Suzan Pitt

Suzan Pitt's works have pushed the boundaries of the animated film form, thriving in both the art world and the television, theatrical, and festival venues. She has had major exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Holly Solomon Gallery in New York, and the Stedlijk Museum in Amsterdam. She has designed two operas in Germany which were the first operas to include animated images for the stage (Damnation of Faust, and The Magic Flute). In addition, Pitt has created two large multi-media shows at the Venice Biennale and Harvard University.

A retrospective of her animated films was presented at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2006 and her films have been presented at the over 100 venues around the world, including the Film Forum in New York, Ottawa International Animated Film Festival, Sundance Film Festival, Morelia International Film Festival in Mexico, and the Image Forum Film Festival in Tokyo, Japan.

Her animated films have won many prizes worldwide including first prize at the Atlanta Film festival and the Oberhausen Short Film Festival along with the International Critic's prize, winning Best Short Film at the Naples Film Festival and the GOLDEN GATE AWARD at the San Francisco International Film Festival, and First Prize for Animation at the Morelia International Film Festival, Ojai Film Festival, and many others.

Pitt is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, a Fulbright Scholar Award, three National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Rockefeller Fellowship. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Walker Art Center, The Museum of Modern Art, and the Filmmuseum in Amsterdam. Her films have been broadcast on PBS, The Sundance Channel, Showtime, Channel Four in England, and PayTV in Germany.

Suzan Pitt currently teaches experimental animation at California Institute of the Arts. Suzan lives in Los Angeles, Mexico, and her remote cabin in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan.


(Suzan Pitt, 1979)

Asparagus clearly represents a major achievement of contemporary animated cinema.  It is a measure of its audacity, profound honesty, and uncompromising personal vision that it begins with an act of...


(Suzan Pitt, 2011)

Surrealistic and strange, cast in grainy 16mm images, the film Visitation allows an imaginary glimpse into the aura of “an outer-world night”. . .the visions in the film are summoned...


(Suzan Pitt, 1985)

ESO-S is an unfinished black and white 16mm segment using cel animation which was rotoscoped from footage of actor Guy Mitchison. Never shown before in a theatrical setting, the pieces...

The Damnation of Faust

(Suzan Pitt, 1988)

Pitt was the scenic and costume designer for this production of Hector Berlioz’s The Damnation of Faust which premiered at the State Opera in Hamburg Germany and was in repertoire...


(Suzan Pitt, 1971)

A sexual fantasy in a family setting, Crocus was animated with paper cut-outs and shot with a Bolex on the floor of the artist’s bedroom.  The film was included in...

Whitney Commercial

(Suzan Pitt, 1973)

Commissioned by David Bienstock, creator of the New American Film Series at the Whitney Museum of Art to raise funds for the second season of the series.  The film was...

Bowl, Theatre, Garden, Marble Game

(Suzan Pitt, 1970)

Pitt’s first 16mm film is a cut-out animation in four parts. The sound was originally created live into a Teac amplifier and microphone from the back of the theater. Inspired...


(Suzan Pitt, 2013)

Pinball is an experimental animated film of moving abstract paintings which I painted and animated during the past year with a digital camera.  The film visualizes my interpretation of George...

Joy Street

(Suzan Pitt, 1995)

An ambitious, astonishing story of a woman's journey from suicidal despair to personal renewal, with the help of an unlikely spirit guide. Joy Street is entirely hand painted and took...

El Doctor

(Suzan Pitt, 2006)

This visual animated poem travels between desperation and dark comedy.  El Doctor takes place in a crumbling Mexican hospital at the turn of the century in Mexico.  Inhabited by surreal...

Jefferson Circus Songs

(Suzan Pitt, 1973)

Created in the summer of 1973 in the basketball court of Jefferson High School in Minneapolis Jefferson Circus Songs uses both cut-out animation and pixilation to create a “circus” of...