Harry Smith

Early Abstractions (1946 - 1952) 16mm, color, 23 min

Genre: Animation, Experimental

Keywords: spiritual / mystical

Early Abstractions is comprised of six films that vary in length from 2 to 5 1/2 minutes. The works were produced over a 7 year period from 1946 to 1952. As Jonas Mekas has said, "You can watch them for pure color enjoyment; you can watch them for motion- Harry Smith's films never stop moving; or you can watch them for hidden symbolic meanings, alchemic signs. There are more levels in Harry Smith's work than in any other film animator I know." Inspired by Native American cultures, jazz, the Kabbala, and surrealism, Smith assembled his own cinematic universe of shape, color, light and time. Early Abstractions reveals the whimsical, mystical side of experimental animation. To create No: 2 Message From the Sun, a film that Smith said "takes places either inside the sun or in Zurich, Switzerland," the artist applied round, removable stickers to the filmstock, painted the film, and then coated the surface with Vaseline. When the stickers were removed, the circles remained in outline and another layer of paint was applied. Thus as the film is projected, the circle' rhythmic patterns seem to travel and grow in intensity through the layering and merging of colors.

Rental: $90.00
16mm Rental: $90.00

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