European Animation

At the end of the 19th century  began new art movements such as cubism, futurism, dadaism and surrealism. At the same time photography was invented.

Avante Garde / Dynamism

Marcel Duchamp

  •  Born in France, american sculpture and painter
  • Explored surrealism, dadaism
Marcel Duchamp, Transition of Virgin into a Bride, 1912: Source

Giacomo Balla

  • Italian
  • Painter and poet
  • Explored futurism
Giacomo Balla, Dog on a Leash 1912 : Source

In early  20th century, cinema was a new phenomenon for artists

Why were they artists interested in this art movements?

  • Capturing movement in a new way.
  • It was the similar attitudes of people in early cinema; breaking away from the traditional arts and starting something new.

Walter Ruttmann

  • Born in Frankfort; Germany
  • Lichtspiel Opus 1  was thought to be the first screening of abstract animation – Showing movement and contains abstracts of colour and shape (Looking like brushstrokes)
  • Leonard Adelt comments his work as “seeing rhythm.”

Opus 1 by Walter Ruttmann

Viking Eggling

  • Swedish
  • focused on dadaism
  • His influences were opposites, exploring expressions
  • Used a ruler and a compass and shot work in the mirror

Diagonale Symphonie by Viking Eggeling

Hans Richter

  • Born in Berlin
  • Explored cubism & dadaism
  • Rhythm 21 looked at shapes and timings where it increases speed
  • The animation has cubist elements and is regarded as “Fourth Dimensional” by Theo Van  Doesburg due to the depth it creates

Rhythm 21 by Hans Richter

Oskar Fischinger

  • German
  • Has had a work span of over 30 years and commercial success with Studies 5 & 12
  • Due to living in Germany during World War II, abstract had to be renamed decorative due to Hitler’s demands.
  • Worked with Disney in ‘Fantasia’ however his experimentation style wasn’t appreciated by the company.

Studies 5 by Oskar Fischinger

Studies 12 by Oskar Fischinger

Komposition in Blau by Oskar Fischinger

Transformation through experimental and modern techniques.

Len Lye

  • Born in New Zealand
  • Colourbox made in England uses camera less film and involves drawing and painting straight on the film.
  • Trade Tattoos contained a discard documentary with stencils over the top.
  • Contained rhythm and jump cuts
Still from Colour Box. Source

Trade Tattoo by Len Lye


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