Contrathemis

  • Dwinell Grant, Contrathemis, 1941, 16mm film, color, silent; 08:00 minutes, Smithsonian American Art Museum, © 1941, Jean O’Hart Grant, Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost, 1986.92.36

Exhibition Label
Dwinell Grant’s pioneering film Contrathemis is a stop-motion animation made from more than 4,000 colored-pencil drawings and paper collages that were individually photographed and sequenced on 16mm film. Geometric shapes swim across pulsating hues of rich color in a stylistic progression Grant labeled “organized field.” A dynamic lighting sequence was constructed using automobile headlights covered with colored gels to backlight each frame. Eager to break free from the margins of the page, Grant drove static compositions into motion, celebrating the infinite potential of shape, color, and time.


Watch This!: Revelations in Media Art, 2015
Title
Contrathemis
Artist
Date
1941
On View
Not on view.
Dimensions
Credit Line

Smithsonian American Art Museum

Gift of Patricia and Phillip Frost

Mediums Description
16mm film, color, silent; 08:00 minutes
Classifications
Keywords
  • Abstract – geometric
Object Number
1986.92.36
Palette
Linked Open Data
Linked Open Data URI

More from artist

1936
watercolor on paper
1938
pencil on paper mounted on paperboard
1948
watercolor and ink on paper
1937
watercolor and pencil on paper
1948
watercolor and ink on paper
1941
collage and crayon on paper

More Artworks from the Collection

2016
tambourines, pyrographic calligraphy on lambskin, acrylic discs and braided trim
2015
quartz crystal and sterling silver
1996
glass threads