Jordan Belson studied painting before seeing Oskar Fischinger and the Whitney brothers’ films at the 1946 Art in Cinema festival at the San Francisco Museum, whereupon he increasingly devoted himself to the moving abstract image. His early films animated real objects (pavements in Bop-Scotch 1952) and scroll paintings prepared like film strips with successive images (Mandala 1953). Belson subsequently withdrew these films from circulation as imperfect and primitive, but they already reflect his refined plastic sensibility, fine color sense, and superb sense of dynamic structure. They also foreshadow his more accomplished expressions of mystical concepts, Bop-Scotch seeming to reveal a hidden soul and life-force in “inanimate” objects, and Mandala presenting a compelling version of the centering meditation image.
Between 1957 and 1959, Belson collaborated with composer Henry Jacobs on the historic… read more