Monday, November 7, 2011

Mattias Fausse-Monnaie on Eggeling and Richter

Mattias Fausse-Monnaie writes in with the following quote and comment:

"En déchiffrant ces notes programmatiques, on comprend que la peinture, en tant qu'inscription immobile, devenait un support trop étroit pour l'exploration d'un contrepoint généralisé des formes. […] Aussi Eggeling et Richter se tourneront-ils vers une écriture dynamique, d'abord sur des rouleaux où les dessins étaient disposés en séquences pour suggérer un déroulement temporel, […]."

Son et lumière
, catalogue centre George Pompidou, Paris, 2004, p 158

(In my translation: "In deciphering these programmatic notes, one sees that painting, being just marks frozen in place, was becoming too confining a medium for the exploration of a generalized counterpoint of forms. [...] Thus Eggeling and Richter turned toward a dynamic writing [mark-making], first on rolls of paper on which drawings were arrayed in sequence to suggest a temporal unrolling." The quote refers to abstract film pioneers Viking Egggeling and Hans Richter. More on them here.)

Mattias continues: "So, were Viking Eggeling and Hans Richter abstract comics' pioneers ? Probably… I'm curious to see it (if this proto-abstract comics always exist…)"

Andrei speaking now: Well, I don't know if theirs survived (I should look into it), but I know that one of the pioneers of abstract sequential art, Kurt Kranz, got to it by conceiving his images almost as storyboards for animation. See my earlier post on Kranz. In his case, the situation is inverse. I've heard that, later in life, he did transform some of his sequential pieces into abstract films, but I've never been able to track those down.

From the above link, which is well worth reading--Richter:


And please, if I may--compare the Richter to my piece here, for which it was certainly an inspiration.

Also, just a few days ago, I wrote "The relationship between abstract comics and abstract film needs to be further investigated." (in the Bea post). I'm glad we're beginning to do just that!

By the way, it's well worth checking out Mattias's new blog. Here is his piece, "D'après Poussin 1: les aveugles de Jericho":

--based on this image (I think):

Having also (but more cryptically) done an abstract comic based on a Poussin painting, I can totally dig it.


  1. another example of abstract comics inspired by abstract cinema is David Turgeon's Jardin botanique (samples here, "une sorte d’hommage “statique” à norman mclaren". (Derik Badman mentioned Jardin botanique in his recent post on Colosse.)

    a film by Norman McLaren: youtube.

    I'm enjoying the surge of activity on this blog recently.

  2. Merci beaucoup.

    In first, on the relationship between abstract comics and abstract films : in this catalog, a lot of things are a affinité spirituelle with abstract comics ; the most are abstract film's storyboards (' project), as those of Boris Bilinsky (Symphonie fantastique "musique en couleurs", 1931, p 180-185), Léopold Survage (Rythme coloré, 1913, p. 147 -- the different "panels" are separately drawn) or this of Viking Eggeling, p 157, for Diagonal Symphony (which really looks like abstract comics but it's not a of those rolls of papers…).

    Page 144, you can see a Duncan Grant's work, Abstract Kinetic Collage Painting with Sound -- 1914 --, which could be a great abstract comic strip (plusieurs bandes de papiers colorés se déplacent dans l'espace, d'une case à l'autre sur une longue bande de papier -- sorry for the french language…) but is rather a proto-abstract film : "Il était prévu que le papier se déplace lentement de la gauche vers la droite grâce à un mécanisme semblable à celui d'un Pianola, mais horizontalement, et non verticalement, et qu'il soit vu à travers une ouverture d'environ trente centimètres par trente, sur fond d'une musique de J S Bach" (this is a quotation from the exhibition catalog, p 144).

    More convincing are Fugue II of Josef Albers (1925, a Screenprinting !!) and une planche en couleur -- un genre de partition dessinée of Alexander Laszlo's Präludien, Opus 10, für Klavier und Farblicht, p 179 ; both aren't abstract film's storyboard. The first is a red strip where, de case en case, black and white lines move ; the second are different colored panels on a only planche : it looks like a great abstract comic !

    Sorry to write on pictural works without pictures !! :)

    About my blog's part, I would like to see your comic based on a Poussin Painting, if possible…

  3. Mattias--est-ce que t'as mon bouquin, "Nautilus" (publie par Fahrenheit, en Danemark)? C'est la troisieme histoire y dedans.

    Si non, envoye-moi un email.

  4. checking related areas such as color organs & the optophonic piano, I came across some fascinating information about visual means to synthesize sound: some of the images in this article are very close to being abstract comics.

    another (English) term which applies to abstract films is "visual music".

  5. @Andreï : non, je ne l'ai pas ; je t'envoie un mail alors.

  6. @Andreï : I love this work :
    Ces masses graphiques qui apparaissent "aléatoirement" ici ou là, dans les espaces-temps que constituent chaque case ressemble fort à ce que j'aimerais restituer en ce moment dans de futures bandes-dessinées.

    ps: Did you receive my mail ?


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