Yay for the Brothers Quay!

Back in the US and represented bigger than ever, the wonderful and enigmatic Brothers Quay (Stephen and Timothy) are the centerpiece of an upcoming MoMA exhibition. Featuring both a gallery exhibit and accompanying film retrospective, it’s the first presentation of the Quay Brothers’ work showcasing all of their disciplines.

As American expats in London with a design aesthetic influenced by Eastern Europe surrealism, the Brothers have been part of the avant-garde in stop-motion puppet animation and live-action movie-making for over 30 years.

I am a huge fan of their work. I’m mainly familiar with their film features and shorts, and I wrote about them in the curious g when they were the focus of a NYC exhibition in 2009.

This new MoMA show houses never-before-seen moving image works along with graphic design, drawings, calligraphy, objects, and works on paper. I’m anticipating the work to be amazing, and to provide me with a more complete picture of the Brothers’ unique voice and vision.

Quay Brothers: On Deciphering the Pharmacist’s Prescription for Lip-Reading Puppets
Museum of Modern Art ~ NYC
Members Preview now
Opens August 12, 2012 thru January 7, 2013

Some years back while visiting London, I was lucky enough to catch the Medicine Man exhibition at the British Museum. The exhibit spotlighted Sir Henry Wellcome, an entrepreneur and philanthropist, who amassed one of the world’s largest collections to capture human culture and history through medical eyes.

An introductory video for Medicine Man, The Phantom Museum, created by the Quays, beautifully documents the extraordinary assemblage of medical oddities and curiosities. For readers in or near London, the amazing Medicine Man exhibit is permanently on view at the Wellcome Collection: a free destination for the incurably curious.

Seems fitting.

Postscript: Apparently, The Phantom Museum video posted on YouTube and everywhere else infringed on the distributor’s copyright. Apologies to them. You can read about the film and view stills here.

Postscript 2: The amazing set for this BBC station ID is on view at MoMA in the exhibit. The concept was ultimately rejected. Too bad, it’s fabulous. Take at look.

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