Mary Ellen Bute: Centennial

Posted by | Conversations at the Edge | Posted on | March 15, 2007

Thursday, March 15, 2007, 6pm

Mary Ellen Bute, Color Rhapsody (1948).
Mary Ellen Bute, Color Rhapsody (1948).

A pioneer of visual music and electronic art, Mary Ellen Bute produced over a dozen short abstract animations between the 1930s and the 1950s. Renowned for their brilliant color, elegant design, and sprightly, dance-like rhythms, Bute’s films are at once formally rigorous and exuberantly dynamic; high modernism meets Merrie Melodies. 2006 marked the centennial of Bute’s birth and tonight’s program celebrates her artistic accomplishments with a short survey of her career, including Rhythm in Light (with Melville Webber and Ted Nemeth, 1934); Synchromy No. 2 (1935); Dada (produced for Universal Newsreel, 1936); Parabola (1937); Spook Sport (with Norman McLaren, 1939); Tarantella (1940); Polka Graph (Fun with Music) (1947); Color Rhapsody (1948); Imagination (Produced for Steve Allen, 1948); New Sensations in Sound (RCA Commercial, 1949); Pastorale (1950); Abstronic (1952); and Mood Contrasts (1953). Organized by the Center for Visual Music, in association with Cecile Starr and The Women’s Independent Film Exchange. 1934-1953, Mary Ellen Bute, US, ca. 70 min, 16mm.

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