- Hans Richter (artist)
Hans Richter (
April 6, 1888– February 1, 1976) was a painter, graphic artist, avant-gardist, film-experimenter and producer. [ [http://www.artnet.com/Magazine/features/oisteanu/oisteanu10-27-04.asp] Artnet.com- Valery Osteanu] He was born in Berlininto a well-to-do family and died in Minusio, near Locarno, Switzerland.
Richter's first contacts with
modern artwere in 1912 through the "Blaue Reiter" and in 1913 through the " Erster Deutsche Herbstsalon" gallery " Der Sturm", in Berlin. In 1914 he was influenced by cubism. He contributed to the periodical "Die Aktion" in Berlin. [cite book | author=Haftmann, Werner | title=Postscript to "Dada: Art and Anti-Art" | publisher=Thames & Hudson | year=1978 | id=ISBN 0-500-20039-4, p220] His first exhibition was in Munichin 1916, and "Die Aktion" published as a special edition about him. In the same year he was wounded and discharged from the army and went to Zürichand joined the Dadamovement.
Richter believed that the artist's duty was to be actively political, opposing war and supporting the revolution. His first abstract works were made in 1917. In 1918, he befriended
Viking Eggeling, and the two experimented together with film. Richter was co-founder, in 1919, of the Association of Revolutionary Artists("Artistes Radicaux") at Zürich. In the same year he created his first "Prélude" (an orchestration of a theme developed in eleven drawings). In 1920 he was a member of the November group in Berlin and contributed to the Dutch periodical " De Stijl".
Throughout his career, he claimed that his 1921 film, "Rhythmus 21", was the first
abstract filmever created. This claim is not true: he was preceded by the Italian Futurists Bruno Corraand Arnaldo Ginnabetween 1911 and 1912 [ [http://www.futurism.org.uk/cinema/cinema.htm Article on Futurist Cinema] ] (as they report in the "Futurist Manifesto of Cinema" [ [http://www.unknown.nu/futurism/cinema.html 'The Futurist Cinema' Manifesto, 1916] ] ), as well as by fellow German artist Walter Ruttmannwho produced "Lichtspiel Opus 1" in 1920. Nevertheless, Richter's film "Rhythmus 21" is considered an important early abstract film.
About Richter's woodcuts and drawings
Michel Seuphorwrote: "Richter's black-and-whites together with those of Arp and Janco, are the most typical works of the Zürich period of Dada." From 1923 to 1926, Richter edited, together with Werner Gräffand Mies van der Rohe, the periodical "G. Material zur elementaren Gestaltung." Richter wrote of his own attitude toward film::"I conceive of the film as a modern art form particularly interesting to the sense of sight. Painting has its own peculiar problems and specific sensations, and so has the film. But there are also problems in which the dividing line is obliterated, or where the two infringe upon each other. More especially, the cinema can fulfill certain promises made by the ancient arts, in the realization of which painting and film become close neighbors and work together."
Richter moved from Switzerland to the United States in 1940 and became an American citizen. He taught in the Institute of Film Techniques at the
City College of New York. [Haftmann, p222]
While living in
New York, Richter directed 2 feature films, " Dreams That Money Can Buy" and "8x8: A Chess Sonata" in collaboration with Max Ernst, Jean Cocteau, Paul Bowles, Fernand Leger, Alexander Calder, Marcel Duchampand others, which was partially filmed on the lawn of his summer house in Southbury, Connecticut.
In 1957, he finished a film entitled "Dadascope" with original poems and prosa spoken by their creators:
Hans Arp, Marcel Duchamp, Raoul Hausmann, Richard Huelsenbeck, and Kurt Schwitters.
After 1958 Richter spent parts of the year in
Asconaand Connecticutand returned to painting. [Haftmann, p222]
Richter was also the author of a first-hand account of the Dada movement titled "Dada: Art and Anti-Art" [cite book | author=Richter, Hans | title=Dada: Art and Anti-Art | publisher=Thames & Hudson | year=1965 | id=ISBN 0-500-20039-4] which also included his reflections on the emerging
Dadascope" (1961):"" (1957):" Dreams That Money Can Buy" (1947):" Vom Blitz zum Fernsenhbild" (1936):" Keine Zeit für Tränen" (1934):" Hallo Everybody" (1933):" Europa Radio" (1931):" Neues Leben" (1930):" Alles dreht sich, alles bewegt sich" (1929):"Everyday" (1929):" Rennsymphonie" (1929):" The Storming of La Sarraz" (1929):" Zweigroschenzauber" (1929):" Vormittagsspuk" ("Ghosts Before Breakfast", with music by Hindemith) (1928):"Inflation" (1927):" Filmstudie" (1926) with music by Darius Milhaud:" Rhythmus 25" (1925):" Rhythmus 23" (1923):" Rhythmus 21" (1921)
* Stephen C. Foster, "Hans Richter: Activism, Modernism, and the Avant-Garde" (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1998)
* Hans Richter, 'Towards a New World Plasticism' in Mary Anne Caws, [http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/0803264070 "Manifesto: A Century of Isms"] (Lincoln, Nebraska and London: University of Nebraska Press, 2001)
* [http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0725257/ Hans Richter at IMDB]
* [http://www.ubu.com/film/richter.html Hans Richter films at Ubuweb]
* [http://www.youtube.com/results?search=related&search_query=hans%20richter%20filmstudie%20experimental%20animation%201925%202006%20zven%20surealist%20dadaist%20abstract%20stop-motion&v=uZI5nF_fzPY Hans Richter at YouTube]
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