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Current time:0:00Total duration:2:21

Léopold Survage, "Colored Rhythm: Study for the Film"

Video transcript

Leopold survives created this series called colored rhythm he had this idea about making an abstract film this idea that survives himself said to throw off paintings last shackle and that is immobility making painting move and part of that was related to other kinds of movement happening in the ever-growing cities at that moment the invention of the automobile the airplane the incredible spectacle of the city the lights and even the beginnings of cinema which first began in 1893 so when survived is thinking about making this film it's only about 20 years in to turn to the thing he knew best and that was drawing he chose a very smooth paper there was no resistance from bumps or bulges he started with a black ink he created a shape around the edges of the picture and then he filled it in with these very beautiful washes of watercolor ink is not water-soluble and then when he went back and with the watercolors it would stay in place and that allowed him to create these these beautiful washes one after another he captured one of the primary qualities of cinema and that is light they have a kind of glow a luminosity that is not dissimilar from what you see when you're sitting in a movie theater when you lay out the series you see how one shape feeds into another shape into another shape some of the critics at the time who knew these I talked about the relationship to something organic to plants things that swell and grow and deflate and grow again he made over a hundred drawings with the idea that eventually technicians would actually animate them he understood that he himself couldn't do it but unfortunately because of the onset of World War one the film was never actually made he was trained as a painter a very traditional painter but his ability to think outside of that training and to imagine something that he didn't have any idea of how to make is just an incredible act of risk that I think is crucial for this moment the the best artists are those that were able to take