Hans Richter‚Äôs pioneering Dada work Filmstudie was an early attempt to combine Dadaist aesthetics and abstraction and is a seminal work of early avant-garde cinema. Made in 1926 Richter‚Äôs film presents the viewer with a disorientating collage of uncanny false eyeballs, distorted faces and abstract forms. In a ballet of motion the film combines a playful tension between figurative and abstract forms both in negative and positive exposure.
Hans Richter was a key figure in the Dada movement based in Z?şrich during the First World War and a pioneering avant-garde artist and filmmaker. Together with his friend the Swedish artist Viking Eggeling, in the 1920s Richter began experimenting with film and went on to make several pioneering abstract works including Rhythmus 21 (1921) and the Dada-influenced Ghosts Before Breakfast (1928). After emigrating to America Richter taught at in the Institute of Film Techniques at the City College of New York and made two feature length films The Dreams that Money Can Buy (1946) and 8x8 (1957) featuring, and in collaboration with, artists such as Max Ernst, Marcel Duchamp and Jean Cocteau.
Hans Richter Filmstudie 1926 ¬© courtesy of FDK, Berlin