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Lecture Review-Reconstruction: Purism in France

Lecture Review for Seminar

Adriana Quijas

on 30 May 2016

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Transcript of Lecture Review-Reconstruction: Purism in France

Lecture Review-Reconstruction: Purism in France
Main Idea: Purism
Purism: A Plan to Rebuild the Community
Purism as a response to a broken post-WWI French community that purposes the rebuilding of man, community, and nation through an analogy of well constructed practical objects.
Major themes:
Wholeness, community (Gemeinschaft), utilitarianism, purification through evolution
Direct Opposition towards Cubism
Cubism as a depiction of a fractured French society preceding WWI.
Its post WWI meaning intensified through destruction of French land.
Picasso, Cubism, and "Inappropriateness"
An example of puns and jokes in Cubism
Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Kahnweiler, 1910
Pablo Picasso, “Ma Jolie”, 1911–12
Cubism and a dangerous foreign substance
Cubism as not just the fracture of bodies, but of objects
Georges Braque, Violin and Pitcher, 1910
Criticism towards Cubism
Individual caprice and inappropriateness in times of community destruction
Lack of subordination towards community
Insensitivity towards community
French victory in WWI
How to Analyze Purism Paintings
Since these paintings do not immediately show a clear meaning, one cannot use iconography (symbolic representation) in beginning.
Steps in Analyzing Purism
1. Formal Analysis (usage of composition, lines, color, etc.)
2. Iconography
3. Allegory (an interpretation of an articfact to reveal a hidden meaning)
Purism: Its Themes and Sense of Community
Direct Opposition to Cubism's fracturing style
Usage of practical, simple objects and patterns
Even and comfortable distribution of objects
Usage of Architectural designs and planning
Sense of order and collectivity
All objects as whole and pure: wholeness of organ (nation)
Purism Manifesto and Evolution
Paintings, like an organ (nation), is whole, not fragmented.
Sense of Order as highest human comfort.
The value of objects as generational tools and collective production, not individual creation.
French design and production led to triumph over Germany
Success of French objects in war was created through their more "refined/pure" state of natural selection.
Successful adaption to war by France during WWI.
Charles-Edouard Jeanneret (Le Corbusier), Still Life with Stack of Plates, 1920
Marcel Gromaire, War, 1925
Amédée Ozenfant, Still Life with Glass of Red Wine, 1921
General Style of Purism
Angles in Purism
Axonometric drawing and Prototype
giving sense of 3D, but parallel lines depict a false sense of reality.
Chiaroscuro: gradual change in tone of lightness and darkness in a shape that creates a 3D sense of dimension
Although Cubism was considered a jarring self-capricious style of art, many viewers post WWI might have considered Cubism as a reminder or reflection of France's lost lives and towns. Therefore, Cubism reminds France of its loss instead of its overall victory.

Do you therefore believe Cubism is more of a capricious art form rather than a communal reminder of loss?
Although Purism was staunchly against Cubism's style, Purism used puns/jokes in their painitings like Cubism. Why do you believe Purism used this Cubist style?
The Viewer
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