Constructivism (art)

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Poster by Mayakovsky.

Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy, which rejected the idea of autonomous art in favour of art as a practice for social purposes. This movement originated in Russia beginning in 1919, and had great effect on modern art movements of the 20th century, influencing major trends such as Bauhaus and the De Stijl movement.

Constructivism in Quote[edit]

  • [Constructivism is] not as a tool or even a specific method, but rather as a perfect union of the coming state and the movement’s ‘spiritual’ aims.
  • We know only what we do, what we make, what we construct ; and all that we make, all that we construct, are realities. I call them images, not in Plato's sense (namely that they are only reflections of reality), but I hold that these images are the reality itself and that there is no reality beyond this reality except when in our creative process we change the images: then we have created new realities.
    • Naum Gabo cited in: Eidos: a journal of painting, sculpture and design. (1950) Nr.1, p.31
  • The reality of our century is technology: the invention, construction and maintenance of machines. To be a user of machines is to be of the spirit of this century. It has replaced the transcendental spiritualism of past eras
    • László Moholy-Nagy, his quote on the spirit of the century (1921); as quoted in Abstract Art, Anna Moszynska, Thames and Hudson 1990, page 93
  • Everyone is equal before the machine.. ..everyone can be the machine’s master or its slave.
    • László Moholy-Nagy, quote on the machine-era (1922); as quotes in Abstract Art, Anna Moszynska, Thames and Hudson 1990, page 93
  • We believe that the elements in the chemical formula of our creative work, problem, invention, and art, correspond to the challenges of our age.
    • El Lissitzky (1967; 1980) El Lissitzky : Life, Letters, Texts. p. 378
  • Art must not be concentrated in dead shrines called museums. lt must be spread everywhere – on the streets, in the trams, factories, workshops, and in the workers' homes.
    • Vladimir Mayakovsky (1918) "Shrine or Factory?" ; translation from Mikhail Anikst et al. (eds.) Soviet Commercial Design of the Twenties (New York: Abbeville Press, 1987) p. 15.
  • My talent lies in the expression of my life and creative power through light, colour and form. As a painter I can convey the essence of life.
    • László Moholy-Nagy in: Art of the 20th century, Part 1 by Karl Ruhrberg, Klaus Honnef, Manfred Schneckenburger, Ingo F. Walther, Christiane Fricke (2000) p.178
  • Art is a spiritual function of man, which aims at freeing him from life’s chaos. Art is free in the use of its means in any way it likes, but is bound to its laws and to its laws alone. The minute it becomes art, it becomes much more sublime than a class distinction between proletariat and bourgeoisie.

See also[edit]

External links[edit]

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