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Themesicon: navigation pathSound and Imageicon: navigation pathSounding Image

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spring 1912, when Delaunay began his «Windows Series», has survived. [22]

From painting to the moving picture

Alongside Delaunay's painterly approach, artists also tried to compose colour rhythms as real movement. Leopold Survage (1879-1968) designed over seventy studies for his film project «Rhythme Coloré» in 1913. This was a colour-rhythm symphony that was unfortunately never realized. Survage summed up his aims as follows in 1914: «After painting had liberated itself from the conventional objects of the outside world, it conquered the terrain of abstract forms. Now it has to get over its last, fundamental barrier - immobility, so that it can become an expressive resource for our sensations that is as rich and subtle as music. Everything that is accessible to us has duration in time, which manifests itself most strongly in rhythm, activity and movement […] I want to animate my painting, I want to give it movement, I want to introduce rhythm into the concrete action of my abstract painting, rhythm that derives from my inner life.» [23]


As well as Survage, the Swedish painter Helmuth Viking Eggeling (1890-1925) and the Dadaist and film pioneer Hans Richter (1888-1976) worked on this subject. The two men met in Zurich in 1918, and worked together for several years in their search for a universal language. Richter described this period as follows: «Music became a model for both of us. We found a principle that fitted our philosophy in musical counterpoint: each action produces a corresponding reaction. So we found a suitable system in counterpoint fugue, a dynamic and polar arrangement of conflicting energies, and we saw life as such in this model. […] Month after month we studied and compared our analytical drawings, which we had prepared on hundreds of sheets of paper, until we finally came to see them as living creatures that grew, and then passed away […] Now we seemed to be confronted with a new problem, that of continuity […] until - late in 1919 - decided to do something. Eggeling made one theme of elements into the <Horizontal-Vertical-Mass>, on long paper rolls, and I made one of the rolls into <Präludium>. [24]

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