cover image Constructive Concepts

Constructive Concepts

Rizzoli, Willy Rotzler. Rizzoli International Publications, $50 (332pp) ISBN 978-0-8478-1024-6

First published in 1977 and now reissued in a revised and enlarged edition, Swiss art critic Rotzler's cosmopolitan tour explores the divergent directions which the geometrical/abstract impulse can take. For Russian constructivists like Kasimir Malevich, squares and circles were signposts to a realm of mysticism, while, for German artists of the interwar period, geometric abstraction mirrored their rationalist faith that art could build a better, more beautiful world. Dutch members of the mathematically inclined De Stijl movement and American color-field painters investigated the nature of perception and physical reality. With 300 plates (nearly one-third of them in color), this survey covers much terrain: Italian futurism, French kinetic sculpture, Swiss concrete art, postwar developments in Britain, Germany, Eastern Europe. ( July )