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POINT AND LINE TO PLANE

BY WASSILY KANDINSKY

KAN Dl NSKY
POINT AND LINE TO PLANE

THIS
1926

BOOK BY KANDINSKY WAS FIRST PUBLISHED IN


UNDER THE TITLE OF PUNKT UND L1NIE ZU FLACHE

AS THE NINTH IN THE SERIES OF FOURTEEN BAUHAUS BOOKS


EDITED BY WALTER GROPIUS AND L. MOHOLY-NAGY

Mi
Ml

nil Willi

'.

BBBaB

TRANSLATED BY HOWARD DEARSTYNE AND HILLA REBAY

KAN

Dl

NSKY

POINT AND LINE TO PLANE


CONTRIBUTION TO THE ANALYSIS OF THE PICTORIAL

ELE-

MENTS PUBLISHED BY THE SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM


FOUNDATION FOR THE MUSEUM OF NON-OBJECTIVE PAINTING NEW YORK CITY EDITED AND PREFACED BY HILLA REBAY

COPYRIGHT 1947 BY THE SOLOMON R. GUGGENHEIM FOUNDATION NEW YORK


PRINTED ATTHE CRANBROOK PRESS BLOOMFIELD HILLS MICHIGAN

CONTENTS
PREFACE

FOREWORD

13

INTRODUCTION
POINT

15

23

LINE

55

BASIC PLANE

113

APPENDIX

147

INDEX

199

Digitized by the Internet Archive


in

Solomon

R.

2011 with funding from

Guggenheim Museum

Library

and Archives

http://www.archive.org/details/pointlinetoplaneOOkand

.PREFACE
BY HILLA REBAY
Wassily Kandinslcy was born

Moscow, December

in

1866.

5,

he loved to paint. The effects of colours on him were deeply

Moscow and

of the sunset over the cupolas of

peasant

art,

As a

felt.

child,

The beauty

the intensity of colour

in

contrasting with the grey vastness of his native country,

enlightened his vision. After terminating his law studies at the age of

he was offered a professorship.

thirty,

of his
for

life,

he

made

the decision to

He

Munich to study painting.

final

In

refusing

it,

at

this turning point

abandon a safe career and to leave

later recalled this decision as "putting

period to long studies of preceding years."

After two years of painting

Academy where

Munich, he was admitted to the Royal

in

he studied under Franz von Stuck. This instruction, how-

ever, did not satisfy him

and

1902 he opened

in

own

his

closed two years later

when he undertook a four-year

France,

Belgium, and Holland.

Italy, Tunisia,

Upon

art school, which

series of travels to

his return

one evening there occurred at dusk the magical incident of


merely the form and tone values
nizing its subject,

by the

one of

his paintings.

he was not only struck by

its

fully

he

still

two years to

his

increased beauty but also


its spell.

crystallize this miraculous discovery.

used objective inspiration

in

seeing

While not recog-

superfluity of the object in painting, in order to feel

took him
theless,

in

to Munich,

It

Never-

the paintings of this period,

but only as a structural element, while the organization of form and colour

dominated these ab-

values, used for the sake of composition, already


stractions.

*This article on Kandinslcy by Hilla Rebay, Director of the


Painting,

New

York City, was originally published

the "Carnegie Magazine" under the

title

in

Museum

Pittsburgh

in

the

of Non-Objective

May

1946 issue of

of "Pioneer in Non-Objective Painting."

In

1910, Kandinsky wrote his

famous book "On the

Spiritual in Art,"

theoretical treatise, in which he established the philosophical basis of non-

objective painting. The following year he finished

and exhibited

his first

and

entirely non-objective canvases, which attracted world-wide attention

excited controversies of tremendous import. Between 1914


dinsky lived
In

in

1919 he became the director of the

Moscow

and 1921 Kan-

Russia where he acted in several official artistic capacities.

Museum

of Pictorial Culture

in

and, as such, founded the Institute of Artistic Culture for which

he wrote the recently published Culture Plan.

Moscow.

fessor of art at the University of

created the

Academy

In

In

was named pro-

1920, he

Moscow, he

1920, also in

became

of Artistic Science, of which he

vice-

president.

Later that year, Kandinsky returned to Berlin where, at the Wallerstein


Gallery, he exhibited his
his turning

from

more dramatic
infinite

lyrical

open-spaced canvases,

first

organizations of effervescent colour expressions to a

clarification of definite

value and form extension, as well as

first

established

in

Weimar,

diced authorities ordered


finally,

its

the next year, settled

his

death,

As

his last

line direction

contrast to colour

in

and the

intensity of the

1923 he perfected, with scientific precision,

presentation of colour technique.


haus,

form and space precision. With

care he studied the dimension of open-space

point. After

which one sees

in

December

He

his

marvelous

also taught at the well-known Bau-

later in Dessau, until 1933,

closing.

Kandinsky then

preju-

left for Berlin,

where he continued

in Paris,

when

his

work

but
until

1944.

13,

paintings prove, with intense concentration, Kandinsky increas-

ingly refined the precision of balance in the given

as the innermost powerful essence of

its

space of the painting,

rhythmic tension. Like every

creative painter of our day, he ceased to be satisfied with representation,

however
life in

artistic,

but

felt

more and more the desire to express

a cosmic organization.

principle;

and when he

He

was, however, the

first

his art

was

this conviction, in spite of

freedom

also the privilege of the painter,

he became one of the most violently attacked pioneers.

maintained

to proclaim this

realized that the musician's incorporeal

from earthly inspiration for

his inner

He

courageously

the all-powerful objective tradition

and mass

belief.

With

his

God-given freedom

creation of rhythm, he invented the

first

in

the

artistic,

esthetic

painting for painting's sake, and

not for the sake of informative make-believe, as had been the ideal of

He

the past.

found that a non-objective painting's rhythmic

creative invention, can be profound

if

have a strong ordering influence on the observer.

also

denied to representative painting, through

Yet

this

terns

its

This,

It

can

he found, was

imitative, lifeless limitation.

equally denied to those schematic, mediocre, condensed pat-

is

by most so-called abstract

removed from being


the scale

expressing

life,

done by a visionary master.

is

painters,

whose decorations are as far

art as the organ-grinder

is

from musicianship, or as

from the sonata.

The rhythmic law of constructive counterpoint, contained


masterpiece, sets into motion

in

a creative

through a rhythm displayed be-

life itself,

tween harmonies and the contrasts of colour and form, with which the
given space

is

beautified. In order to clarify, for the serious student of

painting, the existing counterpoint in the law of correlation, Kandinsky,

through intense concentration on these esthetic problems, undertook pro-

found studies, outlined by him

He

programs.

ments of

his treatises,

in

as well as

wrote extensively about the theoretical and technical ele-

this art.

These writings offer valuable tools to those who are

endowed and eager to express

their creative urge.

knowledge of counterpoint and technical elements


the layman

he

is

in

order to enjoy

expected to do

melody or a

is

this art.

At the same
is

not at

all

time, such

needed by

Without professional knowledge,

either to like or dislike the painting, as he

flower, which, like

all

beyond understanding and which,

all

would a

other God-given creations, are equally


like art,

Because the non-objective painter reacts

and

his culture

in

are simply there to be enjoyed.

intuitively to

a superior influence

realization of the universal law, thus enabling him to give his message,

this sensitive

and prophetic

artist of

our day has refined

his

senses to

receivership of those invisible, spiritual forces which he intuitively expresses.

He

then derives with subtle sensibility

spiritual

degree

domain which
in

is

his

indestructible

which he has developed

his

visionary inspiration from the

and

his

very own,

in

the

same

faculty to receive. Thereafter, his

creations develop with a wealth of variation those visions of beauty, which,

by laws of counterpoint, make

controlled
alive

The

and

message as endlessly

our day no longer responds to materialistic ob-

artistic expression of

jectives;

his artistic

original as nature itself.

it

has advanced to become spiritually creative.

No

longer must

the painter display a lemon to paint the beauty of an intense yellow; or

search the sky to contrast


all

it

with a lovely blue; nor must he anywhere at

hunt for earthly motives before he

now organize forms and


a given space, which

is

turbing

he

its

loveliness,

is

permitted to paint.

duction, the
vision of

still

is

canvas; so as to enrich

now

its

he can

beauty without

free to follow a higher evolution

who

beyond

miss their

possibilities

and

infinite,

through the painter's

esthetic expressions which are spiritually

conceived and of superior value. The eyes of the painter have been

ated to

vision,

dis-

shackled by the caveman's out-dated urge for repro-

freedom of art has become

new

will,

colours into the virgin-white, esthetic purity of

his

the pretense of make-believe. Unknown to some painters

epoch and are

At

liber-

freed from the bonds of imitation and the pretense of a

perspective make-believe, of a faked third dimension, to a visionary


reality.

The non-objective

artist

and a creator who deals with

is

a practical educator, the bearer of joy

eternity. His painting gradually elevates the

onlooker, through pleasurable realization of esthetic refinement, to har-

mony

containing order, which proves satisfying to the soul's need for

perfect peace.

The prophetic, immaterialistic ideal of the modern painter proclaims the

coming era of

spirituality.

subconscious desire of

ease of

life,

which

man

all

His reaching into the absolute emphasized the

men

to such advance. The increase

in

material

has accomplished by harnessing invisible forces of

electrical waves, rays, or atoms, has freed him now and has given him

time with which to direct


expression,
all

his aims,

to increase

and to contact the eternal

and yet so

utterly ignored

his cultural

realities of

and

esthetic

permanence, so close to

by most.

Non-objective painting helps to free the

human

soul

from materialistic

contemplation and brings joy through the perfection of esthetic enlight-

enment. Therefore, Kandinsky was not only a painter and

10

scientist,

but

also a prophet of almost religious significance.

conceived even before the utter

illusion

The ideal of

his art

proved by science, and before the reality of frequencies and


forces

was

of the density of matter had been


invisible

had opened the imagination of man to unlimited expectations. The

profound truth of Kandinsky's theories at once impressed those who were


equally capable of feeling esthetic enjoyment through his paintings
of realizing the Importance of Kandinsky's mission at

Since photography and motion pictures today record


or persons for practical or sentimental need, the

its

all

skill

of

and

advent.

events, situations,

modern man has

been freed from reproduction by hand, thus enabling him to cultivate a


higher stage

in

art expression by following his creative esthetic urge. His

eyes have

become

in-between

the

that

is

the essence of a non-objective masterpiece.

Such a masterpiece, due to those


appealing

in its

each other or to space.

each colour and design motive


acting and playing with

enjoyment, which

its

is

It

organized

everlastingly

and

contrasts, In

can be easily observed that


in itself,

while constantly re-

form or colour opponent. Thus

Out

lies in

it

brings restful

of such pleasures emerges the realization of the

the in-between, realized by following the motives and

discovering the meeting points of lines

harmonious

becomes

as peacefully uplifting as the observance of the infinity

is

of the starlit sky.

rhythm which

spiritual qualities,

endless combinations of colours, forms,

their relations to

span of the

sensitized to realize the rhythmic life in the

life

and forms,

in

contrast to a calm,

unit.

Contrary to the static form-ideal of painting which prevailed

in

the past

millennium, where the subjective object

was immediately perceived as a

whole and graphically recorded by the

intellect,

ively
in

always directed object-

earthward, the moving form-ideal of today sets into motion the eye

any desired direction of the rhythmic non-objective creation.

be mentally recorded or memorized

like

If

to

it

some the harmony of

order and beauty of these non-objective creative paintings


it

cannot

objective impressions because

points heavenward, as an expression of infinity.

diately obvious or appealing,

This

is

not imme-

gradually becomes evident to anyone

permanently exposed to their increasingly realized influence. Through


the onlooker subconsciously enfolds

his

this,

personal advance towards exacti-

11

tude and sense for esthetic beauty, finding


useful.

cannot cause such

is

soul

it

and lead

it

into receptivity of cosmic

power and

and conceived from the primary essence of creation.

loving Kandinsky's paintings,

of beauty with which he


non-objectivity

12

only,

the tremendous benefit derived from the non-objective masterpiece,

so intensely useful
In

immensely enjoyable and

spiritual evolution.

To unfold the human


joy

it

Because the objective painting contacts earthly matter

is

links

we

assimilate ourselves with expressions

us to a higher world. Kandinsky's

the message of Eternity.

message of

FOREWORD
It is

perhaps not without interest to remark that the thoughts developed

this small

book are an organic continuation of

Art." Since

in

At

have set out

the beginning of the

in this

World War,

Lake Constance and employed


both

my

this

direction,

my
I

book,

"On

spent three months

theoretic ideas, which sometimes

the Spiritual

must continue

time almost exclusively

in it.

Goldach on

in

in

in

systematizing

had been imprecise, and my

practical experience. In this way, a rather large fund of theoretic material

was assembled.
This material

recently has

came
I

it

remained untouched for almost ten years. Not

become

possible for

me

to develop

it

book

into existence.

have purposely condensed the questions which

have posed concerning

the beginning of the Science of Art, but these questions

pass beyond the

consistently

altogether.
lytical

quite

until

further. So, this

Here

when developed

boundaries of painting, and

finally

of art

seek only to point the way, to establish certain ana-

methods and, at the same time, to take synthetic values

into

account.

Weimar

1923

Dessau 1926

Kandinsky

13

FOREWORD
TO THE SECOND EDITION
Since 1914, the

tempo

of time seems to have been increasing

Inner tensions accelerate this


is

tempo

in all

spheres familiar to us.

possibly the equivalent of at least ten years of

in

speed.

One year

a "quiet," "normal"

period.

The one year which has elapsed since the appearance of the

first

edition

of this book should be looked upon as the equivalent of ten years. Further

advances

in

the analytical method and, bound up with

not alone

approach of theory and practice

forms of art expression, as well as

demonstrate the
this

in

in

this, in

painting

itself,

the synthetic

but

in

other

the "positive" and "spiritual" sciences

correctness of the principle which forms the basis of

book.

The further development of

this

book at the present time would have

involved the addition of numbers of special examples

which would have increased


reasons,

it

its size

and comparisons,

to such an extent that, for practical

had to be abandoned.

Consequently,

decided to leave the second edition unchanged.

Dessau

January 1928

14

Kandinsky

INTRODUCTION

15

Every phenomenon can be experienced


not arbitrary, but are
its

in

two ways. These two ways are

bound up with the phenomenondeveloping out of

The Outer
and
the Inner

nature and characteristics:


Externally

inwardly.
or

The street can be observed through the windowpane, which diminishes


sounds so that

its

movements become phantom-like. The

street

itself,

its

as

seen through the transparent (yet hard and firm) pane seems set apart,
existing

and pulsating as

As soon as we open the


the outside reality,

ence

its

tonality

if

"beyond."

door, step out of the seclusion

we become an

pulsation with

all

and plunge

active part of this reality

and

into

experi-

our senses. The constantly changing grades of

and tempo of the sounds wind themselves about

us,

rise spirally

and, suddenly, collapse. Likewise, the movements envelop us by a play of


horizontal

patches

and

pile

vertical lines

up and

The work of Art mirrors


ever,

its

bending

in

different directions,

as colour-

dissolve into high or low tonalities.

itself

upon the surface of our consciousness. How-

image extends beyond, to vanish from the surface without a trace

when the sensation has subsided.


like partition,

as well. Here, too,


ticipate actively,

Aside from

A certain transparent,

but definite glass-

abolishing direct contact from within, seems to exist here


exists

the possibility of entering art's message, to par-

and to experience

its scientific

value, which

its

pulsating-life with all one's senses.

depends upon an exact examination

Analysis

of the individual art elements, the analysis of the art elements forms a

bridge to the inner pulsation of a work of art.

The general viewpoint of our day, that

it

would be dangerous to "dissect"

art since such dissection would inevitably lead to art's abolition, originated
in

an ignorant under-evaluation of these elements thus

primary strength.

laid

bare

in their

17

Painting

In

and
Other Art

enough, assumes a special position

among

Expressions

pression. Architecture, for example,

by

reference to analytical examinations, the art of painting, strangely

utility,

consequently requires from

scientific capacities. Music,

tion of
stract,

its

its

the various forms of art ex-

nature closely bound up with

very start a certain degree of

which serves no practical use (with the excep-

march and dance music) and which has


has long developed

but, nevertheless,

it

its

now remained ab-

until

theory; perhaps so far

it is

only one-sided

constantly being developed. Thus these two dia-

is

metrically opposite forms of art expression have

scientific basis

about

which ro one seems to feel offended.

