Lillian Schwartz, 82, digital artist, scientist and scholar

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Post by Lee Arnold

Last Friday I had the honor of hosting Lillian Schwartz for a talk at Drew University. Lillian is a pioneer in digital art and has inspired generations of artists who work with the computer. She has exhibited at MOMA, the Met and the Whitney. She made her seminal animations “Pixillation” (1970) and “UFO’s” (1971) while working with scientists at AT&T’s Bell Labs. In these works she combined a background in fine art with experiments in film, video and the nascent field of computer animation. She also collaborated with many composers, musicians, and conductors such as the world-renowned Pierre Boulez.

Lillian Schwartz and Lee Arnold at Drew University last week where Schwartz gave a talk.
Lillian Schwartz and Lee Arnold at Drew University last week where Schwartz gave a talk.

I’ve been a fan of Lillian’s work for many years, and to meet her in person was thrilling. During her lecture she presented a wide range of artwork and spoke about her life as an artist in a field with few women. At 82 she still teaches at the School of Visual Arts in NYC and gives no signs of slowing down. In fact she told me that Russian television is coming to film her in connection with her recent research on her favorite historical figure Leonardo da Vinci – like him she is an artist, scientist and scholar.

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digital art, lee arnold, lillian schwartz

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