by Ozenfant & Jeanneret (Le Corbusier)
Paris: Les Editions G. Cres & Cie, 1924. Handsome volume of this publication of the Purism movement, a variant of Cubism. Bound in 3/4 red leather with marbled boards. Binding solid but a trifle dry, with a little wear, and red has darkened at spine. Marbled endpapers and elegant typographic bookplate of Theodore and Caroline Foster Sizer (Click here for a little biography of Sizer). The initials of the couple are on the base of spine. Small tear on endpaper. Some browning and light pencil notes inside. A nice copy.
Purism, referring to the arts, was a movement that took place between 1918–1925 that influenced French painting and architecture. Purism was led by Amédée Ozenfant and Charles Edouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier). Ozenfant and Le Corbusier created a variation of Cubist movement and called it Purism.[
Ozenfant and Le Corbusier ran an art magazine called L’ Esprit Nouveau spanning from 1920–1925 that was used as propaganda towards their Purist movement.
The Purist Manifesto is worth mentioning because it helps describe rules that Ozenfant and Le Corbusier created to govern the Purist movement.
- Purism does not intend to be a scientific art, which it is in no sense.
- Cubism has become a decorative art of romantic ornamentism.
- There is a hierarchy in the arts: decorative art is at the base, the human figure at the summit.
- Painting is as good as the intrinsic qualities of its plastic elements, not their representative or narrative possibilities.
- Purism wants to conceive clearly, execute loyally, exactly without deceits; it abandons troubled conceptions, summary or bristling executions. A serious art must banish all techniques not faithful to the real value of the conception.
- Art consists in the conception before anything else.
- Technique is only a tool, humbly at the service of the conception.
- Purism fears the bizarre and the original. It seeks the pure element in order to reconstruct organized paintings that seem to be facts from nature herself.
- The method must be sure enough not to hinder the conception.
- Purism does not believe that returning to nature signifies the copying of nature.
- It admits all deformation is justified by the search for the invariant.
- All liberties are accepted in art except those that are unclear.
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