If

respect the other art expressions have remained more or less

in this

backward,
artistic

Theory

it

is

always

in

development.

advanced with almost fantastic

Painting, especially, has


last

the degree of development relative to the

decades, and

strides during the

has only recently been freed from practical meaning

it

and liberated from the necessity of responding to the many purposes


had

earlier

been forced to serve.

demands that an exact

scientific

means and purposes of


advance

In Earlier

Times

It

is

impossible

It

has attained a level which imperiously

examination be

painting.

made about

Without such an

the pictorial

investigation, further

either for the artist or the general public.

can be assumed with complete certainty that painting was not always

lacking in theory as
scientific

it

is

today. The beginner was taught that certain

knowledge formerly existed, not merely covering purely technical

matters, but certain principles of composition as well, and that to


extent, facts concerning the elements, their nature

general knowledge to the

media,

etc.) of

For instance: the use

construction

18

which

recently

in

of

in

some

and application were

artists. 1

With the exception of the purely technical

it

many have been found

recipes

(printing,

binding

only within the last twenty

composition of the three primary planes as the basis for the

picture.

The remnants of these principles were used

the art academies, and possibly

still

are

in

use today.

until

quite

years 1 and which,

Germany

in

the development of colours, very


of this earlier knowledge

developed science of
sionists

against
the

first

It

last

is

may even have

represented a highly

a strange fact that although the impres-

remnants of painting theory

"academicism," they immediately

is

role in

has been transferred to our time

little

though

foundation stone of a new science of

that nature

One

which

art.

destroyed the

have played a certain

especially,

art,

in

their fight

unconsciously

laid

despite their contention

the only theory for art.2

new science

of the most important tasks which the

of art could set

Art

for itself would be a thorough analysis of the history of art; to determine

History

the elements, construction and composition


different people on the

various periods

in

among

one hand and, on the other, to ascertain the

growth within the scope of these three questions: the direction, the rate
of speed, and the necessity underlying the enrichment
impulsive development
as,

perhaps, a

wave

which

line.

and the apparently

possibly pursues a definite evolution such

While the

first

the

part of this task

analysis

borders on the problems of the "positive" sciences, the second part


nature of the development

touches

the

problems of philosophy. This

the

creates a focal point of lawful measure of the

human development

in

general.

It

should be noted

edge of
this

earlier art

in

passing that the revealing of the forgotten knowl- "Dissection"

epochs can be accomplished only with great

effort,

but

should decisively eliminate the fear of the "dissection" of art. For,

"dead" precepts

lie

so deeply buried

great difficulty can be brought to

in living

light,

if

works that they only with

then their "injurious" effects are

nothing other than the fear which arises from ignorance.

See, for example, the valuable work

geschichte der Maltechnik," 5 parts,


In

by Ernst Berger

Georg

D.

W.

"Beitrage

lur

Entwicklungs-

Callwey Verlag, Munich.

the meantime, a voluminous literature dealing with these questions has sprung up.

Recently there appeared that extensive work by Dr. Alexander Eibner

und Werkstoffe der Wandmalerei vom Altertum

bis

zur

Neuzeit,"

"Entwicklung

Verlag

B.

Heller,

Munich.

2 Very soon

after

isme" (published

this,

in

appeared

Germany by

P.

Signac's book:

"De Delacroix au Neo-lmpression-

Axel Juncker, Charlottenburg, I9I0).

"|9

Two Goals

The researches which must become the cornerstone of the new science
the science of art

I.

have two goals and

the need for science

in

proceed out of two

necessities:

general which grows spontaneously out of a

non- or extra-utilitarian urge to know: the "pure" science, and


2.

the need of balance

in

two schematic heads

the creative powers which can be grouped under


intuition

and

calculation: the "practical" science.

Standing at present at the very beginning of


us

today as a labyrinth going

distant fog. Since

ment,

it

we

this research, it

off to all sides

appears to

and disappearing

are absolutely unable to predict

its

into

further develop-

must be started very systematically, for which a clear plan

is

necessary.

Elements

The

first

unavoidable question

is,

naturally, the question of the

art ele-

ments) which are the building materials of works of art and which, as
must be different

We

in

every

such,

art.

must at the outset distinguish basic elements from other elements,

elements

viz.

come

without which a work

in

any particular art cannot even

into existence.

The other type of elements must be termed secondary elements.

In

both cases

it

is

necessary to carry through an organic gradation of

the elements.

This

book

will

deal with two basic elements which are the very beginning

of every work of painting, and without which this beginning

At

20

the

same

is

not possible.

time, they constitute the conclusive material for

pendent kind of painting

graphic.

an inde-

We

must, therefore, start here with the proto-element of painting

the

Research

The ideal of

1.

all

research

is:

precise investigation of each individual

2. the reciprocal effect of


3.

The Course
of the

Point.

phenomenon

phenomena upon each other

in isolation,

combinations,

in

general conclusions which are to be drawn from the above two divisions.

My

objective in this book extends only to the

in this

book does not

first

two

parts.

cover the third part which,

suffice to

The material
in

any case,

cannot be rushed.

The investigation should proceed


precise manner. Step

by

the smallest alteration

in

step, this

in

a meticulously exact and pedantically

"tedious" road must be traversed

the nature,

in

the characteristics,

in

not

the effects

of the individual elements should escape the watchful eye. Only by

means

of a microscopic analysis can the science of art lead to a comprehensive

beyond the confines of art

synthesis, which will extend far

of the "oneness" of the

This, after all, is

"human" and the

into the realm

"divine."

the perceptible goal, though

it

nevertheless

lies

far in the

future.

Concerning
initial

this special task,

work through with

The aim of

this small

not only lack the strength to carry the

sufficient exactitude,

book

is

merely to point out,

but lack space, as


in

well.

Purpose
of this

Book

a general and funda-

mental way, the "graphic" basic elements viewed:

1.

"abstractly,"
terial

2.

i.e.

isolated from the objective environment of the

ma-

form of the material plane, and

on the material plane

the

effect of the

fundamental characteristics

of this plane.

But even this must be restricted to a rather superficial investigation

an attempt to find a standard method

and to

test

it in its

use.

in this scientific

as

research of art

21

POINT

23

The geometric point

is

an

invisible thing. Therefore, it

an incorporeal thing. Considered

in

must be defined as

terms of substance,

it

equals zero.

The
Geometric
Point

Hidden
in

in this zero,

nature.

We

however, are various attributes which are "human"

think of this zero

greatest possible brevity,

i.e.,

the geometric

point

in relation

to the

to the highest degree of restraint which,

nevertheless, speaks.

Thus

we

look

upon the geometric point as the ultimate and most singular

union of silence and speech.

The geometric point has, therefore, been given


first

In

instance, in writing.

It

its

material form,

in

the

belongs to language and signifies silence.

the flow of speech, the point symbolizes interruption, non-existence

(negative element),

and at the same time

existence to another (positive element).

it

In

forms a bridge from one

writing,

this

constitutes

The
Written

Word

its

inner significance.

Externally,

merely a sign serving a useful end and carries with

it is

it

the

element of the "practical-useful," with which we have been acquainted


since childhood. The external sign

becomes a thing of habit and

veils

the

inner sound of the symbol.

The inner becomes walled-up through the outer.

The point belongs to the more confined

circle

nomena

is

with

its

traditional sound, which

of habitual everyday phe-

mute.

The sound of that silence customarily connected with the point

emphatic that

All

it

appearances that are traditionally familiar because of

expression,

become mute

to us.

are surrounded by silence; so


efficiency."

is

so

Silence

overshadows the other characteristics.

We

their singular

no longer react to their appeal and

we succumb

to the deadly grip of "practical-

25

Shock

Sometimes an unusual shock

is

able to

jolt

us out of such a lifeless state

into vigorous feeling. Frequently, however, the most thorough shaking


fails

to revitalize the deadly condition. The shocks which

come from

with-

out (sickness, accident, sorrow, war, revolution) wrench us violently out of


the circle of our customary habits for a shorter or a longer time, but such
shocks are, as a rule, looked upon as a more or less violent "injustice."
Therefore, the desire to re-establish as soon as possible the traditional

abandoned, outweighs

habits, temporarily

From
Within

all

other feelings.

Disturbances originating from within are of a different character; they


are brought about by the
their

human being

himself and, therefore, find in him

appropriate foundation. This foundation

is

not the capacity merely

although

hard and firm

to observe the "street" through the fragile

"pane of

glass," but consists of being able to enter the street. There, the

receptive eye and the receptive ear transform the slightest vibrations into
impressive experiences. Voices arise from

Just as

an explorer penetrates deeply

makes discoveries

the everyday

in

life,

all sides,

into

and the world

new and unknown

and the

erstwhile

lifeless signs turn into living

Naturally, the

new science of

symbols and the dead

retic"

who

is

unable to accomplish

and the "practical"

efforts spent

on art

mankind and

art.

is

In this

way,

signs

become

silence to

leave both the "theo-

art alone; far from building a bridge, those

rather, enlarge the present

will,

It

in

this,

one

revived.

way from

symbols and the receptive eye and ear open the


speech. Let him

is

when the

art can only develop

lands,

mute surroundings

begin to speak a language which becomes increasingly clear.


the

rings.

these very people

day chasm between

who are today

intent

upon

placing a period after the word "art."

Release

As we gradually tear the


influence,

26

selves

its

point out of

inner attributes

heard more and more.

which

its

were

restricted sphere of
silent

until

now-

customary

make

them-

One

after the other, these qualities

depths of

its

inner

dead point becomes a

In short,

the

We

select

I.

Let the point be

easily the resistances they set up.

living thing.

is,

moved out

an

of

practical-useful situation into

its

apparent that

it is

the second sentence


stress

In

upon the

it

as a useful one

still

moment and

illogical, in

its

is

moved

Let the point be


loses

In this

Am

I.

pure form,

going to the movies

in

the

is

at work. This

may be

inner value of the point flashes

immediately extinguished.

so far out of

its

practical-useful situation that

case, the point must have considerable

delicate

going to the movies.


going. To the movies

connection with the flow of the sentence.

its

Case

emphasis upon the destination,

Today

order that

First

intention, loud fanfare.

explained as a typographical error

2.

am
am

possible to view the transposition of the point

the third sentence the

forth for a

an

illogical, position.

Today
Today
Today

is

of the

two typical cases from many possible ones:

impractical, that

It

come out

being and radiate their energy. Their effects and influence

upon human beings overcome ever more

will

tensions

may have

sound

overpowered

resonance.

sound of the print

and more powerful

is

size

going to the movies

open space around

In spite

by the sound of the

As the surrounding space and the

am

of

this, its

it,

in

sound remains

print surrounding

it.

of the point are increased, the

reduced and the sound of the point becomes clearer

(Fig. 1).

Second
Case

Further
Release

27

Fig. 1

besides

double sound

association.

a balancing of two worlds which can never meet or agree.

This

is

foreign

Independent Being

Thus arises a

It is

print-point

the

useless, revolutionary state of affairs

body which cannot be brought

any

into

Nevertheless, the point has been torn out of

its

pares to leap out of one world into another.

independent being and


purposeful one. This

Collision

The point

is

is

its

print

shaken by a

is
it.

customary state and pre-

In

the latter,
it

begins

subordination transforms

it

frees itself

as an

its life

itself into

an

inner-

the world of painting.

the result of the

initial collision

of the tool with the material

plane, with the basic plane. Paper, wood, canvas, stucco, metal

may be

serve as this basic plane. The tool


etching-point, etc. The basic plane

Concept

practical-useful

relation to

from dependency, from the practical-useful. Here

Through

the

The point's external concept

in

is

burin,

pencil,

impregnated by

painting

may

brush,

all

pen,

this first collision.

not precise. The invisible geo-

is

metric point must assume a certain proportion when materialized, so as to

occupy a certain area of the basic plane.


boundaries or outlines to separate
This goes without saying

it

In

from

addition,

its

it

must have certain

surroundings.

and appears very simple at

first.

But even

in this

simple case, one immediately runs up against inaccuracies which indicate

the embryonic state of the art theory of today.

As the sizes and shapes of the point change, the

28

abstract point likewise

is

altered.

relative

sound of the

Externally, the point


this definition

is

may be

not exact.

defined as the smallest elementary form, but

It is

difficult to fix

Size

the exact limits of the con-

cept "smallest form." The point can grow and cover the entire ground
plane unnoticed

then,

where would the boundary between point and

plane be?

There are two considerations to be borne

1.

2.

in

mind here:

the relation of the size of the point to the size of the plane, and
the relative sizes of the point and of the other forms on this plane.

A form

which,

when on the otherwise empty basic

plane,

may

still

be con-

sidered to be a point, must be termed a plane when, for example, a very


thin line

appears with

it

upon the basic plane

(Fig. 2).

Fig.

The relation of

sizes in

the

first

and second case determines the concep-

tion of the point which, at present,

only

since

we

lack

can be tested on the basis of feeling

an exact numerical expression for

it.

29

At the
Boundary

Only by
its

feeling, are

extreme

boundary

limit

its
is

to determine

and to evaluate

indeed,

moment when

we able

the crossing of

this.

when the point

This

approaching

is

approach to the external

somewhat, the attainment of that

it

the point, as such, begins to disappear and the plane

stead embarks upon

its

embryonic existence

this instant

in

of transition

a means to the end.

In this

case, the

emphasis on

its

end

the veiling of the absolute sound of the form: the

is

dissolution, the note of imprecision in

movement

the positive

ing, the tension,

(or the negative,

the abnormality

in

as the case

it,

may

the abstraction, the

the instability,
be), the flicker-

of inner over-

risk

lapping (the inner sounds of the point and the plane collide with each
other, fuse,

and then

a dual note

recoil),

in

a single form

that

the

is,

creation of a double sound by a single form. The multiplicity and complexity in expression of the "smallest"

changes

in its size,

form attained, after

Abstract

and depth of expression of abstract forms. Upon

Form

opment of

this

means of expression

of the receptivity of the observer,

in

will surely, in

numerical terms

will

and
Formulae

A
its

very much

warm

arms.

bonds of usage
values and,

On
is

the future, and further development


will

be necessary,

only one danger: that the numerical expression

lag behind the sensory perception


is

further devel-

here be indispensible.

There resides

formula

slight

time, be attained through measurement. Expression

Numerical

in this

in

more precise concepts

Expression

foolish fall victims.

by

serve to the receptive mind as a plausible example of

the power

and these

all,

It

is

and that

it

may, thereby,

glue.

like

an overstuffed chair which embraces one

It is

it.

also akin to flypaper to which the

like

in

the other hand, the struggle to free oneself from the

the necessary preparation for the further spring to

finally,

may

inhibit

to

new formulae. Even formulae become

new

obsolete, to

be replaced by new-born formulae.

Form

The second inevitable fact concerns the outer


determines

its

the point which

external form.

Abstractly or imaginatively, the point

30

limit of

ideally round. In actuality,

it

is

is

thought of as ideally small,

an ideally small

circle.

Nevertheless, just

as

In

the case of

its size, its limits

are equally relative.

In its

the point can assume an unlimited number of shapes:

jagged,
finally

it

can move

in

material form,

it

can become

the direction of other geometric forms,

develop into entirely free shapes.

It

and

can be pointed and tend

towards the triangular. Or, prompted by an urge for relative immobility,


it

can take on the shape of a square.

When

it

has a jagged edge, the

elongated projections can be of smaller or larger size


relationship to one another.

realm of points

is

and take on a

Here no boundaries can be

fixed

and the

unlimited (Fig. 3).

Fig.

Examples of point forms.


Therefore, depending on the size and form, the basic sound of the point

Basic

variable. This variability should, nevertheless, be understood in no other

Sound

is

sense than as a relative innermost colouration of the basic inner nature,

which yet rings

It

its

pure tone.

must, however, always be emphasized that elements completely pure in

tone which radiate a single colour do not really

that even those

exist;

Absolute

Concepts

elements designated as "basic" or "proto-elements" are not primitive but


are, on the contrary, of a

complex nature.

