Structural Analogies

2.1 Temporal Sequences

Following the rise at the end of the nineteenth century of tendencies to graphically depict movements, such as those in dance — as in Henri Toulouse-Lautrec’s portrait Miss Loïe Fuller (1893) — aspirations to integrate a free, abstract approach to artistic material, modeled on music and including its temporal dimension, intensified in the early twentieth century.

This happened, first, within the two-dimensional static image, as illustrated by the caption Painting with Time noted on the back of a painting by Walter Ruttmann (Untitled; 1918).

Musical terms such as fugue, rhythm, dance, and triad were also frequently used in painting titles, such as František Kupka’s Amorfa - Dvoubarevná fuga (Amorpha: Fugue in Two Colors; 1912), which is based on sketches of movement made at a ball.

In a second step, painters such as Hans Richter and Viking Eggeling attempted to expand the canvas, which they considered too static and limited; first of all by exploring in their scroll drawings relationships between color and form in terms derived from the musical model, also with regard to a temporal sequence. Eggeling thus described Horizontal-Vertical Orchestra (1919), his first scroll, as creating evolutions and revolutions in the sphere of the purely artistic (abstract forms), analog somewhat to events in music with which our ear is already familiar.[2] Ultimately, the concepts they had developed in painting led Eggeling, Richter, Ruttmann, and other painters to experiment with abstract film by the end of the 1910s.