MoMA retrospective Tim Burton


burton490def.jpgThe MoMA retrospective honoring the art of acclaimed director Tim Burton explores the full range of his creative work, from early childhood artwork to his contemporary work in film. The gallery exhibition of more than seven hundred drawings, paintings, photographs, moving image works, storyboards, puppets and costumes is accompanied by screenings of Burton's features and shorts in the museum's theaters. Both run from November 22, 2009 through April 26, 2010. The exhibition reveals that Burton's dark, quirky, Pop-surrealist themes in film carry over to his rarely-seen drawings as well, all personal marks of the man's distinctive viewpoint.

 Burton's first feature, Pee-wee's Big Adventure, was released in 1985, after which he went on to direct and produce a number of Academy Award-winning films, including Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Batman, Sleepy Hollow, Planet of the Apes, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, and, most recently, Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street. Frequent collaborators are friend and actor Johnny Depp, partner and actor Helena Bonham Carter, composer Danny Elfman, costume designer Colleen Atwood and production designer Rick Heinrichs, all an integral part in the creation of the unmistakable, beloved characters Burton has brought to life through film.

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A series of events honoring the filmmaker were held as the retrospective opened at the museum, including the Museum of Modern Art Film Benefit, branded this year as a tribute to the director. A custom 2010 weekly planner was published by Moleskine in a limited run. The books, featuring Tim Burton's signature and the MoMA logo embossed on the cover, were given out to event VIPs. The unique paperband features the names of several of Burton's films, set atop images of one of Burton's earliest characters, Vincent, the star of a 1982 short film created in collaboration with Rick Heinrichs. The film's narrator introduces the boy as a seven year-old who is "always polite and does what he's told / For a boy his age, he's considerate and nice / But he wants to be just like Vincent Price," who, incidentally, is the man behind the voice-over narration, and one of Burton's heroes.