All

concepts having to do with

the "primitive" are likewise only relative concepts.

guage

is,

Our

therefore, equally but relative. The absolute

"scientific" lan-

we do

not know.

31

Inner

Concept

At the beginning

of this chapter,

in

the course of the discussion of the

practical-useful value of the point in written language, the point

was

defined as a concept linked with the idea of silence of shorter or longer


duration.

The point, as such, makes a certain statement which

is

organically bound

up with the utmost restraint.

The point
It

Its

the innermost concise form.

turned inwards.

is

when
Tension

is

never completely loses

It

tension

is,

even

in its last analysis,

concentric

The point

and the
is

a small world cut

arises

in

cases where

it

a double resonance of the

Its

less

equally from

all

sides

and

fusion with the surroundings

is

non-existent in cases of perfected roundness.

maintains

it

more or

surroundings.

and seems to be

the other hand,

slightest

its

off

itself firmly in

tendency to movement

zontal or vertical. Furthermore,

Plane

even

eccentric.

almost torn out of


minimal,

concentricalso,

whereby

exhibits eccentric tendencies,

On

this characteristic

assumes, externally, an angular shape.

it

concentric tension discloses

in
it

its

place and reveals not the

any direction whatsoever,

either hori-

Only

neither advances nor recedes.

inner kinship with the circle

while

its
its

further characteristics rather point to the square.1

Definition

The point digs

itself into

the plane and asserts

presents the briefest, constant,

itself

for

innermost assertion:

all

time. Thus

short, fixed

it

and

quickly created.

Therefore, the point,

outer and inner sense,

in its

is

the proto-element

of painting and especially of the "graphic." 2

For the

relationship

between colour and form elements consult

Grundelemente der Form"

in

"Staatl.

my

article

"Die

Bauhaus I9I9-I923," Bauhaus-Verlag, Weimar-

Munich, p. 26 and colour plate V.


is

that

"beginning" or "origin." The geometric and the pictorial views coincide.

The

32

"O" meaning

2 There
is,

point,

a geometric designation of the point by means of an

when looked upon as a symbol,

Zeichenbuch" by Rudolph Koch,

II

is

also

Edition, Verlag

"origo,"

termed the "proto-element." ("Das

W.

Gerstung, Offenbach a. M., I926.)

The concept, element, can be understood

Externally,
ly, it is

two different ways: as an

in

'Element"

and

an inner concept.

external, and, as

Element

each individual graphic or

form

pictorial

is

an element. Inward-

not this form itself but, rather, the tension within

it,

which consti-

tutes the element.

In fact,

no materializing of external forms expresses the content of a work

of painting but, rather, the forces

= tensions which

are alive within

by some magic command these tensions were to disappear or to

If

the work, which

is

alive at that very instant,

would

die.

On

it.

expire,

the other hand,

every accidental grouping of several forms could be called a work of art.

The content of a work of art finds


in

is,

sum of the

the

its

This seemingly simple statement has


it

day

but the present day

acceptance or rejection of
those persons

1.

a highly important, fundamental

divides into these two opposing groups not only the present

significance:
artists,

expression in the composition: that

tensions inwardly organized for the work.

men

altogether, depending

who recognize not

only material things but also the

existence of the immaterial or spiritual,

those

2.

who choose

on their

it:

and

to accept nothing beyond material evidence.

For the second category, art cannot exist and, consequently, these people

today repudiate the very word "art" while seeking a substitute for

To my way of
that

is,

thinking,

one might distinguish element from "element":

the term "element" would signify the form separated from the

inner tension,

and by element, the tension

elements are, therefore,


"abstract."

If

it

in

reality abstract,

alive within this form.

while the form

in

is

The
itself

were actually possible to work with abstract elements,

the external form of contemporary

it.

painting

would

become

radically

See Heinrich Jacoby, "Jenseits von 'musikalisch' und 'unmusikalisch'," Stuttgart, Ver-

lag

F.

Enke,

I925. Difference between "matter"

and "sound-energy"

(p. 48).

33

altered. Nevertheless, this would not

become

that painting as a whole would

superfluous: even the abstract elements of painting would retain

do the elements of music.

their pictorial colouration as

Time

mean

Lack of joyous mobility on and

off the surface,

perception to a minimum; the element of time

reduces the time


the point

in

pletely eliminated which, in special cases of composition,


inevitable.

in Painting

Even at present there

some

exist

art theorists

painting. They would

in

who

like

in

Painting

nature.

in

look askance at the use

to see the

barriers preserved, which until recently isolated with

many venerable

apparent

finality

two

that of painting and that of the graphics.

of art from each other

fields

Time

almost com-

makes the point

woodpecker

music, or to the short taps of the

in

of point or line

At

of

use here corresponds to the sharp blow on a kettle-drum

Its

or a triangle

The Point

is

limit

all

Time,

events, there exists no inner reason for this separation. 1

in

painting,

is

a question

in itself

and

is

very complex. Here as well

the barrier began to dwindle several years ago.2 This barrier hitherto had

that of painting from that of music.

divided two fields of art

The apparently clear and


painting

music

space

justifiable division:

(plane)

time

The reason for

exact definition

an external one and

this division is

is

it

would be more

which would quite correctly point to the technical origin

"graphic" has

lost its clarity

the graphics which

of conceptions.

logical,

if

a more

necessary, to divide painting into hand-painting and print-painting,

is

it

sufficient

is

not

uncommon

proof of the confusion

watercolour painted by hand

Is

of art works.

for watercolour to
in

be

The term

classified with

our thoughtless, habitual use

a work of painting

or, to

designate

same watercolour, reproduced exactly by means


of lithography, still is a work of painting but, to be precise, of print-painting. To make
a real distinction, one could add the terms "black-and-white" or "colour" painting.
2 The "All-Russian Academy of the Science of Art" in Moscow, for example, took some
it

34

more

steps

exactly, of hand-painting. This

in this

direction in the year

920.

has upon closer, though yet hasty, examination suddenly become doubtful
and, as far as

know, this

first

became apparent

tendency to overlook the time element

in

to the painters. 1 The

painting today

still

persists,

revealing clearly the superficiality of prevailing art theory, which noisily


rejects

any

scientific basis. This

at greater length

upon

this

1.

2.

yet a few considerations which throw a clear light

time element must be emphasized.

The point

In

is

temporally the briefest form.

theory, the point, which

a complex

(size

Number

is

should constitute to

means of

unit,

Art Work

some degree

its

relationship with the basic plane as

expression. Theoretically, a work of art can,

analysis, consist of

of

Elements
in an

and form) and

a sharply-defined

sufficient

not the place to cope with this question

is

in its final

a point. This should not be looked upon as an

idle

statement.

When, today, the

theorist (who often proves to

be a "practicing" painter

as well) attempts to systematize the art elements and


special pains to separate

is

compelled to take

and investigate the basic elements, he

to consider the question of

how these elements are

the number necessary for a work of art, even

also has

to be used, as well as
in

char-

veiled, question of the theory of

com-

if

purely theoretic

acter.

This relates to the great, but


position. Here, too,

ner

and must

still

one must proceed

in

start at the beginning. This

a consistent and schematic man-

book

is

intended to present only

a short analysis of the two primary form elements, and to suggest the
connection with the general scientific working programme

in

pointing the

direction to a general science of art.

"1

When

finally

became converted

incontestably clear to

me and

to abstract art, the time element in painting

since then

have used

it

in

practice.

became

35

In this

sense,

we

will

treat the question which has been raised as to whether

or not a point suffices to form a work of art.

We

have here various cases and

The simplest and briefest

point

Prototype

lying in

is

possibilities.

pointof the

that of the centrally-placed

the center of a surface which

is

square

Fig.

The

restriction of the basic effect of the plane here

and

this constitutes

in

shape

becomes

a unique case. 1 As the double sound

(Fig. 4}.

intensified

point, plane

takes on the character of a single sound, the sound of the plane


tively
last

too

stage

slight to
in

be noticeable.

This,

is

on the road to simplification,

rela-

is

the

the progressive dissolution of multiple and double sounds

through elimination of

all

complicated elements

reducing

the composi-

tion to the single proto-element. This, therefore, represents the

prototype

of pictorial expression.

36

This observation will

with the basic plane.

be

clarified

more

fully in

the section of the book which deals

My

A
1.

concept "composition"

definition of the

composition

Is

Concept

as follows:

of Composition

the inwardly-purposeful subordination

is

of the Individual elements and

2. of the build-up (construction)

toward the goal of concrete


Also,
single

when a

sound completely embodies the pictorial aim,

single

a composition. 1

is

the differences

torial aims, exclusively,

Sound
as

Com-

position

compositions are considered externally, the pic-

in

Single

this

sound must be considered the equivalent of a composition. The

single sound here

When

pictoriality.

Basis

are to be equated with the numerical differences.

These are quantitative differences, while

it

goes without saying that

in

the case of the "prototype of pictorial expression," the qualitative ele-

ment

is

completely lacking.

When

the work of art

decidedly qualitative basis, a double sound at least


composition. This

is

is
is

estimated on a
necessary to the

one of the cases which clearly emphasizes the

ence between external and inner measures and means.

We

find

differ-

upon

closer examination that altogether pure double sounds never really occur;
this

statement must remain an assertion only, to be proven

events, a composition

later.

At

all

can be created on a qualitative basis only through

the use of multiple sounds.

At the moment the

point

moved from

is

eccentric structure

the double sound

1.

absolute sound of the point,

2.

sound of the given location

in

the center of the basic plane

becomes audible:

the basic plane.

This second sound, which in the case of the centric structure


silenced,

was almost

again becomes distinct and transforms the sound of the point

from the absolute to the

Eccentric
Structure

Bound op with

relative.

this question

by purely mechanical means?"


must be answered

in

is

a special "modern" question

In

"Can a work be created

cases of the most primitive numerical problems, this

the affirmative.

37

Quantitative

Increase

counterpart of

complex

and

in

turn,

form of

is

is,

at the

will

produce a

still

is

a potent means of heightening the inner


time, a source of elementary rhythm which,

a means to the attainment of elementary harmony

art.

Aside from

we have

this,

As a

in

every

to deal here with two double sounds:

every part of the basic plane has a sound peculiar to


vidual inner colouration.

more

same

Repetition

result.

vibration

on the basic plane

this point

result, facts

itself

of apparently

and an

little

indi-

importance

produce consequences of unexpected complexity.

The inventory of the given example

two points

Elements:
Result:

I.

is:

plane.

inner sound of a point,

the sound,

2. repetition of
3.

double sound of the

4.

double sound of the second point,

5.

sound of the sum of

Since, moreover, the point

is

first point,

all

these sounds.

a complex

unit

(its

size plus its shape), it is

easy to imagine what a storm of sounds can develop from a continuing


accumulation of points on the basic plane
identical;

and how

this turmoil

even when

these points are

develops and spreads out, while

course points to the ever-growing disparity in the size

its

further

and form of the

points which are projected upon the plane.

Nature

Also,

in

quently;

nature's unmixed realm, this accumulation of points occurs freit is

forms are

invariably purposeful

in reality

and organically necessary. These nature

small space particles

and carry the same

relationship

to the abstract (geometric) point as to the pictorial. However, the whole

"world" can, on the other hand, be looked upon as a self-contained cosmic


composition which,

in

turn,

is

composed of an

endless

number of

inde-

pendent compositions, always self-contained even when getting smaller

33

and

smaller. In the final analysis,

all

of these

large or

small,

have been

Fig.

Star cluster of Hercules. (Newcomb-Engelmann's

"Popul. Astronomie," Leipzig, 1921,

p. 294.)

originated from points, to which point

geometric essence

in its original

everything returns. These are complexes of geometric points which, in


various configurations determined by physical laws, float
infinity.

appear to the naked eye as points seemingly

Many

seeds appear

ivory-like

we

in

geometric

The smallest, self-contained, wholly centrifugal shapes actually

like

this.

head of the poppy

In

(in

loosely related to

each other.

opening the beautiful, highly-polished,

reality

a somewhat large spherical

point),

discover heaps of cold blue-grey points arranged according to physical

law so as to form an ordered composition, and which carry within themselves the latently

dormant generative power, as powerful as the

pictorial

point.

Frequently, such forms arise in nature through the

decomposition of the above-mentioned complexes

dismemberment and

the

beginning, so to

speak, of a return to the primordial form of the geometric state.


desert

is

a sea of sand

made up

If

the

entirely out of points, the effect of the

uncontrollably-violent tendency of these

"dead"

points to shift

is,

not

without reason, terrifying.

And

so also

bilities (Figs.

in

nature, the point

5 and

is

a self-contained thing,

full

of possi-

6).

Fig.

Nitrate-forming nodule, enlarged 1000 times.


("Kultur d.

Gegenwart," part

III,

section IV,

3, p.

.)

39

Other Art

Points are to

expressions

j||

Decome

be met with

in all

of the art expressions and certainly artists

increasingly conscious of their inner power. This significance

should not be overlooked.

Sculpture

and Architecture

In

sculpture and architecture, the point

several planes

it

is

results

the termination of an angle

from a cross-section of
in

space and, on the

other hand, the originating nucleus of these planes which can be guided

back to

it

or can be developed out of

it.

In

Gothic buildings, points are

sharply emphasized, frequently by plastic means.


this

is

point

In

Chinese buildings,

accomplished with means of equal clarity as curves leading to the

in short,

precise beats audible as a transition of dissolution in which

the space form fades

away

into the

atmosphere surrounding the building.

Especially in the case of such buildings can

we assume a

conscious use of

the point, since the architectural masses are divided systematically into
points

whose tendency

in

Peak= point (Figs. 7 and

Fig.

is

to lead toward the highest peak.

8).

Ling-ying-si

40

composition

Gate.

("China" by Bernd Melchers,

vol. 2,

Folkwang Verlag, Hagen

?.

W.,

1922.)

'Pagoda of the Dragon Beauty"

in

Shanghai

(built in

Fig.

141

1).

41

The Dance

Already

in

the classical ballet

form

terminology which unquestionably

is

existed "points"

a designated

derived from "point." The rapid

running on the toes leaves behind on the floor a trace of points. The
ballet

and,

dancer leaps to a point above, clearly aiming at

in

it

with his

landing, again contacts a point on the floor. High leaps

modern dance

can,

in

some

cases,

be compared with the "classic"

head
in

the

ballet's

high leap; that, whereas the leap formerly pointed to a straight, vertical
direction, the
its

five

fingers

"modern" leap frequently forms a five-pointed plane with

extremities

head,

two feet and two hands, whereby the ten

form ten smaller points

the dancer Palucca, Fig. 9). Further-

(e.g.,

more, the brief states of rigid immobility can be looked upon as points.
Thus

we have

active

and passive point formations which bear a

relation-

ship to the musical form of the point.

Fig.

42

10

Graphic diagram of the leap shown

in

the photograph opposite, Fig. 9.

Fig.

leap of the dancer Palucca.

addition to the beating of the kettle-drum and striking of the triangle,

In

we

of which
all

Music

have already spoken, points can be produced in music with

sorts of instruments

especially the percussion instruments. The piano,

however, enables the creation of finished compositions exclusively by

means of the combination and the sequence of tonal

Symphony

Beethoven's 5th

:>

points. 1

(the first measures).

Fig.

11

The above music translated into points.

It

is

clearly evident that certain musicians also have

attracted

through

by the magnetic power of the

its

been more or

which can

point,

inner tension as demonstrated by the so-called subconscious "hallucination"

of Bruckner, whose meaning had been detected and described:


interest in the effect of points after signatures or on doorplates)

ment of
points

his spirit,

especially

when
if

it

seems that

it

the reclining proto-unit of

in his

all

in

impossible

"Bruckner" by Dr. Ernst Kurth, vol.

I,

p.

without

It

becomes

the fact that he was attracted to

spatial expansion's origin.

dimensions,

which ho

in

studies of the theory of music?

He

sought everywhere for the

ultimate inner points, to reach this final analysis out of which,


of vast

could this (his

was no wandering mind which investigated these

apparent that psychological significance resides

infinity

"How

have been a derange-

one understands Bruckner's nature and the manner

searched for knowledge as indicated

the

consciously

less

be distinctly recognized

its

in

his opinion,

originating

originates

extension

MO, footnote. Max Hesses Verlag,

point."

Berlin.

43

Fig.

