Richter first created “experimentalism,” which identified art with science, then joined the Zurich Dada group 1916, after his first exhibition in Munich. His Dadaist period features his Visionary Portraits of 1917 and his black-and-white compositions portraying musicians. In 1919 he began painting “rotules,” long scrolls on which an abstract motif underwent a succession of variations; his film Rhythm 21 followed this principle. Moving to New York in 1941, he was a professor at City College and director of the Film Institute. His films were made in a surrealist vein, including Dreams That Money Can Buy (1944), where he gave Duchamp, Max Ernst, Man Ray and Calder the opportunity to express their vision. He had a retrospective oh his rotules at the City Museum of Amsterdam and wrote a book on Dada. In 1976 the Musée de l’Abbaye de Sainte-Croix at Les Sables d’Olonne, France, showed his Dada drawings and portraits. His retrospective in 1982 at the Academy of Fine Arts in Berlin, later presented in Zurich and Munich, surveyed him as a filmmaker, painter and art theorist. Another show at Palazzo Moretti in Locarno, Italy, in August 1989, emphasized his artistic output.
Born 1888 in Berlin; died 1976 in Locarno, Switzerland.