Monday, October 26, 2009

Technology and Modernism: DE Stijl, Constructivism

De Stijl

De Stijl means the style for Dutch and also, the name of a journal that was published by Dutch painter, designer, writer, and Theo van Doesburg in Holland.

During the World War I, Netherland was remained natural, so Dutch artists were not able to leave the country thus the art was separated from the world.

Dutch designers used Frank Lloyd Wright's design, that was flat roof and overhanging eaves, in their own architecture. Also, they extend the principle in many different parts such as painting, sculpture, typography, furniture, interior ensembles, and architecture.

For Van Doesburg, interior space and architecture were considered as a sort of walk-in painting. Mondrian had similar ideas but more emphasis on harmony and balance. He used asymmetrical formal balance by using only straight horizontal and vertical lines and rectangular forms. He introduced the new conception of art as Neoplasticism or the “New Plastic” which means the general principle of plastic equivalency. In 1920, Mondrian and Van Doesburg designed a new cover for De Stijl. This new cover was provided Neoplastic idea. Mondrian also believed that art and life should be together that means art should not be separated from living.file:///Users/eunyoungan/Desktop/images.jpeg

Especially, for Van Doesburg, color was important. He used color for better understanding abstract arts of work. In his work, the color helps to reinforced integration, unity and balance. Van Doesburg designed the patterns for colored brick tiles in a Duch building and window composed of colored squares for another building.

Probably, Schröder House in Utrecht is the best known architecture for De Stijl project. This house has been built completely according to De Stijl principle. Especially, in the interior space, this building was created a “living” of work of non-objective art.file:///Users/eunyoungan/Desktop/180px-RietveldSchroederhuis.jpg


Constructivism was created in Russia around 1925. It started for Soviet Workers Club. The artist and designer Alexander Rodchenko (1891-1956) designed the reading room and furniture. This Soviet furniture was built in a workshop setting rather than commercially manufactured. These forms were standardized and used for collective values for the Communist society.

Kasimir Malevich (1878-1935) is the most representative artist for abstract non-object style of art. He used the term Suprematism and noted the similarity between the geometric rectangular form and the form of modern technology. Malevich helped the Suprematist through the school (UNOVIS). This school was not only recognition of the non-objective art but also, purpose of propaganda.file:///Users/eunyoungan/Desktop/images-1.jpeg

El Lissitsky (1890-1941) worked with Malevich at UNOVIS, he used the abstract art as a means to a political end. In 1922 El Lissitsky published as international journal of the new art “ object”. This journal had articles and photographs about fine art, decorative art, and industrial products.

Rodchenko was one of the artists who directly addressed collecitve social needs through his work. His works were shown through the organization INKHUK(The Institude of Artistic Culture). The concept of the “artist-constructor” was applied to his design. During the early 1920s, there was a change. The young Constructivists had turned to realism. The Constructivists hope that further developed the contribution of the “artists-constructor” in Russia. RodchenKo’s posters were very influenced in that period.

What do you think about the De stijl and Constructivism? These two movements were related and very influenced to the society. Do you think arts should be affect to the society, or not? What do you think the beauty from the abstract of object like De stijl principles?


Casey_Ekers said...

I find these movements pretty interesting. At first glance it seems very plain and flat but the more you learn you realize they are trying to use the simplest forms of art to carry the message across. The use of line and color to emphasis a wall or draw your attention around the room. In this simplistic design you can clearly see influences from Frank Lloyd Wright and how his ideas on geometry carry through.
The art of Malevich on the other hand seems very mechanized while it looks very similar to some works by Pablo Pacasso the colors and harsh sharp edges give the appearance of a very machine made piece of art. He incorporates some human figures into his works as well only adding to the propaganda that man and machine can be one and should work as one, a very soviet ideal.
I feel like these styles each have their own unique beauty which must be appreciated separate from other times.

Jenna Martini said...

What do you think about the De stijl and Constructivism? I believe it is rather interesting considering the new perspectives to go back to the use of art forms as well as line and color to create design success. Also, through the use of geometries through shapes and lines certainly inspire my designs today.

As for these two movements being related and very influential to the society, I do believe the arts should be able to affect how design is portrayed. Even today, we use line/color/art forms to create focal points within a room. It is the simplistic forms of art which I believe to be most interesting. Frank Lloyd Wright's furniture designs do not call upon complexity, but certainly bring to life true elegance.