&@$

11

The above music translated

Code
f-#

Strings

m
^mi\

into points.

d**d

\iii

+ Woodwinds

3=

+ Trumpet
Kettledrum

ee#*eee0*9#

Fig.

11

The above music translated

44

into points.

Theme

r-T-TTT-p=T^

*=3

n<

^T^

Fig.

Theme 2

In

Franz

making these
v.

translations,

Hoesslin and for this

111

translated into points.

received the valuable aid of Music Superintendent

extend to him

my

heartfelt gratitude.

45

Graphic
Art

In

that particular field of painting known as graphic, the point develops

its

autonomous powers with special

powers many different


size,

clarity: the material tools offer to these

in

way

the

possibilities in

which establishes the point

of diversity of form and

countless entities with different sound

values.

Techniques

Even here,

this

multiplicity

and

diversity are easily classified

when the

special characteristics of the graphic techniques are used in this classification.

The typical graphic techniques are:


1.

etching, particularly dry-point,

2. the

woodcut, and

3. lithography.

The differences between these three techniques stand out with exceptional
clarity in connection with the point

Etching

In

and

its

creation.

etching, naturally, the smallest black point can be obtained with the

greatest of ease while, on the other hand, only with considerable effort

and various

Woodcut

The situation

tricks

in

the

can a large white point be obtained.

woodcut

need only one stab.

It is

is

entirely opposite.

The smallest white points

the large black point which

demands

effort

and

consideration.

Lithography

In

lithography both roads are equally smooth and

Likewise, the possibilities of

making corrections

niques: in etching, strictly speaking, correction

cut

Atmosphere

It

it is

restricted and, in lithography,

is

eliminated.

differ in these three techis

impossible;

in

the wood-

unlimited.

should be evident from this comparison of the three techniques, that the

lithographic process

was bound to be the

discovery did not take place

without effort.

46

it is

effort

On

until

last discovered; in fact, since

the

"today," facility cannot be attained

the other hand, ease

in

creating and ease

in

correcting

are characteristics which are particularly suited to the present day. The

present

day

only a springboard to "tomorrow"

is

be accepted with innermost

and only

can

it

No

natural difference can or should remain superficial

the profound depth, that


possibilities

grow

just

in

is,

to the inner

life

it

it

be

in

must point to

of things. Likewise, technical

as functional and purposeful a

other potentiality, whether

this role

in

tranquility.

"material"

life

manner as any

(spruce tree,

lion, star,

principle, scientific

method,

Even though on the surface the individual appearances of plants

differ so

louse) or in the spiritual

realm (art work, moral

religious idea).

Root

greatly from each other that their inner relationship remains obscured

they

even though these phenomena seem chaotic to the superficial eye


can, nevertheless, on the basis of their

common inner

necessity, be

traced back to the same root.

manner that one

learns the value of differences which, although

False

they always are originally purposeful and well-founded, avenge themselves

Ways

It is in

this

frightfully in

monstrous abortions when they are handled

in

a frivolous

manner.

This simple fact

graphics

the

can readily be observed

failure to

the more restricted field of the

in

understand the basic differences

in

the above-

mentioned technical potentialities has repeatedly lead to useless and,


therefore, repulsive works.

recognizing the inner


soul,

hardened

like

life

They owe

their existence to the inability of

behind the external appearance of things

an empty

nutshell,

has

lost its

the

capacity to penetrate

any longer the depths of things where the pulsebeat, beneath the outer
husk,

The

becomes audible.
specialists of

their ability to

look

like

19th Century graphics

were not infrequently proud of

make a woodcut resemble a pen drawing,

an etching. Works of

this sort

or a lithograph

can be designated only as

testi-

monials of spiritual poverty. The cock's crowing, the door's creaking, the

dog's barking, however cleverly imitated on a

mated as

artistic

accomplishments.

violin,

can never be

esti-

47

Means

Hand-in-hand with the materials and tools of these three techniques


goes, naturally, the necessity of realizing the three different characteristics

of the point.

Material

While paper can be used as material for these three different techniques,
the relation of the particular tool

each case

in

This accounts for the continued existence, side

is

by

fundamentally different.

side,

down

to the present

day of these three techniques.

Tools and
Origin of
the Point

Of

the various kinds of etching, drypoint

because

used by preference today

harmonizes especially well with the present day atmosphere of

it

and because

haste,

is

it

possesses the incisive character of precision. The

basic plane can here remain entirely white, and

and

lines

definitely

lie

white the points

deeply and sharply embedded. The etching-needle works

and with the greatest determination and bores eagerly

The point

plate.

in this

is

created

first in

into the

the negative through a short, precise

prick in the plate.

The needle
The plate

is

is

The colour

pointed

metalcold.

smooth copper

is

warm.

applied thickly on the entire plate and wiped off

manner that the

small point remains lying simply

and

in

such

<

naturally in th

lap of brightness.

The pressure of the press

powerful. The plate eats

is

its

way

into the

paper. The paper penetrates the smallest depressions and tears out the
colour.

It is

an impassioned process which leads to the complete fusion of

the colour with the paper.

Thus, the small black point

the

Woodcut:
Tools:

48

a plane

Plate: of

wood

made
(e.g.,

of

metalcold.

warm.

boxwood)

pictorial proto-element

is

here created.

The point
the point

in

not to injure

it.

way

that the instrument does not touch

a fortress

like

with a ditch, and great care

may

order that the point

In

do violence to

to

such a

created
encircled

is

is

its

enter the world,

entire surroundings; to tear

is

it

taken

necessary

it is

them out and destroy

them.

The colour

rolled

is

onto the surface

and leaves the surrounding area


clearly seen

upon the

such a

in

free.

way

that

it

covers the point

The future print can already be

block.

The pressure of the press

is

light

the paper must not make

its

way

into

the depressions, but must remain upon the surface. The small point does

not

the paper, but on the paper.

sit in

It

remains for

its

inner forces to

claw their way into the surface.

Lithography:
The plate: stone, clay of an indefinable yellowwarm.

The

any more or

tools: pen, crayon, brush,

less

pointed object with surfaces

of contact of the most varied sizes. Lastly, a fine atomizer (spray technique).

Great

The colour

and
to

it

its

rests lightly

great

and

loss

is

there

in

a moment

The point

were to
is

Its

union with the block

the stone

is

very loose

returns immediately

the

and

sits

with the speed of

fleeting.

The paper touches impartially the

reflects only the parts

which have been fructified.

so lightly upon the paper that

fly off

way

the etching

in

the woodcut

in

the

it

would not be surprising

if

it.

the point

sits:

the paper,
and on the paper,
lithograph on the paper.

in

lightning, without effort

only a brief, superficial contact.

of time

entire block

This

insecurely.

original chaste condition.

The pressure of the press

it

flexibility.

can easily be removed by grinding

The point

and

diversity,

in

in

49

It

manner that the three graphic techniques

in this

is

and

other,

in this

remaining

takes

always a point

Thus, the point

and

Texture

is,

These

from each

on different aspects

thereby, a changing expression.

remarks relate to the special question of texture.

last

The term "texture"


nally

differ

manner that they are mutually interwoven.

signifies the

manner

in

which the elements are exter-

combined with each other and with the basic plane.

may be

combination depends on three factors which

mode

This

of

classified schemati-

cally as follows:

1.

according to the character of the given space which


rough,

2.

in

3.

painting

tool,

whereby the one

in

common

use today

the brush of various typesmay be supplanted by other

and

according to the manner of application: the colour


loosely,
its

smooth,

flat, plastic, etc.,

according to the type of

tools,

may be

compactly, by stippling, by spraying,

consistency

this

accounts for the difference

etc.,
in

may be

laid

on

depending upon

binding media, pig-

ments, etc.

Even

in

the very limited field of the point, attention should be given to

texture possibilities (Figs.

12

and 13). Despite the narrowly drawn con-

fines of this smallest of elements, the different

means of producing

time a different colouration

We
1.

in

accordance with the manner of

its

it

are,

on each

nevertheless, of importance, since the sound of the point takes

creation.

have, therefore, to consider:

the character of the point as determined by the tool used to


in

combination with the nature of the surface receiving

it (in

make

it

this case,

the type of plate),


2.

the character of the point


receiving

3.

50

it (in

this case,

in

the

way

of

its

union with the surface finally

the paper),

the character of the point as

it

depends upon the

qualities of this defi-

nite surface itself (in this case, smooth, granular, striated,

rough paper).

Fig.

12

Concentric complex of points of free form.

51

When

a plling-up of points

become

still

Fig.

necessary, the three cases just cited

further complicated by the

lation of points

or by

is

more or

whether

less

this

manner of producing

accumulation be created directly by hand

mechanical means

(all

sorts of

spray techniques).

13

all

of these possibilities play a

the difference here


offers infinitely

lies in

more

still

This question

greater role

the individuality of the pictorial

possibilities for texture

in

cannot be discussed more at length here.

painting; 1

means which

than the narrow

graphics.

will

accumu-

large point formed out of small points (spray technique).

Naturally,

52

this

field

of the

Nevertheless, even
their

full

in this

restricted realm, considerations of texture retain

In

a means to an end and

it

must be looked

other words, texture must not

become an end

significance. Texture

upon as such and so used.

is

must serve the idea residing

in itself; it

in

the composition (purpose), just

as does every other element (means). Otherwise, an inner disharmony arises


in

which the means drown out the end. The external has taken over the

inner

mannerism.

In this

may be

case

abstract art.
thrust back;

In

the former, the sound of the element "in itself"

when abstract,

point, especially,

In

seen one of the differences between "objective" and

attains

its

full,

is

an

lines. It is

unjustifiable use of the point, since the latter, stifled

representation and with


poverty-stricken half-life.

its

entirely

of Christ" can be mentioned as an example)

which the points are intended to produce the effect of

that this

this.

composed

the field of the "objective" graphic, there are prints

"Head

Abstract
Art

unveiled sound. The small

able to give incontestable testimony of

is

of points (a famous
in

it

veiled,

is

inner sound weakened,

condemned

is

clear

by the
to a

For the abstract, a certain technique can, of course, serve a definite pur-

pose and be necessary to the composition. Proofs of

Everything which

in

this

are self-evident.

very general terms has been said here about the point,

has to do with the analysis of the self-contained, stationary point. Changes


bring with

in its size

them corresponding changes

quite different case

is

by the screen

independent
repressed.

character.

the division of a surface into points which

technical necessity as, for example,


into points

in its

is

role and, to the

in

is

Force from
Within

In this

dictated by

zincography, where the division of the surface

unavoidable

the

point

is

not intended

extent that the technique permits

this,

here to play an
it

is

deliberately

53

case, however,

it

grows out of

relative diminuation of

Force from
Without

There

exists

outside of

it.

still

its

itself;

of

it

This force hurls itself


it

54

the Line.

center;

upon the point which

out and pushes

it

it

is

and only a

digging

about the surface

The concentric tension of the point

which leads a new, independent


is

own

concentric tension results.

diately destroyed and, as a result,

This

its

another force which develops not within the point, but

into the surface, tears

tion or another.

out of

perishes
life in

is

in

its

way

one direc-

thereby imme-

and a new being

accordance with

its

arises out

own

laws.

LINE

65

The geometric
point; that

is,

line

an

is

invisible thing.

product.

its

It is

It is

the track

created by movement

made by

the moving

specifically through

the destruction of the intense self-contained repose of the point. Here,

the leap out of the static into the dynamic occurs.

The

line

is,

therefore, the

the

element

point.

Viewed

greatest antithesis to the


in

the strictest sense,

it

proto-

pictorial

can be designated as

a secondary element.

The forces coming from without which transform the point into a

be very diverse. The variation

and upon

forces

in lines

1.

application of one force and

2. application of

all line

two forces:

a) single or repeated, alternate action of

both forces,

simultaneous action of both forces.

b)

When a force coming from without moves

A.

the

and the

This

Origin

forms can be reduced to two cases:

the final analysis,

tion,

can

their combinations.

In

line,

depends upon the number of these

is

first

line

type of

line results;

the

has the tendency to run

in

initial

the point

in

direction remains

a straight course to

any direc-

unchanged

Straight
^ ,ne

infinity.

the straight line whose tension represents the

most concise

form of the potentiality for endless movement.


For the concept "movement," which

is

used almost everywhere,

substituted the term "tension." The customary term

leads us

down the wrong roads and

misconceptions.

"Tension"

is

the

is

is

inexact

have

and thereby

the cause of further terminological

force

living

within

the

element and

represents only one part of the creative "movement." The second part

57

the "direction," which

is

is

by the "movement." The

also determined

ments of painting are material

movement

results of

ele-

the form:

in

of the tension, and

1.

of the direction.

2.

This division creates, furthermore,

a basis for the differentiation of various

and

kinds of elements as, for example, point


carries only

one tension within

it

and

definitely shares in both the tension

line.

Of

these, the point

can have no direction; the

it

and the

direction.

the straight line were to be investigated from the standpoint of


alone,
cal.

it

would be impossible to distinguish a horizontal

The above holds equally true

some

in

line

for instance,

If,

its

tension

from a

line

verti-

connection with colour analysis, since

colours are to be distinguished from others only in the directions of

their tensions.1

We

note that there are three typical kinds of straight

lines

of which other

straight lines are only variations.

The simplest form of the straight

I.

line

imagination, this corresponds to the

human being stands

is

the horizontal.

line

or the plane upon which the

or moves. The horizontal line

porting base which can be extended on the level

Coldness and flatness are the basic sounds of


designated as the
less cold

"

76,

in

to 64, inch]

of "form

under the

Foundation,

New

various directions.

and

and
title

II.

"On

[This

the Spiritual

York City, and

this

and blue

in

in

cautious use of these concepts


it is

my book

is

will

no

results.

pp. 73,

R.

Guggenheim

be found on pages 60

especially important in the analysis

right here that direction plays a definite role.


is

least well provided with


difficult

at this was

made

in

Perhaps the time was not then ripe.

It

is

to

an exact terminology

and sometimes quite impossible. One

must start here from the beginning and a dictionary of terminology

An attempt

"liber das

I9I2,

Edition,

Art" by the Solomon

particular reference

which renders scientific work exceedingly

58

can be

book has recently been translated into English and

be observed with regret that painting

preliminary.

it

most concise form of the potentiality for end-

drawing," since

in

in

a cold sup-

also

this line,

der Kunst," R. Piper & Co., Yerlag, Munich, 3rd

77 and Plates

reissued

is

movement.

See, for example, the characterization of yellow

Geistige

human

the

In

is

a necessary

Moscow about I9I9 but has achieved

2.

In

complete contrast to

this line, in

both an external and inner sense,

the vertical which stands at right angles to


is

less

in

which flatness

is

the most concise form of the potentiality for end-

warm movement.

The third type of straight

line is

the

diagonal which,

diverges from both of the above at the

same

the
its

and

supplanted by height, and coldness by warmth. Therefore, the ver-

tical line

3.

it,

is

inclination to both of

inner sound

diagonal line

equal
is

in

schematic form,

same angle and,

therefore, has

them; a circumstance which determines

union of coldness and warmth. Therefore, the

the most concise form of the potentiality for

movement

endless cold-warm

{Pigs.

14

and 15).

14

Fig.

Fig.

15

Diagram of basic types.

Basic types of geometric straight


ines.

These three types are the purest forms of straight


entiated from each other by

lines

1.

cold form,

Most concise forms of

warm

the potentiality for

3.

cold-warm form.

To a greater or smaller

extent,

form,

all

warmth determine

Temperature

2.

from the diagonal. The differences


ness or to

differ-

temperature:

Endless

movement.

and they are

endless

movement.

other straight lines are only deviations


in

a greater or

lesser

tendency to cold-

their inner sounds (Fig. 16).

59

Rg.16
Diagram of deviations

In this

way

is

in

temperature.

formed the star of straight

lines

which are organized about

a common meeting-point.

can become ever denser and denser so that the intersections form

Plane

This star

Formation

a more compact center,


This

is

Fig.

17

new form

is

born

plane

move and,
in

finally,

flow into one

the clear shape of a circle

and 18).

17

Condensation.

60

which a point develops and seems to grow.

the axis about which the lines can

another; a
(Figs.

in

Fig.

18

Circle as result of condensation.

It

may be remarked

briefly,

characteristic of the line

that
its

in this

case

we have

to

do with a special

power to create a plane.

