Hans Richter
Guy Lochhead, 10/02/12
German avant-garde visual artist probably most well-known for his Dadaist video studies. In 1916 he was wounded and discharged from the German army. He joined the Dada movement Zurich and tried to politically charge it against the war through the medium of abstract film. In 1940 he moved to the US to teach and direct films. In his later life he returned to painting. Richter’s drawings have been praised as “the most typical works of the Zürich period of Dada.”. This seems like a fairly limited compliment. I’m not sure if I like or dislike his attempt at more overtly politicising Dada, but I suppose it was worth a go. His films are remarkable though as innovative, beautifully hypnotic, poetic image sequences, and are definitely worth a watch. Still, I feel his importance is limited and needs to be seen in a much wider context of European wartime art to be appreciated. Most children just aren’t ready to contextualise like that… Kids these days, eh? They say “dada” but do they know what it means? Idiots.

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