Rhythmus 21 (Rhythm 21)

Hans Richter

Berlin, Germany, 1888 - Muralto, Switzerland, 1976
  • Date: 
  • Edition/serial number: 
  • Media description: 
    16 mm film, also transferred to video (Digital Betacam and DVD)
  • Duration: 
    3 min. 25 sec.
  • Colour: 
    Black and white
  • Sound: 
    No sound
  • Category: 
  • Entry date: 
  • Register number: 

Hans Richter began his painting career in Dada’s Zurich group, but soon became involved in research and experimentation in the film medium, eventually developing a distinctive personal language. Richter is considered one of the pioneers of abstract cinema, and Rhythmus 21 (Rhythm 21) is one of the earliest works of abstract filmmaking still conserved today. Richter’s importance is not only because of the ‘pioneer’ label; it also owes something to his theoretical work on the film medium and how it interrelated with other artistic languages such as painting, poetry and so on. As far as Richter was concerned, all modern art revolved around concepts directly related to this medium: the dynamics of movement, form, colour, simultaneity and so on; themes that had previously been dealt with by Cubists, Futurists and even Paul Cézanne himself, applied to the plastic arts. The film centres around the movement of forms in space, rhythm, and the relationship that is created between forms by that movement.

Lola Hinojosa