This

power

presses itself here in the

same manner that a

the incision-like lines

cuts into the earth. Moreover, the line can

still

it

another method produce a plane, but of

this

will

speak

free straight lines,

call

perature difference as the free straight

lines

is

by

later.

The difference between the diagonals and the other diagonal-like


which one could with justification

ex-

shovel creates a plane with

lines,

also a tem-

can never attain a balance

between warmth and coldness.

Free straight

lines can,

center (Fig. 19), or

lie

thereby,

lie

upon a given plane with a common

outside of the center (Fig. 20); accordingly, they

can be divided into these two classes:

4.

Free straight lines (unbalanced


a) centric,

lines):

and

b) acentric.

Fig.

Free straight

lines,

19

centric.

Fig.

Free straight

lines,

20

acentric.

61

Colour:

Yellow and

The acentric free straight

Blue

and which

"colourful" colours,

Yellow and

white.

are the

distinguishes the latter

and

on the plane and

case of free straight

but

exhibit

and, above

lines

especially the

the plane and seem to pierce

removed from the

all,

when the

bounded plane,

line lies freely

boundaries. This

will

on

it;

two), develop

the acentric ones,

it.

In

the

we observe

completely fused with

less

that

into the

itself

abandoned the element of

the case of the

lines

occasionally. These lines are farthest

it

which claws

point,

first

no inclination to leave

a loose relationship to the plane: they are

In

from black and

The purely schematic straight

retreating.

and diagonals

(horizontals, verticals

especially have

straight lines to possess

first

blue, especially, carry within them different tensions

tensions of advancing

their tensions

lines

capacity which they share to a degree with the

special capacity

plane, since they

rest.

this loose relationship

when

is,

is

possible only

does not touch

it

be discussed at greater length

in

its

outside

the chapter "Basic

Plane."

At

events, there

all

free straight lines


tions

to

is

a certain relationship

in

and those of the "colourful"

the tensions of the acentric


colours.

The natural connec-

between the "graphic" and the "pictorial" elements, which we can

some extent recognize today, are of immeasurable importance to the

future theory of composition.

periments

in

chievous fog

construction be
in

which

Only

in this direction,

made

ex-

our laboratory work, and the mis-

in

we are today condemned

become more transparent and

can planned exact

to wander,

will

certainly

and

verticals,

less suffocating.

Black and

When

White

are tested for their colour characteristics, a comparison with black and

the typical straight

white

forces

itself,

these colours (which

lines,

principally the horizontals

logically enough,
until

upon our attention. Just as both of

recently were called "non-colours"

today are somewhat ineptly termed "colourless"


both of the above mentioned straight
lines.

62

Here and

there, the sound

rather, scarcely audible whispering

is

and which

colours) are silent colours,

lines are, in

the

same manner,

silent

reduced to a minimum: silence

and

stillness.

Black

and white

lie

or,

outside

of the colour wheel. 1 Horizontals and verticals occupy a special place

among
and

lines

because, when

are, therefore, solitary.

point of temperature,

that absolute black

is

we

in
If

a central position, they cannot be repeated

we examine

find white

black and white from the stand-

more apt to be warm than black and

inwardly unquestionably cold.

It is

not without reason

that the horizontal scale of colours runs from white to black (Fig. 21):

White

Red

Yellow

Black

Blue

21

Fig.

gradual, natural sliding-downward from above to below (Fig. 22).

In

addition

the case of white and black, the elements of height and

in

depth can be noted as coinciding with vertical and horizontal.

"Today" human beings are completely absorbed with the


inner

is

dead

for them. This

is

external; the

the last step of the descent, the end of the

blind alley. In former times, such

places were called "abysses;" today

the modest expression "blind alley" suffices. The "modern" individual seeks
inner tranquility because he

is

deafened from outside, and believes

this

come

the

Out

quiet to be found in inner silence.

of

this, in

exclusive preference for the horizontal-vertical.

our case, has

The further logical conse-

quence would be the exclusive preference for black and white, indications

1 See
birth.

"On the Spiritual in Art," whers


The same thing can with complete

the vertical

inine

call

black the symbol of death and white, of

be said about the horizontal and


The former is lying; the latter is standing, walking, moving
climbing upward. Supporting
growing. Passive
active. Relatively: fem-

low and

about, finally

masculine.

justification

high.

63

White

Yellow

Blue

Black

Red

Rg.

22

Graphic representation of the descent.

of which have already appeared several times

in

association of the horizontal-vertical with black

place; then everything


-noises will

will

be immersed

in

painting. But the exclusive

and white has

inner silence,

still

to take

and only external

shake the world. 1

These relationships, which are not to be understood as wholly equivalent


values but, rather, as inner parallels,

may be arranged

in

the form of a

table such as the following:

strong reaction

of seeking refuge

in

is

to be expected to this exclusiveness, but

the past as

past has been frequently

in

is,

to

some

it will

extent, the case today.

evidence during the

last

not be

The

decadesGreek

in

the form

flight into the

"Classic," Italian

Quattrocento, the later Rome, "primitive" art (including "wild beasts"); now,

many

64

German

"old masters,"

in

Russia

the

icons,

in

Ger-

Francediscreet looking
the attitude of certain Germans

etc.,

in

backward from "today" to "yesterday," in contrast to


and Russians who descend into the profound depths. The future seems empty to the
"modern" human being.

Graphic Form.

Pictorial Form.

Straight Line:

Primary Colours:
black,

horizontal,

1.

white,

2. vertical,
3.

red (or grey, or green), 1

diagonal,

yellow

4. free straight line.

The

parallel:

book.

It

may

blue by

its

red

diagonal

tailed proof of which

and

here advanced as an assertion, the de-

is

would lead too far afield from the subject of

only briefly be stated: red 2

is

distinguished from yellow

characteristic of lying firmly on the plane,

and white by an

blue.

intensive inner

seethinga tension within

reveals this difference from free straight lines: that

plane; and this difference from horizontals

and

it

Red

this

and

and from black


The diagonal

it.

lies

on the

firmly

verticals: that

it

has a

greater inner tension.

was defined above as

Proto-

the harmonizing of the point and the plane, and the total picture desig-

5ouna

The point resting

the center of a square plane

in

nated as the prototype of pictorial expression.


in

horizontal

and

vertical

a central position on a square plane would constitute a further com-

plication of this case. These


said, things living solitary

two straight

and

lines are,

alone, since they

as has already been

know no

repetition.

They

therefore develop a strong sound which can never be completely drowned

out and, thereby, represent the proto-sound of straight lines.

Red, grey and green,

other: red

and green

in

certain relationships, can be placed on a parallel with each

transition

from yellow to blue; grey

from

black to white, etc.

This belongs in the field of colour theory. Suggestions concerning this are to be found
in

"On

the Spiritual

2 See "On the

in

Art."

Spiritual in Art," pp. 69

and

70.

65

This construction
or,

is,

Fig.

It

prototype of linear expression

consequently, the

of linear composition (Fig. 23).

Jill

ill

23

consists of

a square divided into four squares, the most primitive form

of the division of a schematic plane.

The sum of the tensions, consisting of 6 elements of cold

rest

and 6

ele-

ments of warm rest=l2. Therefore, the next step from the schematic
point picture to the schematic line picture
ingly great increase of the

12 sounds. These 12 sounds,

plane

2 sounds of the

is

reached through a

means: a single sound

is

surpris-

powerfully amplified to

on the other hand, consist of 4 sounds of the

line

6.

The combination has doubled these 6

sounds.

This example, which

is

really part of the theory of composition,

was given

here with the intention of suggesting the reciprocal effect of the simple

elements

in

in

elementary combinations, where the expression "elementary"

an imprecise,

flexible sense

reveals

the "relativity" of

its

nature.

This

means that

it

is

not easy to

fix

complex and to use

limit for the

the elementary exclusively. Nevertheless, these experiments and observations offer the only

means of getting to the bottom

which serve the ends of composition. This method

and has thereby attained

itself,

despite excessive

of pictorial things

employed by science

is

one-sidedness

pri-

marily external order and continues today with the aid of keen analysis
to forge

its

way through

to primary elements.

placed before philosophy a

all,

which

sooner or

later

manner

it

has, after

lead to synthetic results. The science of art

will

must travel the same road,

In this

and well-ordered body of material

rich

in

the course of which, however,

it

should from

the very outset unite the external with the inner.

During

the

gradual transition from

the cold lyric character


finally

is

horizontal

to

free

acentric

transformed into an ever warmer one

acquires a certain dramatic flavor. The

remains dominant. The entire

lines,

until it

The Lyric
and the
Dramatic

lyric quality, nevertheless,

field of straight lines

is

lyric,

a fact which

can be explained by the effect of a single force from the outside. The
dramatic (and

the cases mentioned, the acentric) carries within

in

aside from the sound caused by relocation


for which at least

the sound of

as

collision

it

well,

two forces are necessary.

The action of two forces

in

the realm of the line can take place

in

two

ways:

1.

the two forces alternate with each other

2. the

It is

alternate action,

two forces act together

evident that the second process

simultaneous action.

is

more temperamental and, thereby,

"hotter," especially since this process can be looked

the action of

many

lines

come

result

of

alternating forces.

Correspondingly, the dramatic effect mounts,

matic

upon as the

into existence.

until

at last purely dra-

67

Thus the realm of


lyric in

Linear
Translation

Of

course, every

gj ven

The

lines

embraces

all

the expressive sounds from the cold

the beginning, to the hot dramatic at the end.

|;

phenomenon of the

near expression

external

and of the

inner world can

kind of translation. 1

corresponding to the two categories are:

results

Forces:
Point

1.

2.

Angular
Lines

B.

Products:

two alternate,

two simultaneous,

angular

lines,

curved

lines.

Angular Lines.

Since angular lines are composed of straight

and are placed

heading

Angular

lines originate

manner

(Fig.

in

lines,

they belong under

the second class under the heading B.

from the pressure of two forces

in

the following

24):

1 Aside from intuitive translations, systematic laboratory experiments should be


in this direction.

of every

It

would be advisable to investigate

phenomenon chosen

for translation,

first

the

lyric

and then to seek

made

or dramatic content

in

the corresponding

linear realm, a form suitable to the given case. Furthermore, an analysis of the already
existing "translated works" would throw a strong light on this question. There are numerous examples of such translations in music: musical "pictures" derived from natural
phenomena, musical form for works of other arts, etc. The Russian composer, A. A.

Schenschin, has

Pelerinage"

68

"Sposalizio."

by

made
Liszt

extremely valuable experiments

in

this

direction

"Annees

which relates to Michael Angelo's "Pensieroso" and

de

Raphael's

Fig.

The simplest forms of angular

lines consist

of two parts,

24

and are

Angles

the result of two forces which have discontinued their action after a single
thrust. This simple process leads,

moreover, to an important difference

between straight and angular

the angular

with the plane,

plane

is in

and

it

lines:

line is in

much

closer touch

already carries something plane-like within

it.

The

the process of creation, and the angular line becomes a bridge.

The differences between the countless angular


the sires of the angles,

in

lines

depend

entirely

upon

accordance with which they can be divided into

three typical groups:

obtuse angles

a) with acute angles

45

b) with right angles

90

c)

with

135

The remainder are atypical acute or obtuse angles, and deviate from
the typical

angular
d) with

in

lines,

the number of their degrees. Thus, with the

three

a fourthan atypical angular linecan be included.

a free angle,

because of which
line.

first

this

angular

line

must be designated as a free angular

69

The right angle stands unchangeable


direction. There

in

size

but

is

able to change

can be only 4 right angles which touch each other

either touch with their points

and form a

cross or,

diverging sides, they form right-angle planes

in

its

they

by the touching of

their

most instances creating

the square.

The horizontal-vertical cross

consists of

one warm and one cold

line

it is

nothing other than the central position of the horizontal and vertical. This

accounts for the cold-warm or warm-cold temperature of the right angle,

depending upon

its

be given

direction. Details concerning this will

in

the

section entitled "Basic Plane."

Lengths

The further difference between the simple angular


lengths of the individual sections

lines

a circumstance which

consists in the

greatly modifies

the basic sound of these forms.

Absolute

The absolute sound of the given forms depends upon three conditions,

Sound

and changes as

sound of straight

lines with

above-mentioned changes

(Fig.

25),

2.

sound of the inclination to a more or

3.

sound of the inclination to a smaller or greater conquest of the plane


(Fig.

Fig.

70

follows to:

27).

25

Examples of angular

lines.

less

acute tension

(Fig.

26), and

These three sounds can create a triple sound. They can


hand, be used singly or
struction as

a whole.

in

pairs

All three

Fig.

26

Fig.

27

on the other

Triple

a matter which depends upon the con-

Sound

also,

sounds cannot be entirely eliminated, but

one or the other can out-sound the

rest to such

an extent that they can

scarcely be heard.

The most objective of the three typical angles


also

is

the coldest.

The acute angle

is

It

is

the right angle, which

divides the square plane into exactly 4 parts.

the tensest as well as the warmest.

It

cuts the plane

into exactly 8 parts.

Increasing the right angle leads to the weakening of the forward tension

and the

desire for the conquest of the plane grows in proportion. This

71

greed

is,

nevertheless, restrained in so far as the obtuse angle

ble of dividing the plane exactly:

goes into

it

it

is

not capa-

twice and leaves a portion

of 90 unconquered.

Three
Sounds

The three different sounds of these three forms thereby correspond:

1.

the cold and controlled,

2. the
3.

sharp and highly active, and

the clumsy,

weak and

passive.

These three sounds and, therefore, these three angles, give a fine graphic
translation of the artistic process:

the sharp and highly active

the inner thought

the cool and controlled

3.

the unsatisfied feeling and the sensation of one's


ing the completed work

Angular
Lines and
Colour

in

2.

We

(in

(vision),

masterly execution (realization), and

in

the case of

own weakness

artists, called

follow-

"hangover").

spoke above of 4 right angles which form a square. The relationships

with the pictorial elements can only be briefly discussed here, but
parallels of angular lines with colours

of the square and

its

definite plane-like nature, immediately

posts pointing to red, which represents a

and blue and

carries within

still

the

must be indicated. The cold-warm

midway

become

sign-

point between yellow

cold-warm characteristics.1 Not without

it

reason has the red square appeared so often of late.

completely without justification that the right angle

is

It is

not, therefore,

placed on a parallel

with red.

Under

class d) of angular lines,

angle which
(right

lies

between the

angle - 30 and acute

it

is

right

necessary to emphasize a special

and acute angles

15).

When

an

angle of 60

the openings of two such

angles are brought together, they produce an equilateral triangle

"

72

in

See "On the Spiritual

in

Art," p. 67, Figure

the Bauhaus Book, Bauhaus Verlag, 1923.

II.

Also, Table

In

three

"Basic Elements"

sharp, active angles

and

acute angle has a yellow colour

as

the

circle.

The passiveness

forward tension, gives

In

its

aggression,

thereby, distantly related to a

be shown below, constitutes the

will

plane

is,

this

Thus, the

within.

The obtuse angle increasingly loses

warmth, and

sign-post to yellow.1

become the

in

its

line

piercing quality,

third primary, typical

the

its

without angles which,

form of the

obtuse angle, the almost

missing

angle a light blue tone.

addition, further relationships can be indicated: the acuter the angle,

the closer

approaches sharp warmth and vice versa, the warmth de-

it

creases toward the red right angle and


ness, until the

and

obtuse (150) angle develops;

a presentiment of the curved

is

the circle as

inclines

its final

line

more and more to

this is

which,

cold-

a typical blue angle

in its

further course, has

goal.

can be given the following graphic expression:

This process

/ N

/
\

"VnX
N\
/
/

'

'

\
/

'

^s.

no*

S
v

160*

^s\

WO*

Fig.

28

System of typical angles ^ colours.

Ibidem.

'

'''.''

L
\
\

\
/
/'///
\
/!'/' /\ \
/

'

Fig.

29

Angle measurements.

73

Thus

AV

it

follows:

B BV

AIV B BIV

yellow,

orange

AIM B BUI

red.

AH

B BH

violet,

Al

blue.

Bi

The next jump of 30

ABC

....

Acute angle.
Right angle.

is

black.

Obtuse angle.

the transition from angular lines to straight

lines:

Horizontal.

