Hans Richter: Activism, Modernism, and the Avant-Garde

Overview

Few artists spanned the movements of early twentieth-century art as completely as did
Hans Richter. Richter was a major force in the developments of expressionism, Dada, De Stijl,
constructivism, and Surrealism, and the creator, with Viking Eggeling, of the abstract cinema. Along with Theo van Doesburg, László Moholy-Nagy, El Lissitzky, and a few others, he is one of the artists crucial to an understanding of ...

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Overview

Few artists spanned the movements of early twentieth-century art as completely as did
Hans Richter. Richter was a major force in the developments of expressionism, Dada, De Stijl,
constructivism, and Surrealism, and the creator, with Viking Eggeling, of the abstract cinema. Along with Theo van Doesburg, László Moholy-Nagy, El Lissitzky, and a few others, he is one of the artists crucial to an understanding of the role of the arts in the reconstruction era following World War
I.Most American scholars have focused on Richter's film work and have favored a strictly formalist approach that separates art and politics. The contributors to this book rewrite Richter's history to include his pivotal role in the development of the early twentieth-century avant-garde and his political activism. When Richter's work, particularly that of his earlier, European career, is viewed in its historical and political context, he emerges as an artist committed to the power of art to change the fabric of social, political, and cultural affairs.

The MIT Press

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Editorial Reviews

Martin I. Gaughan
This is a truly enhanced portrait of the activist artist as painter and filmmaker, detailed across the chronologically arranged essays. It is a major contribution to a still neglected strand of modernism. -- Martin I. Gaughan
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780262561297
  • Publisher: MIT Press
  • Publication date: 2/28/2000
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 341
  • Product dimensions: 5.60 (w) x 8.60 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations
Acknowledgments
Hans Richter: Prophet of Modernism 2
Abstraction, Autonomy, and Contradiction in the Politicization of the Art of Hans Richter 16
Hans Richter, Munich Dada, and the Munich Republic of Workers' Councils 48
Hans Richter: Constructivist Filmmaker 72
Hans Richter and the Constructivist International 92
Richter's Films and the Role of the Radical Artist, 1927-1941 122
Hans Richter in America: Traditional Avant-Garde Values/Shifting Sociopolitical Realities 160
Appendix Demonstration of the "Universal Language" 184
Chronology 240
Bibliography 280
Contributors 316
Index of Names 320
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