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Born 1947 in Seattle, Washington; died 2019.

Bruce Bickford was an American artist, animator and filmmaker who produced a prodigious amount of visionary work over nearly half a century. A self-taught artist, Bickford is widely considered a pioneer and master of clay animation, having created uniquely bizarre narratives in perpetually morphing plasticine. Although primarily known for his clay and line animation, the reclusive artist spent much of his later life creating intricate paintings, drawings, graphic novels, and sculptural objects. The artist gained a fervent cult following in the 1970s for his animations for the films of Frank Zappa. His work was featured extensively in many Zappa projects, including Baby Snakes (1979), The Dub Room Special (1982), and The Amazing Mr. Bickford (1987). Subsequently, he produced his most highly regarded piece, the award-winning 1988 feature Prometheus' Garden, as well as his final film, CAS’L’ (2015). He was also the subject of an award-winning feature length documentary by Brett Ingram, Monster Road (2004). More recently, some of Bickford’s last works, as well as a sequence of never before seen animation from the 70s, appeared in Alex Winter’s documentary feature Zappa (2020).

SELECTED SOLO EXHIBITIONS

2021
Bruce Bickford: The Uplands, curated by Eric White, Andrew Edlin Gallery, New York, NY

2018
Bruce Bickford: Posters, Drawings, Clay Relics, Vermillion, Seattle, WA

2017
Uplandos: Art of Bruce Bickford, curated by Nicholas Garaas and Issac Olsen, Spaceworks, Tacoma, WA
Herr Bickford Entdeckt Ein Neues Land (Mr. Bickford Discovers A New Land), The Stadthaus, Ulm, Germany

2016
Bruce Bickford: Line and Clay, Yamamoto Gendai, Tokyo, Japan
Bruce Bickford Sacred & Profane, Flatcolor Gallery, Seattle, WA

2015
Bruce Bickford in Japan, Takamatsu Media Art Festival, Tokyo, Japan

SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS

2017
Out Of Sight, Seattle, WA

2015
Strange Waves, Flatcolor Gallery, Seattle, WA

2012
Wandellust: Die Kunst der Knetanimation, Deutsches Institut für Animationsfilm, Dresden, DE

2005
Carry On, curated by Rich Jacobs and Abigail Scholar, Feigen Contemporary, New York, NY

EVENTS & SCREENINGS

2017
Stuttgart International Animation Festival

2016
cero x Bruce Bickford, Yamaguchi Center for Arts and Media Bakuon Film Festival
Tavito Nanao x Bickford, WILDBUNCH FEST
Belfast Film Festival
GEORAMA Film Festival

2015
Zappa Week, Tower District Records
Comix & Arts Festival
Northwest Film Forum
Ottawa International Film Festival

2000
Bickford Film Exposition, Seattle Art Museum

FILMOGRAPHY

2015
CAS’L’
2008
Prometheus' Garden, DVD
2004
Monster Road, dir. Brett Ingham
1988
Prometheus' Garden, 27 minutes
1987
Video From Hell and The Amazing Mr. Bickford (Frank Zappa)
1982
The Dub Room Special (Frank Zappa)
1979
Baby Snakes (Frank Zappa)
1974
A Token of His Extreme (Frank Zappa)
1974
Little Boy in School (featuring Gus Reeves as a child), clay animation short, 4 minutes
1973
Start of the Quest, clay animation short, 3 minutes
1972
Castle stuff and bar room scene, clay animation, 15 minutes
1971
Last Battle on Flat Earth, clay animation, 4 minutes
1970
Clay battle scene with more detailed figures, 2.5 minutes
1969
Tree clay animation, 2.5 minutes
1964-65
Animated model cars and crude clay figures on 8mm film, 10 minutes

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