Since, however, the typical angles in their continued

development can

form planes, the further relationships between line-plane-colour arise automatically.

We

may

therefore

make the

following

diagrammatic indica-

tion of the line-plane-colour relationships:

Plane and
Colour

Angular Lines:

Fig.

red

32

Obtuse angle

74

yellow

31

Right angle

Fig.

Primary Colours:

30

Acute angle

Fig.

Primary Forms:

blue

the parallels just

If

made

are correct, the following conclusions

may be

drawn from a comparison of the two: the sounds and characteristics of


the components produce,

are not covered

in

the

fails

to be restored

such cases, one

in

is

in

characteristics which

group. Similar facts are not unknown to other

sum divided

sciences, e.g., chemistry: the

cases

sum of

certain cases, a

in

first

into

its

components

in

many

the combination of the components. 1 Perhaps,

confronted with an unknown law, whose vague appear-

ance seems deceptive.

For example:

Colour

Line

in

respect to temperature

and

=
=
=

Horizontal

black

Vertical

white

Diagonal

grey, green

Plane

Components

black

black

= blue

active

In

My

elements of painting. Even

yellow

vertical

white

= yellow

blue

them

task

not used

will

is

in

such cases, but rather, a ?=*, which

point out "organic" relationships

to

cases where

in

conclusively,

is
is

it

is

in

such cases be deterred by possible mistakes:

way

of error.

attack
primary forms

origin of the circle will be described in the analysis of curved lines

circle

is,

at

all

events, a special case


it.

is,

indicate their inner relationship by the use of two

not infrequently reached by

are unable to create

between the

impossible to establish identities, that

yielding resistance.

The

red

components)

(as

arrows 3=^. Furthermore, one must not

2 The

Plane and
primary Components

= yellow

chemistry, the equality sign

the truth

gives the third

passive == red

points to relationships.

to prove

red

red

= blue

Tensions
Circle 2

yellow

diagonal

horizontal

Square

and

blue

S
Sum

horizontal

Triangle

Line

Colour

light

among

the three

and

straight lines

75

Thus, the

sum would supply the missing factor necessary to balance.

way, the components would be derived from the sum

and

be): lighter weights require the heavier. This

greater degree

My

from the plane

and pointsacquires a more

consisting of lines

pronounced balance by the addition of a plane

Method

lines

vice versa. Artistic practice supports this professed rule in so far

as black-white painting

may

In this

aim

establish

in

(or planes, as the

need

is

case

evident to a

still

colour painting, a fact well known to every painter.

in

considerations of this sort extends beyond the attempt to

more or

less

accurate

rules.

appears to me to be almost as

It

important to stimulate discussion about theoretic methods. The methods


of art analysis have been, until now, far too haphazard and, frequently,

too personal
objective

nature. The coming period

in

way

make

to

collective

work

in

demands a more exact and


the science of art possible.

Preferences and talents remain different here as well as elsewhere, and


the work accomplished by each person can be only
his

Inter-

especial importance.
ing

Institutes

accordance with

powers. For this very reason, a work program accepted by

national

Art

in

a systematic

in

various countries.

It

Here and there

wayan

many

is

of

arises the idea of art institutes work-

idea which

will

surely soon

be realized

in

can be maintained altogether without exaggeration,

that a science of art erected on a broad foundation must be international in character:

an

exclusively

it is

interesting, but certainly not sufficient, to create

European art theory. Geographic and other external con-

ditions are not the important ones in this connection (at least not the only

ones) but, rather,

it is

the differences

particularly in the field of art

factor.

mourning of the Chinese.

'

which

example of

sufficient

this

inner content of the "nations"

in

are, in the first instance, the deciding


is

our black mourning and the white

There can be no greater contrast

Those differences which require exact examination, not alone

but also to race,


gation

is

surely

will

be determined with no particular

carried on exactly and systematically. Nevertheless,

not infrequently acquire unexpected importance,

insuperable obstacles
details

76

and lead

influences

some cases

which often,

in

it

will

the

in

in

in

feeling for

reference to "nation"

difficulty if the investi-

matters of detail, which

often be impossible to remove

beginning

of a

culture,

affect

and thereby becloud further


development. On the other hand, purely external phenomena receive little attention
in

to superficial

imitations

colour

"black and white"

earth." Yet out of

quite as customary with us as "heaven

is

and

a deep-lying, and consequently not immediately

this,

recognizable, relationship of the two colours can be discovered: both are


silence. This

example, therefore, perhaps sheds an especially strong

light

upon the difference between the inner nature of Chinese and Europeans.

we

After thousands of years of Christianity,

my

according to

Christians experience death

characterization, as a "bottomless

as a

final silence, or,

pit,"

whereas the heathen Chinese look upon silence as a

new language,

or, in

The "national"

is

my way

of putting

it,

as "birth."

a "question" which today

is

first

step to the

either underestimated or

treated only from an external and superficial-economic standpoint; for


this reason, its

negative side comes strongly to the fore and covers up the

other side completely.


essential.

From

a dissonance but
in this

It is

this

very other side, that

rather,

the inner, which

is,

is

sum of the nations would form not

standpoint, the

this last

harmony. Presumably, art would also intervene

seemingly hopeless case

this

time

in

scientific

unconscious-

way

or involuntarily, with harmonizing effect. The realization of the idea of

ly

organizing an international art institute can

2.

two

introduction to

can become complex when

Complex

In this

case, the point receives not

Angular

but, rather, several pushes which (for simplicity's sake) are derived

from two, not several, alternating forces. The schematic type of these
of

this.

lines

The simplest forms of angular

other lines join the two original ones.

become an

many

angles

is

composed of

lines

several segments of equal length which

stand at right angles to each other. Accordingly, the endless series of

many-angled

in

lines

becomes modified

a systematic work and can

would not be possible

in

in this

in

two

directions:

kind of theoretic work be neglected which, naturally,

the case of an exclusively "positivistic" approach. Even

"simple" cases, a one-sided approach can lead only to one-sided conclusions.

be short-sighted to assume that a people


graphic position which determines
insufficient

to

assert that

analysis, flow out of this

a creative power
1

See

"On

is

the

people

an inner one

the Spiritual

in

its

political
itself,

is

"accidentally" placed

further development.

in

this inner

its

these

would

a definite geo-

would also be quite as

and economic conditions which,

guide and shape

Art," p. 68.

It

in
It

in

the final

creative power. The goal of

cannot be shelled out of the external alone.

77

1.

2.

through combinations of acute,

right,

obtuse and free angles, and

through various lengths of the segments.

Thus a

many-angled

line can be

composed of the most

diverse parts-

from the simpler to the ever more complex.

Sum

of obtuse angles, which have equal segments,

it

ii

it

have unequal segments,


alternate with acute angles and have

equal or unequal segments,


"

alternate with right and acute angles,


etc. (Rg. 33).

Fig.

33

Free many-angled

Curved
Lines

These

lines

lines.

are also called zig-zag lines and when they have equal seg-

ments, they form an animated straight

line.

When

acute-angled

in

form,

they suggest height and, thus, the vertical; when obtuse-angled, they tend

toward the

ment

is

horizontal.

The endless potentiality of straight

always retained

in

the above-mentioned forms.

lines for

move-

If,

is

particularly in the case of the formation of the obtuse angle, a force

regularly

augmented and the angle increases

toward the plane and,


the obtuse-angle

line,

especially,

toward the

and the

the curved line

size,

in

circle.

circle

this

form tends

The relationship of
is,

thereby, not only

of an external, but of an inner nature, as well. The passivity of the obtuse

angle and

cave

its

unaggressive attitude toward

more and more

in

until

it

ends

surroundings, causes

its

it

to

the profoundest self-absorption

in

of the circle.

When

II.

two forces act upon the point

continually, but always to the

a curved

I.

line is

It is

really

a straight

line

in pressure,

is

which has been brought out of

the

greater was

went the diversion from the straight

became

that one force

line.

constant sideward pressure

greater

way

such a

same degree, exceeds the other

created whose basic form

the simple curved

in

line

and,

the outward tension and,

in

finally,

its

course by

pressure, the farther

this

the course of

this,

the

the tendency to close

itself.

The inner difference from the straight

line consists in

the number and kind

of tensions: the straight line has two distinct primitive tensions which play

an unimportant

role in the

case of the curved

resides in the arc (third tension, which opposes


(Fig.

line,

whose chief tension

and out-sounds the

others)

34). While the piercing quality of the angle disappears, there

greater force confined here which, even though


greater endurance concealed within
exists in the

angle while

in

the arc

is

it.

it

is

less

is still

aggressive, has

Something thoughtlessly youthful

a mature energy,

rightfully self-con-

scious.

This maturity

and the

elastic

the contrast to the straight

curved

line:

full

line

sound of the curved

not

the origin of the curved

in

the angular

line

line

but

lead us to seek
definitely in the

and the character proceeding

79

Fig.

34

Tensions of straight and curved

Contrasts
in

Lines

out of this origin,

i.e.,

lines.

the complete absence of the straight

line,

compel

us to state that:

the straight line and the curved line represent the primary contrasting pair of lines

iy

i
80

Fig.

35

(Fig.

35).

The angular
ment: birth

Whereas

must, therefore, be looked upon as an intermediate ele-

line

youth

maturity.

the straight line

line carries within it

ditions

unchanged,

is

a complete negation of the plane, the curved

a seed of the plane.


roll

each other and

in

the

same

and end flow

instant disappear without

a trace. The

most unstable and, at the same time, the most stable of planes

the

circle (Fig.

36).

Fig.

form diverging

in

36

Fig.

Developing

circle.

a regular manner from the circle

force acting from within exceeds the outer

going

circle

off

its

track

in

is

a plane.

in

uniform

manner.

is

ingly important for painting; aside from the circle,

eight
is

and

is

the spiral

similar piano forms as lines (curves).

it

Besides

this

distinction which

designates the

geometry, from

its

ellipse,

another
a

is

is

line,

exceed-

the figure

The term used here, the "curved

not the equivalent of the more exact geometric terminology

etc.) for

therefore,

difference,

the spiral

significant:
this

is,

37

spiral.

37); the

(Fig.

a uniform measure. The spiral

much more
Geometry does not make

can be observed which, for painting,


while the circle

created

is

Developing

will

starting point. Beginning

its

Plane

the two forces, with the con-

the point ever farther, the developing curve

sooner or later arrive again at


into

If

line,"

(parabola, hyperbola,

standpoint on the basis of formulae, must inevitably make

classifications which in this connection are out of the question for painting.

81

Contrast

Even the straight

Relation
to the Plane

characteristics the desire (even though deeply hidden) to give birth to a

in

line, in

plane; to transform

The straight
curved

line

impulses

in

the final analysis, carries within

itself into

line is

although,

this,

which can create a plane with two forces,


In

with

the case of this

new

in
it

contrast to the

has need of three

plane, beginning

end cannot completely disappear, but are observable at three

Complete absence of the

straight

on the other hand, three straight


signs of the

other

its

a more compact, more self-contained thing.

capable of doing

plane creation.

it

and

points.

and the angular on the one hand and,


lines with

three angles

two primary planes which stand

in

these

are the

the greatest contrast

to each other. Therefore, these two planes confront each other as

Fig.

38

the primary contrasting pair of planes.

Three Pairs
Elements

We

have now reached the point where

line

merge with each

other,

pictorial elements

line,

line.

Pair

triangle,
circle.

2.

Pair

which

but which are theoretically separable:

colour.

Curved

82

logical to establish certain

plane

Straight

1.

is

between those three parts of the

relationships

actually

it

yellow,
blue.

3.

Pair

Three primary contrasting pairs of elements.

adherence to law peculiar to one of the

This abstract

art

a constant, more or

conscious application, which can be

less

with nature's adherence to law

and which

human being a very

affords the inner

mentally, this

same

arts, finds in this

in

both cases

art

compared

and nature

particular satisfaction. Funda-

abstract, law-abiding quality

is

most certainly the

property of other art expressions. The spatial elements

in

sculpture

architecture, 1 the tonal elements in music, the elements of

the dance, and the word

Other Arts

elements2 in poetry,

all

and

movement

have need of a

in

similar

uncovering and a similar elementary comparison with respect to their


external

and

their inner characteristics, which

The tables set up

in

the final analysis,

call

"sounds."

the sense proposed here must be subjected to an

exact examination, and


in

it

easily possible that these individual tables,

is

will result in

Emotional assertion surely

is

and compels our taking the

first

one

synthetic table.

originally

rooted

in

intuitive

experiences

steps along this inviting road. The

emo-

tional alone, however, in this case could easily lead off the track; this

can

only be avoided with the help of exact analytic work. By the use of the
right3

method,

it is

possible, however, to avoid pitfalls.

The progress won through systematic work


tionary which,
finally,

in its

further development,

to a theory of composition which

of the individual art expressions and

will
will

will

create an elementary diclead to a

Dictionary

"grammar" and,

pass beyond the boundaries

become applicable

to "Art" as

whole. 4

The identity of the basic elements

in

sculpture and architecture explains

in

part the

victorious subjugation of sculpture by architecture today.

2 The nomenclature used here for the basic elements of the various arts must be looked
upon as provisional. Even the commonly-held concepts are hazy.
3 This is a clear example of the necessary simultaneous use of intuition and calculation.
4 See clear suggestions of this in "On the Spiritual in Art" and in my article "Ober
Biihnenkomposition"

in

"Der Blaue Reiter," Piper Verlag, Munich, I9I2.

83

The dictionary of a
perpetually: words

living

language

is

immutable as

become submerged,

into the world; foreign

Strangely enough, a

die;

it

undergoes changes

words are created, come new

words are brought home from across the borders.

grammar

in art

today

still

seems ominously dangerous

to many.

Planes

The more alternating forces there are acting on the


their directions,

and the more

angular

in length,

line

are

This

is

mentioned here to aid

tween the angular

The

line

(Fig.

in

the

will

39).

the clarification of the differences be-

likewise inexhaustible variations in the planes

circle, since

an

be the planes created.

and the curve.

to the curve, never lose a certain

84

more diverse

different the individual segments of

the more complex

The variations are inexhaustible

point, the

even though

which owe their origin

distant

they carry circle tensions within them

relationship with

(Fig.

40).

Rg.

Some
II

of the possible variations of the curved line must

2.

complex curved or wave-like

line

still

can consist

40

be mentioned.

Wave-like

of:

Line
1.

geometric parts of a

circle,

or

2. free parts, or
3.

various combinations of these.

These three types cover

all

the forms of the curve.

Some examples

will

confirm this rule.

geometric

Curve

Equal radius

wave-like:

uniform alternation of positive and negative pressure. Hori-

zontal course with alternating tensions

and release

(Fig.

41).

Fig.

41

85

Curve

free wave-like:

Displacement of the above


1.

lines

with the

same

horizontal extension:

the geometric character disappears,

2. positive

and negative pressure with

irregular alternation,

former gets much the upper hand of the latter

Fig.

(Fig.

whereby the

42).

42

Curve

free wave-like:

Displacement increased. Especially temperamental struggle between the

86

two

forces.

Fig.

43

The positive pressure pushes to a very great height

(Fig.

43).

Curve

free wave-like:

Variations of these last:

the high point directed toward the

1.

left

giving

way

in

the face of the

line

accentuation

energetic attack of the negative pressure,


2. stress

on the height through the broadening of the

44).

(Fig.

Fig.

Curve

free wave-like:

After the

initial

ascent toward the

large scale upwards

the

left.

and to the

left,

immediate, definite tension on a

right. Relaxing to circular

form toward

Four waves are subordinated to one direction, from lower

upper right

44

(Fig.

left

to

45).

Further discussion of the sound "right," "left,"

and

its

tensions

will

be found

in

the

section "Basic Plane."

The effects of right and

left can be investigated by holding the book in front of the


above and below, by turning the book upside-down.
The "reflection" and the "upside-down" are still rather mysterious facts which are of

mirror;

great importance to the theory of composition.

87

Fig.

45

Curve

geometric wave-like:

Contrasted to the geometric wave-like


with

modest diversions to the

wave leads
4,4,4,2,

88

Fig.

46

right

and

line
left.

above

(Fig.

41)

pure ascent

The sudden weakening of the

to increased vertical tension. Radius from bottom to


(Fig.

