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?