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Polish Animator Jan Lenica Dies

After battling a lengthy illness, the legendary Polish animator and artist, Jan Lenica died on October 5, 2001 in Berlin. He was 73 years old. Jan Lenica was born in 1928 in Poznan, Poland. He studied architecture at the Technical University of Warsaw. After leaving Poland, he moved to Paris and later to the U.S., where in 1974 he became a professor at Harvard University in Cambridge. In 1979 Lenica became the head of the animated films department at the University of Kassel in Germany. After leaving the University he remained in Germany, giving lectures in Berlin at Hochscule der Kunste between 1986 and 1994. He remained in Berlin until his death. Lenica is best known for his black animation comedies, MONSIEUR TETE, ADAM 2, RHINOCEROS, LABYRINTH and A, which explore the conflict of individuals struggling to express themselves within a stifling bureaucratic and violent world. Lenica was also famous throughout the art world for his unique film posters. His films and art have been exhibited throughout the world. He has been the subject of numerous articles and two documentaries. He was recently a guest of the Ottawa International Animation Festival, which held a retrospective of his films and an exhibition of his poster art in September 2000. Lenica had been at work on his first film in over twenty years when he died. (Contributed by Chris Robinson.)