46).

top

In

1.

the examples given, two different kinds of conditions produce the result:

the combination of the active and passive pressures,

2. the contribution of the

Effects

sound of direction.

Associated with these two sound factors can further be


3.

the emphasis

in

the

line itself.

This linear accentuation

crease

in

strength.

is

a gradual, or a spontaneous, increase or de-

simple example

will

Emphasis

make detailed explanations

superfluous:

Fig.

48

The same, with uniformly decreasing


Fig.

Geometric curve

in

47

ascent.

emphasis whereby

heightened tension of ascent


is

attained.

89

Fig.

49

Spontaneous accentuations of a free curved

Line

and

The spreading

out, especially in the

line.

case of a short, straight

a relation to the growing point. Here, too, the question


line

as such die out, and at what

without a definite answer.

How

shall

moment

is

line,

bears

"When does

the

a plane born?", remains

the question

"Where does

the river

stop and the sea begin?", be answered?

The boundaries are indefinite and mobile, Everything here depends upon
proportions, as

the absolute

was the case with the point

the relative to an indistinct, subdued sound.

of-the-boundary"

is

much more

(in

position,

90

Several

produces

full

is

reduced by

a potent source of expression, a

the final analysis, an element) to ends

This means, in cases of

is

practice, this "approaching-

precisely expressed than in pure theory.1

The "approaching-of-the-boundary"
powerful means

In

in

composition.

an acute dryness of the main elements

among

page diagrams

in

a com-

these elements a certain vibration and causes

in this

book are clear examples of

this.

(See Appendix.)

a definite loosening-up of the

when used

At

all

to an

stiff

atmosphere of the whole and can,

exaggerated extent, lead to almost repulsive over-niceties.

events, one

is

here

still

completely dependent upon feeling.

generally accepted distinction between line and plane

impossiblea fact which

is

perhaps bound up with the

state of painting, as yet of an embryonic nature,

by the very character of

advanced

edges of the

edges of the

Outer

is

line,

line

just

mentioned accentuation.

In

these

are to be considered as independent outer

a fact which has more theoretic than practical value.

lines,

In

little

not possibly determined

Boundaries

which are formed partly by the


cases, both

still

for the present,

this art. 1

particular sound factor of the line

4. the outer

if

is,

the question of the outer shape of the

same question

in

Smooth, jagged,

line,

we are reminded

of the

the case of the point.

torn,

rounded are attributes which

the imagination

in

create certain sensations of touch, due to which the outer borders of a


line,

from a purely practical point of view, should not be underestimated.

With the

line,

the combination possibilities

sensations are far

characteristics can be used

this

colour uses this

bilities.

means

line; etc. All

sides

means

to a

all

still

among

of these

straight, angular

can have a special treatment.

limits

of

the elements of painting and their application;

greater extent, thereby possessing countless possi-

The basic plane, too, works with


of expression, belongs

line;

"approaching-of-the-boundary" extends far beyond the

the problem of line-plane and into


e.g.,

edges of a rounded

the three types of lines

in

and each of the two

The means to

point: for example,

jagged edges of a smooth, rounded

line;

torn edges of a jagged line; torn

the transference to touch

more many-sided than with the

smooth edges of a jagged

and curved

in

this

medium

which, together with the other

the rules and laws of the theory of composition.

91

Combined
Line

The

III.

of the

and

third,

two

first

combined

last,

line.

basic type of line

Consequently,

kinds.

The nature of

is

the result of the combination

must be called the

it

individual segments determines

its

its

par-

ticular character:

1.

it is

2.

it is

3.

it is

a geometric combined line,

if

the parts brought together are

exclusively geometric,

a mixed combined

metric,

Force

line,

free parts are associated with geo-

and

a free combined line,

Quite apart from differences


inner tensions,
inal

if

if it is

in

line

entirely of free lines.

character which are determined by the

and quite apart from

source of every

composed

their processes of creation, the orig-

remains the same

the force.

Compo-

The action of the force on the given material brings

sition

which expresses

itself in tensions.

The

An

inner nature of the element to be expressed.


result of the action of the force

and simplest case of

life

element

on the material. The

this creative

into the material,

tensions, for their part, permit the


is

line is

the objective
the clearest

process which always takes place

in

exact obedience to law and, therefore, allows and requires an exact lawabiding application. Thus, a composition

law-abiding organization of the


sions,

Number

In

vital

nothing other than an

the final analysis, every force finds expression

numerical expression.

today

In

exact

the form of ten-

it

must not be

left

at

first

number;

this is called

out of consideration.

We

measurement which some day, sooner or

be found beyond the Utopian. From

be possible to give every composition

may

in

art at present, this remains a rather theoretic

lack the possibilities of

later, will

this

in

are shut up within the elements.

contention but, nevertheless,

92

is

forces which,

its

this

moment

on,

it

will

numerical expression, even though

perhaps hold true only of

its

"basic plan" and

its

larger

complexes. The balance


the breaking

plish

chiefly

is

down

a matter of patience which

accom-

will

of the larger complexes into ever smaller,

more

subordinate groups. Only after the conquest of numerical expression

an exact theory of composition

will

stand)

be

completely

Simpler

realized.

their numerical expression were employed

ago

some extent

in

associated

relationships

with

architecture perhaps as early

in

music,

and

poetry; while more complex relationships did not

find

as thousands of years
to

we now

(at the beginning of which

numerical expression.

It

(e.g., in

the Temple of Solomon),

in

very tempting to work with simple numerical

is

day

proportions which, legitimately, are particularly suited to present

tendencies

in

complexity

in

numerical relationships

perhaps, even more tempting) and

The

appear

will

will

be

practical. In the

the second,

first,

Law

utility.

is

now, individual

istics.

lines

as tempting

(or,

two directions

the theoretical

obedience to law plays the greater

role;

subordinated here to purpose whereby the

Work of art attains the highest quality

Until

just

added

used. 1

interest in numerical expression runs in

and the
in

step has been passed,

art. Nevertheless, after this

were

genuineness.

classified

and tested

The different ways of using several

lines

for their character-

and the nature of

their

Complexes
Lines

reciprocal effect, the subordination of individual lines to a group of lines

or to a

complex of

the limits of

my

lines

is

a question of composition and passes beyond

present purpose.

In spite

of

this,

a few more characteristic

examples are necessary, to the extent that the nature of the individual

can be illuminated by these examples. Some combinations


briefly

shown here

solely as

will

line

be very

a suggestion of the way to more complex

structures.

See "On the Spiritual

in

Art," p. 90.

93

Some simple examples


Fig.

50. Repetition of a

Fig.

51

Fig.

52. Opposed

Fig.

53. Repetition of a curved

Fig.

54. Opposed

Fig.

55. Central-ryhthmic

Fig.

5G. Central-rhythmic repetition of a curved

Fig.

57. Repetition of an accented curved

straight line with alternation of weights.

Repetition of an angular

panying

S4

of rhythm:

line.

repetition of an angular

line,

plane formation.

line.

repetition of a curved line, repeated plane formation.


repetition of

a straight

line

line.

line.

by means of an accom-

line.

Fig.

58. Contrasting repetition of a curved

Fig.

50

Fig.

54

Fig.

51

Fig.

Fig.

55

line.

52

Fig.

53

Fig.

58

Rg.

57

The simplest case

the

vals

is

Fig.

the exact repetition of a straight line at equal inter-

in

uniformly increasing intervals (Fig. 60),

or

in

unequal intervals

The

first

In

(Fig.

61).

59

Fig.

60

Fig.

kind presents a repetition which has, primarily,

inforcement as
one

violin

Repetition

primitive ryhthm (Fig. 59),

or

Fig.

58

is

its

purpose

reinforced by

the second kind, an

as, for

many

example,

in

61

quantitative re-

music where the sound of

violins.

accompaniment of the qualitative

with the quantitative reinforcement which,

in

enters along

music, appears about

like

95

repetition of the

same measures

after a

"piano," the

somewhat long

movement

the case of repetitions

in

The

a more complex rhythm

third kind, in which

is

is

interruption or, in

qualitatively modified.1

used,

is

the most intricate.

Considerably more complicated combinations are possible


angular

Fig.

lines

and, especially,

in

that of curved

Contrasting combination of a curved

lines

with an angular

line.

The charac-

running along with each other.

Repetition by other instruments of the


qualitative one.
1

line

of both acquire a strengthened sound.

63

Curved

96

the case of

62

teristics

Fig.

in

lines.

same

pitch must

be viewed as a coloured-

64

Fig.

Running apart.

Quantitative and qualitative intensifications are present


(Figs.

and

63

and 64);

velvet-like

nevertheless, they carry within

and due to

this,

the lyric

case of an opposite arrangement of


full

in

both instances

them something

oversounds the dramatic.

lines,

soft

In

the contrast cannot attain

the
its

sound.

Such really independent complexes can, of course, be subordinated to


greater ones, and these greater ones,
total composition

in

in

turn,

still

form only a part of the

about the same way that our solar system forms

only a part of the cosmic whole.

The universal harmony of a composition can, therefore, consist of a number of complexes

rising to the highest point of contrast.

can even be of an inharmonious character, and

still

their

These contrasts
proper use

Composition

will

not have a negative effect on the total harmony but, rather, a positive
one,

and

will

raise the

work of art to a thing of the greatest harmony.

97

Time

The element of time,


extent than

On

was

it

In

general,

discernable

is

in

the

the case of the point: length

in

line

to a

much greater

a concept of time.

is

the other hand, the time required to follow a straight line

is

different

from that required for a curved one, even though the lengths are the

same; the more animated the curved


of time

it

line

becomes, the longer

is

the span

represents. Thus, the possibilities of using line as a time element

are manifold. The application of time has a different inner colouration


horizontal
reality

and

vertical lines,

even

if

of equal lengths, and perhaps

a matter of different lengths which, at any

logically explainable.
not, therefore,

The time element

be overlooked and

in

in

rate,

it

is

in
in

would be psycho-

a purely linear composition must

the theory of composition

it

must be

subjected to an exact examination.

Other
Arts

As

with the point, the line can be used

than painting.

means

Music

What

Its

in

nature finds a more or

forms of art expression other


less

precise translation

in

the

of other arts.

a musical line

is,

is

well

known

(see Fig. 11). 1

Most musical

instru-

ments are of a linear character. The pitch of the various instruments corresponds to the width of the

duced by the

line:

a very fine

violin, flute, piccolo;

tone of the viola, clarinet; and the

toned instruments,

finally

line

represents the sound pro-

a somewhat thicker
lines

culminating

in

line

become more broad

represents the
via the deep-

the broadest line representing the

deepest tones produced by the bass-viol or the tuba.

Aside from
diversified

The organ

its

width, the line

is

produced

The

line

its

colour variations by the

chromatic character of different instruments.

is

quite as typical a "linear" instrument as the piano

"point" instrument.

98

in

grows organically out of points.

is

It

can be asserted that

expression.

painting. 1

of art

is

manifests

It

How

music the

in

here

itself

line supplies

in

the greatest means of

time and space

a question by

which, with

itself

distinctions,

its

as

just

time and space are related to each other

it

does

in

the two forms

in

has led to an exag-

gerated scrupulousness and, thereby, the concepts of time-space or spacetime have been differentiated far too much.

The degrees of
in

from pianissimo to fortissimo can be expressed

intensity

an increasing or decreasing sharpness of the

that

line,

is,

in its

bow corresponds

of brilliance. The pressure of the hand on the

degree

exactly to

the pressure of the hand on the pencil.

It is

and

particularly interesting

sentation

common

in

significant that the graphic musical repre-

musical

only by

notation

The time

is

today

use

various combinations of point and

line.

means of the colour of the point

is

nothing other than

recognizable therein

and black

(white

only,

which con-

sequently leads to the restriction of the means) and the number of pen-

nant stripes

(lines).

zontals form
plicity of

the

The pitch
of

basis

means of

the

is

likewise

this.

measured

in

lines,

and

five hori-

The unqualified brevity and the sim-

translation, which in clear

language convey the

most complex sound phenomena to the experienced eye

(indirectly to the

ear) are instructive. Both of these characteristics are very alluring for the

other forms of art and


should be

search of

in

it

its

to arrive finally at their

fundamental

In

is

understandable that painting or the dance

own "notes." There

however, only one

way

analytic separation

into

is,

own graphic expression

elements. 2

measuring tonal pitch

in

physics,

special

apparatus

is

used which

projects the

vibrating tone mechanically on a surface and which thereby gives the musical tone a
precise graphic form. Similar things are also
In

many important

tions as material for the synthetic

2 The relationships of the


finally,

phenomena

to the

forms
that,

phenomena

require
in

means

to the

of other "worlds," can

into their

and

means

their possibilities

respective linear

of other art expressions and,

be indicated only very superficially

in

general, the transcription of

("graphic")

and colour ("pictorial")

a thorough study of linear and colour expression. There

principle,

expression of

method.

pictorial

here. "Translations," especially,

various

done with colour.


makes use of exact graphic transla-

cases, the science of art already

its

every phenomenon of every world

inner nature

regardless of whether

it

is

no question

admits of such expression

be Raphael,

J.

S.

the

Bach, a storm,

99

The Dance

In

the dance, the whole

lines with

and

body

in

the

new dance, every

finger

draws

very clear expression. The "modern" dancer moves about the

stage on exact

lines,

which he introduces

the composition of

in

his

dance

as a significant element (Sacharoff). The entire body of the dancer, right

down

to his finger tips,

lines (Palucca).
is

is

The use of

at every
lines

is,

moment an

indeed, a

uninterrupted composition of

new achievement

no invention of the "modern" dance: apart from the

people at every stage of their "evolution" work with

but, of course,

classic ballet, every

line in

the dance.

One is not at a loss for proof of the role and significance of the line in
Sculpture
Architecture sculpture and architecturethe structure in space is, at the same time,
a

linear construction.

An

exceedingly important task of art-scientific research would

be an

analysis of the fate of lines in architecture, at least in the case of the

typical works of various peoples

with

this,

in

various epochs, and, what

is

bound up

a purely graphic translation of these works. The philosophic

basis of this work would

be the determination of the relationships of

graphic formulae to the spiritual atmosphere of the given time. The


topic, for the present,

would be the logically necessary

horizontal-vertical, with the conquest of the air

parts of a building, for which present

day

building

day

restriction to

the

by the projecting upper

building materials

techniques offer extensive and

final

reliable

principle of building just described must, to follow

and present

possibilities.

my

The

terminology, be

designated as cold-warm or warm-cold, depending upon whether the


horizontal or the vertical

is

emphasized. This principle has

in

a short time

produced a number of important works, and they continue to be created


in

the most diverse countries (Germany, France, Holland, Russia, America,

etc.).

fear,

a cosmic process, tooth-ache, a "high" or a "low" phenomenon, a "high" or a

"low" experience. The only danger would be to remain bound to the external form and

100

to neglect the content.

The rhythmic form of the verse finds


the curved

expression

its

where a regular recurrence

line,

in

the straight and

exactly denoted graph-

is

ically

meter. Besides

cise,

the verse develops on recital a certain musical melodic line which

gives expression,

in

rhythmic measurement of length, which

this

an inconstant and variable form, to the

it is

bound up with the

and

rise

literary content of the verse

and release of tension are analogous to content. The


from a departure from the law-abiding
with greater freedom,

variation

upon the person

"literary" verse.

It is

in

fatal in

this kind

as notation does
abstract poetry

the musical melodic

relation to the use of the point.

In

line

a neighboring

So far as

is

less

dangerous

line

field of

the

it

line

know, the

here replaced the

and

limits

of

precise form than representative art,


is in

the

first

have discussed

case essential and

same

this

As has already been

the

in

difference in

said above, the

artengineering art and

grows ever more

Eiffel

Tower

in

the technics closely

importance

in Paris

special

(Figs.

was the most

65 and

67).

the

line

has

plane.1

and very Important case

ological observations)

Technics

significant early

lines;

in

technics

is

the use of line as the

expression of number. The automatic drawing of lines (like that also used

force. This

of pitch

notation should be

attempt to create an especially high building out of

dependent upon

silence.

related to

is

must only be mentioned here that ab-

It

more

second, very often immaterial.

same way, and

music. The question of the possibility

complicated.

stract art must reckon with a

is

the

an abstract poem because the

and that the pure question of form

point

tension

of poetry which would show the pitch line as exactly

in

is

law-

is

the

reciting; similarly, in music, the

values represents an essential, definite element.

found for

fall,

variability resulting

in

the intensity of the sound (forte and piano)

in

the musician. This imprecision


in

depends

line

pre-

is

the tension and the release of tension. Fundamentally, this line

abiding as

Poetry

is

in

graphic

meteor-

a precise graphic representation of an increasing or decreasing

representation

makes possible the reduction of the use of number to a

101

Fig.

