Art--the first presentation of the Quay Brothers' work in all their fields of creative activity--this publication presents their films as well as previously unseen moving image works and graphic design, drawings, typography and notebooks for films.
The Quay Brothers were born near Philadelphia and have worked from their London studio, Atelier Koninck, since the late 1970s. Their works include The Street of Crocodiles (1986), the Stille Nacht series (1988-2008), Institute Benjamenta (1995) and In Absentia (2000). They have also designed sets and projections for opera, drama, and concert performances such as Ionesco's The Chairs (Tony-nominated design, 1997) and recent site-specific pieces based on the work of Bartók and Kafka.