De Stijl worked to create unity and harmony of design. He worked with straight lines (horizontal and vertical). Also, he worked with primary colors. He also kept design simple and I believe simple design to be beautiful. If all design were over-the-top nothing would ever be truly elegant.

jmboga2 said...

I am fond of the de Stifl and constructivism. To me, it is unique in what Casey said, at first glance it is plain and flat. But to someone who is familiar with elements and principles and can really analyze a space using those tools, it becomes a much more interesting and appreciated form. Frank Lloyd Wright really shines through because looking at his work in comparison, he never used ornamentation excessively or worked with extreme curvilinear lines, and that style of work is shown.
I definitely think art should affect society, and I wish it could more. If you look around the room, every object has a concept and design behind it. Design relates to art in the elements and principles, so people should learn to appreciate the affect of art in day to day activities because its everywhere we turn.
The art forms are very different, and to me differences are more beautiful than similarities. Doing something that no one else is doing is what attracts me in many aspects, especially design.

Abby said...

Art most certainly should affect society. As Jess said, art is all around us: it has been designed into every object to make the things we touch and use everyday beautiful and admirable. “Life is precious, or not.” If a lamp was always made the same way: a square black base with a medium white shade, we would not value it or give it more than a glance. Humans cannot live this way. We were born with creativity and passion for art and design, and as we are made we wish to share these ideas, forms, colors, and designs with those around us.
Similarly, society should—and always does—affect art, and design. The De Stijl movement was influenced by the mysticism surrounding the use of perfect geometric forms, as well as cubism. But I think it’s interesting that unlike all the other movements we’ve studied so far, the De Stijl didn’t have exhibitions, did not follow the guidelines of the Bauhaus, and didn’t possess characteristics of other “isms” (Cubism, fundamentalism). Instead it was simply comprised of a group of artists, architects and designers that believed straight lines, rectangles, squares, primary colors, and black and white produced architecture and furniture that expressed a utopian ideal of harmony and order. The furniture and buildings that came from this design style, to me, are so unique from previous styles, and will prove to hold their uniqueness after the movement has passed. The iconic Mondrian look of the buildings and chairs are something to behold, because they are such a clear departure from other designs.

caitlyn said...

I agree with Casey that the De Stijl is very interesting because of the manipulation of geometric shapes and planes. I too see a direct correlation between Frank Lloyd Wright’s geometric style and the De Stijl movement in the Netherlands. Van Doesburg’s Schroder House is a good representation of the De Stijl movement because of his use geometric shapes, horizontal and vertical planes and small amounts of color.
In answer to your question: I do believe that the art should affect the society. Especially in reference to the De Stijl movement because the style and technique was isolated and not influenced from other regions making it a direct representation of their culture/ country.

Vinti said...

I certainly believe that art is a strong influence on social reform and vice versa, as we have seen again and again in history. The DeStijl principle was all about striking a balance between universal and individual art. Similarly, constructivism tried to reconcile esthetics and social equality in Russia. Rodchenko’s Workers Club clearly represents the efforts and ideologies of constructivism- using art to reconstruct the society, artists and revolutionaries sharing common goals of transforming the values of society.

Art is powerful and can have deep lasting impact on individual minds as well as on the society and culture as a whole. As Jess pointed out, it’s everywhere around us. I think a deeper sense of awareness and respect for art is required among common people. This connection with art can be influential in bringing about social change…..especially after the economic changes we have witnessed in global society recently.

Malevich’s ideas on abstraction of art or non-objective art are interesting, something we see for the first time in history. That art can be interpreted in different ways is very appealing to me. Lissitsky used abstract art not only to convey universal spiritual expression but also for propagating social ideas (his poster “Beat the Whites with the Red Wedge” ) (Raizman, 174). The idea of abstraction has progressed since then and still holds strong in our society. To me, abstraction is the most important idea that precipitated from Constructivism.

Mark Leavens said...

The De Stijl movement, while interesting on it's own, it seems to be the start of the magazines to really push their ideals. The unique Ideals of harmony between art and architecture were very interesting to me.
I also felt that the artists and designers under the movement were very much similar in thought which helped the movement catch on for a time. But at the same time, they were all unique and interesting.
The fact that the movement was isolated to a small country made the strong statement of the movement possible

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