Viking Eggeling


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Swedish painter, draughtsman, and film-maker, born at Lund. After studying painting in Milan and teaching drawing in Switzerland, he moved to Paris in 1911. He met Arp in 1915 and soon afterwards moved to Switzerland, where he became a member of the Dada group in Zurich in 1916. In 1918 he met Hans Richter, who later said that they found themselves in ‘complete agreement on aesthetic as well as philosophical matters’, and they began collaborating on ‘scroll’ paintings consisting of sequences of images on long rolls of paper investigating transformations of a given geometrical form. By multiplying, transforming, and shifting the geometrical elements and combining them with curving lines, it was intended that the passage from one image to another would produce in the spectator the impression of continuous movement. After quarrelling in 1921, Eggeling and Richter went on to work separately on film animation. Eggeling moved to Berlin in 1922 and his Diagonalsymphonie, first shown there publicly in 1925, was one of the first purely abstract films. It was in essence an animated version of the drawings in the scroll paintings.

From A Dictionary of Modern and Contemporary Art in Oxford Reference.

Subjects: Art.

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