Meggs` History of Graphic Design Summary Ch.15

Suprematism is a painting style of basic forms and pure colour founded by Kasimir Malevich by creating an elmetnal geometric abstraction that was new and totally nonobjective, and seeking the supreme “expression of feeling, seeking no practical values, no ideas, no promised land.” He believed the essence of the art experience was the perceptual effect of colour and form and demonstrate that  by composing Black Square in 1913.

Art was given a social role when the Russian movement was accelerated by the revolution. In 1917, leftist artists turned their energies to a massive propaganda effort in support of the revolutionaries. Aleksei Gan made an early attempt to formulate constructivist ideology with his 1922 brochure Konstruktivizm that criticized abstract painters for “their inability to break the umbilical cord connecting them to traditional art” and boasted that constructivism had moved from laboratory work to practical application. Constructivist consisted of three principle. Tectonics to represents the unification of communist ideology with visual form. Texture, meaning the nature of materials and how they are used in industrial production. Construction symbolizing the creative process and the search for laws of visual form. The constructivist ideal was best realized by El Lissitzky, a painter, architect, graphic designer, and photographer where he utilized photomontage for complex communications messages.

The late summer of 1917, the De Stijl movement was launch in Netherlands. It was founded by Theo can Doesburg and was joined by other artists and designers. De Stijl artists sought universal laws of balance and harmony for art by working in an abstract geometric style and an expression of the mathematical structure of the universe. Mondrian`s paintings are the wellspring from which De Stijl`s philosophy and visual forms developed.

Russian suprematism and De Stijl movements were isolated form one another, yet both groups pushed cubism to a pure geometric art during the World War I. After the war, artists in other countries including Czechoslovakia, Hungary and Poland adopted their ideas. Russia and Netherlands remained a major influence for the visual disciplines throughout the twentieth century with their quest for a pure art of visual relationships. One of he dominant directions in graphic design has been the use of geometric construction in organizing he printed page. Pure line, shape and colour were used to create a universe of harmoniously ordered, pure relationships by Malevich and Mondrian.


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