Cartoon Vision: UPA Animation and Postwar Aesthetics
In Cartoon Vision Dan Bashara examines American animation alongside the modern design boom of the postwar era. Focusing especially on United Productions of America (UPA), a studio whose graphic, abstract style defined the postwar period, Bashara considers animation akin to a laboratory, exploring new models of vision and space alongside theorists and practitioners in other fields. The links—theoretical, historical, and aesthetic—between animators, architects, designers, artists, and filmmakers reveal a specific midcentury modernism that rigorously reimagined the senses. Cartoon Vision invokes the American Bauhaus legacy of László Moholy-Nagy and György Kepes and advocates for animation’s pivotal role in a utopian design project of retraining the public’s vision to better apprehend a rapidly changing modern world.
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