65

Diagram of a
ment. (Ship's

minimum

the

sailing vessel. Linear construction for the

hull

and

purpose of move-

rigging.)

line partially

also comprehensible to the

replaces the number. The resulting diagrams are clear and

layman

(Fig. 66).

The same method, that of giving expression


to a development or a temporary condition

by the height of

lines,

has for years been

where the charts (diagrams) have to be made by hand and are


used

statistics

in

the result of tedious, pedantically executed


work. The

method

ences (e.g.

Fig.

is

also used in other sci-

astronomy, "lightcurve").

66

Rectification of the curve of an electrical current

102

in

Auerbach, Verlag Teubner.

in

graphic representation

by

Felix

Fig.

Framework of a motor

67

freightship.

Fig.

68

Radio tower, seen from below. (Photo Moholy-Nagy.)

Fig.

69

Forest of masts.

Fig.

70

room

of the Constructivist Exhibition

in

Moscow, 192

I,

The connections and

rivets are points in these linear constructions.

are line-point constructions, not upon the plane, but

in

space

(Fig.

These
G8).1

The "constructivist" works of recent years are for the most part and
especially

form, "pure" or abstract constructions

in their original

in

space,

Constructivism

without practical-useful application, which distinguishes these works from


the art of the engineer and compels us to assign them to the field of

absolute art. The vigorous use and strong accentuation of the

connections are striking

The use of

nature

line in

line

by point

these works (Fig. 70).

in

is

an exceedingly frequent one.

This subject,

Nature

which merits special investigation, could be mastered only by a synthesizing natural scientist.

how nature

see

It

would be especially important for the

uses the basic elements

in

artist to

her independent realm; which

elements are to be considered; what characteristics they possess; and

which manner they combine to form

do not reveal to the

tion

structures. Natural laws of

in

composi-

the possibility of superficial imitation

artist

(which he frequently sees as the main purpose of the laws of nature) but,
rather, the possibility of contrasting these laws with those of art. Also in
this point, decisive for

the abstract

in art,

we already

setting side-by-side or setting opposite (the

and the

of the parallel

case of

line

separated

two

discover the law of

principles

this

way and

living

independently,

will

principle

was shown

principle of contrast) which

groupings. The laws of the two great realms


in

the

art

in

the

and nature

finally

lead to the

understanding of the whole body of the laws of world composition and


clarify the

external

independent activity of each toward a higher synthetic order:


inner.

This viewpoint has, until now,

has recognized

rights

its

and

special technical construction

electrical

become evident
duties,

only

in

abstract

art which

and which no longer leans upon the

masts, which are

erected for distant transmission of

power, affords an instructive example of this (Fig. 69).

One

gets the Im-

pression here of a "technical forest," which looks similar to a "natural forest" of palms

or

fir

trees,

pressed

graphic elements

flat.

line

In

the graphic construction of such a mast, the two basic

and point

are

used exclusively.

103

external shell of natural


this external shell in

it

phenomena.

"objective" art

is

should not be replied here that

It

put to the service of inner purposes

remains impossible to incorporate completely the inner of one realm

into the outer of another.

The

line

appears

in

nature

in

countless

phenomena:

in

and animal worlds. The schematic construction of the


a purely

Fig.

linear formation (an

in

plane form

71)

the

is

ice crystal).

71

"Trichites"
(Dr.

example

the mineral, plant


crystal (Fig.

"Crystal skeleton."

hair-like crystals.

O. Lehmann, "Die neue Welt

d. flussigen Kristalle," Leipzig,

I9II,

pp. 54, 69.)

plant

in its

entire

development from seed to roof (downwards), as far as

the beginning of the bud (upwards), 1 passes over from point to

The attachment of the leaves around the shoot takes place

which can be expressed with a mathematic formula


has represented

104

this

geometric spiral on

with

p. 81,

a
Fig.

spiral-like

37-

diagram

In

line (Fig.

the most exact manner,

numerical expressionand
(Fig.

72).

Compare

this

science

with

the

Fig.

Diagram of
(Points of

leaf positions.

attachment of the leaves to the shoot,


which follow each other

"Basic Spirals." (K. d. G., Botan.

in

sequence.)

Teil,

Part

Section IV

73} and, as

it

progresses, leads to

72

more complicated complexes of

III,

2.)

lines,

to independent linear structures, like the network of the leaf or the eccentric construction of evergreen trees (Fig. 75).

te

m
Fig.

Swimming movements of

73

plants created by flagellation.

(K. d. G.. Part

III,

Section IV

3, p. 165.)

The organic linear pattern of the branches always emanates from the same
basic principle but exhibits the most varied arrangements

(e.g.,

among

105

frees alone:
liana

fir,

fig,

dale palm, or the most bewildering complexes of the

and various other

snake-like plants).

Some complexes

are, moreover,

of a clear, exact, geometric nature and vividly recall geometric construc-

made by animals, as, for example, the surprising


spider's web. On the other hand, some are of a "free"
tions

Geometric
and Loose

up of free

lines;

formation of the
nature and

made

the loose structure reveals no exact geometric construction.

Structure
Nevertheless, the fixed

employed
found

Fig.

in

in

abstract

(Fig.

74

"Loose" ligament

tissue of the rat.

Section

in

74). Both types of construction are

painting. 1

(K. d. G., Part

III,

IV, p. 75.)

There are two reasons for the fact that

in

recent years exact geometric construction

painting has seemed so very important to painters:

of abstract colour
role

106

and exact are not excluded here but are only

a different manner

in

I,

the necessary and natural use

the "suddenly" awakened architecture, where the colour plays a

subordinated to the whole and for which "pure" painting prepared

sciously in "horizontal-vertical"

and

2,

itself

uncon-

the necessity which sprang up naturally, dragging

Fig.

75

Blossom of the Clematis. (Photo Katt Both, Bauhaus.)

Fig.

76

Line formation of a stroke of lightning.

This relationship,

one

may

well

say "identity,"

is

a momentous example of

One must

the connection between art laws and natural laws.

not,

however,

false conclusions from similar cases: the difference between art

draw

nature

lies

not

the basic laws but, rather,

in

and

the material which

in

is

subject to these laws. Furthermore, the basic characteristics of the material,

which

each case are

in

different,

must not be

which

ation: the proto-element of nature


in

cell

left

well

is

out of consider-

known today,

is

constant, actual movement, whereas the proto-element of painting

knows no movement and

point

rest.

is

The skeletons of various animals exhibit the most diverse linear constructions in their evolution to the highest

ations leave nothing to be desired

again by their
these leaps
fish,

multiplicity.

from the

of the

one

in this

Man. These

vari-

Thematic
Structure

"beauty" and astonish us time and

in

surprises us

giraffe to the toad,

from the elephant to the mouse

one theme, and that

here

What

form known today

most

in this is

the fact that

from the human being to the

are nothing more than variations on

the most infinite possibilities are drawn entirely out

principle of concentric structure.

The creative power must ad-

to definite natural laws, which exclude the eccentric. Natural

laws of this kind are not intended for art and the road of the eccentric

remains completely free and open.

The finger grows out of the hand exactly as a twig has to grow out of the
branch

according

painting along with


not alone

in itself,

attitude of the
transition

to the principle of gradual development out of the

to reach back to the elementary,

it,

but

this

elementary

structure as well. This tendency can be observed in the whole

in its

"new"

and to seek

individual, not only in

art but

from the primary to the complex, which

more or

will

less

in

all

fields,

as a

sooner or later definitely be

accomplished. Abstract

art,

"laws of nature" and

forced to proceed as nature did formerly; from a modest be-

ginning

with

is

protoplasm

which has gained

and

organisms. Abstract art today

cells,
is

very

it

indefinite

outlines;

its

these lure him,

freedom,

gradually

also creating

organisms, whose further development the


its

Art and
Nature

also subject here to the

advanced

to

more

complex

primary, or more or less primary, art

present

excite

is

him,

day painter can only surmise


but also quiet him when

into the perspective of the future which lies before him.

It

marked here that those who question the future of abstract

may, for example, be


art,

in

he looks
re-

reckon with the evolu-

tionary state of the amphibians, which are very considerably removed from developed
vertebrates,

and do not represent the end

result of creation but, rather, the

"beginning."

107

center (Fig. 77).

In

painting,

line

can

externally to the whole, without having

center

the subordination here

must not be underrated

in

is

exist

without subordinating

itself

an external relationship to the

of an inner nature. Even this simple fact

the analysis of the relationships between art

and nature. 1

Fig.

77

Diagram of one of the

extremities of

a vertebrate.

Termination of the central structure.

These exceedingly important questions can only be briefly touched upon within the

limited confines of this book: they are part of the theory of composition.

be emphasized here that the elements are the same


the differences

108

first

in different

must only

It

creative fields

and that

reveal themselves in the structure. Furthermore, the examples used

here should be looked upon only

in this light.

The fundamental difference

means to the end and,

the

nature must
able

As

in

for

more exactly

the purpose or,

lies in

the final analysis, the end

in

be the same. At any

human purposes

in

rate,

stated, in

and

art
it is

in

advis-

either case not to confuse the shell with the nut.

and nature,

for the means, art

in relation

to the

removed from each

different directions which are far

they tend toward

one

Each kind of

seeks the appropriate external

line

point. This difference should

attain the shape necessary at the


basis of

economy: the minimum

human

moment and,

effort for the

other, even

become

maximum

in

though

fully clear.

means to enable

specifically,

it

to

on the general

result.

The material characteristics of the "graphics" discussed

about the point can apply equally as

move

being,

in

well to the line, which

the section
is

the

first

The
rapines

natural sequel to the point: most easily produced in etching (especially


with acid) by deeply

woodcut;

It is

embedding the

line;

careful

and

difficult

work

in

the

light lying-on-the-surface in lithography.

interesting at this point to

make some observations about these three

techniques and about their relative popularity.

The order
1.

2.
3.

is:

plane, as easiest
point and
lithography
plane.

woodcut

result,

etching

The

line,

point, line,

artistic interest in the

about

in this

order.

elements and their respective techniques

is

109

The

Woodcut

After a long extended period of interest

the underestimation

brush painting

in

many cases, contempt

in

which was bound up with

In

the beginning, the woodcut was

practised on the side as a lower form of art

more

became the

victoriously and, finally,

German graphic

esteem for the forgotten (especially the

this,

German) woodcut suddenly awakened.

the

until

it

spread farther and

characteristic type of work of

addition to other factors, this circumstance

artist. In

closely

bound up with the plane, to which much attention was paid at

that time

plane period of art or the art of the plane. The plane, the chief

is

means

o* expression of painting at that time, soon thereafter conquered

became plane

sculpture which

Today

sculpture.

development, reached about 30 years ago


taneously

in

If

its

painting and almost simul-

other chief
in

medium

the

an evolution proceeding
lution

line. This

the shape of a normal

and

is still

the use of the

recognized at

quietly,

all

line in

by these

judged favorably but,

in

itself

again with

took place (and continues to fake

development of the means of expression,


which was

viewed as such by many

abstract

architecture.

of architecture. 1

was a matter of course that painting should concern

place)

its

clear that this stage of

was directed unconsciously toward

sculpture,

in

it is

Hence the already mentioned "sudden" awakening

Line in
Painting

and following

for the graphic means

painting.

first

looked upon as a revo-

theorists, especially in the

case of

To the extent that abstract art

theorists, the use of the line in

painting, they consider

nature and, therefore, forbidden. This

is

its

graphics

is
is

use to be contrary to

a characteristic example

of the existing confusion in concepts: that which can easily be segregated

and placed

in

separate categories

is

mixed together

(art,

nature), and,

on the other hand, the things that belong together (painting and the
graphics) are carefully separated from each other. The line

is

considered

here to be a "graphic" element and not to be used for "pictorial" purposes,

although an elementary difference between "the graphics" and "painting"

cannot be found and could never be established by the theorists mentioned.

An example of the fruitful influence of painting on the other forms of art expression.
An elaboration of this subject would surely lead to surprising discoveries in the history of
1

110

the development of

all

the art forms.

Etching, of

2.

existing techniques,

all

the line lying firmly

in

able to create most precisely

is

the material and, more especially, the very thin

Etching

line.

was, therefore, brought out of the old storage chest and the search

It

which began for elementary forms was bound to lead to the thinnest
which, viewed

the abstract,

in

same preoccupation

This

quence

the

is

an "absolute" sound among

with the primary resulted

encountered

graphic form
cifically

in

etching particularly,

In

and

particular speed

in

creation,

hardness of the block, completely


plane, black

is,

and

is

a spe-

combined with an almost

indestructible

suits

the "spirit of our time." Point,

in

is

line,

accomplished with

tool,

and the almost

limitless possi-

especially the removal of faulty spots which neither

the woodcut nor the etching readily permits

fulfill

Lithography

the handling of the lithographic stone:

and the

resulting facility in

the execution of works without an exact previously formed plan


experiments),

workmanship.

ease of application with any


of correction

graphic processes

elasticity in its

and white, coloured workseverything

the greatest economy. Flexibility

bilities

for this reason etching

last invention in the series of

affords the highest degree of flexibility

that

view of the

black and white technique.

as the

Its

in

the use of colour, the restriction to the pure,

especially natural,

is

Lithography

3.

one other conse-

most exclusive use of one half of the total form along with

the elimination of the other half. 1


difficulties

in

line,

lines.

(e.g.,

in

both the external and the inner current need to the

highest degree.

Finally,

consistently

following

the

road to the primary elements, the

particular characteristics of the point also

"

E.g.,

the exclusion of colour or, at least,

number of

cubist works.

its

had to be found and illuminated

reduction to the

minimum sound

in

any

111

as a part of the purpose of this book. Here, as


rich

means

Point

well,

lithography offers

its

for use. 1

rest. Line

two elements

inwardly animated tension created

their intermingling

and

their

own "language" which cannot be attained

by movement. The

combinations develop their


with words. The exclusion of

"trimmings," which hush and obscure the inner sound of this message, lends

the greatest brevity and precision to pictorial expressions. The pure form
places

It

itself

at the disposal of the living content.

remains to be mentioned that the three techniques have a social value and are

is certainly of an aristocratic nature: a plate can


and they, furthermore, turn out differently each time
so that every print is unique. The woodcut is more abundant and uniform, but it can
be used for colour only with difficulty. The lithograph, on the other hand, is able to
yield an almost limitless number of prints with the greatest rapidity in a purely mechan-

related to social forms. The etching

produce only a few good

ical

prints

way and, through the ever more developing

painted picture. At any rate,

1^2

it

democratic nature of lithography

use of colour, approaches the hand-

produces a certain substitute for the picture. The


is

hereby clearly indicated.

BASIC PLANE

113

The term "Basic Plane"


is

called

It will

is

understood to mean the material plane which

upon to receive the content of the work of

be designated here by BP.

The schematic BP

is

bounded by 2

and 2

horizontal

thereby set off as an individual thing

in

vertical lines,

the realm of

its

and

is

surroundings.

After the horizontal and the vertical have been characterized, the basic

sound of the BP must of

two elements of warm


mine the tranquil

When

Concept

art.

itself

become

rest give

two elements of cold

clear:

two double sounds of

= objective sound

rest,

height of the BP, this preponderance determines

the predominance of the cold or the


start,

and

which deter-

of the BP.

the one or the other pair predominates, either

from the

rest

Pairs of

warm

in

the width or

any particular case

in

the objective sound. Thus,

in

the individual elements are brought into a colder or

warmer atmosphere, and

later

on

this

condition cannot be completely

a fact which

eliminated due to the greater number of opposing elements


should never be forgotten. This fact, of course, offers

many

possibilities in

composition. For example, a concentration of active tensions tending up-

wards upon a colder BP (horizontal format)

will

always more or

atize" these tensions, since the restraining effect here

strong one. Such restraining influences,

is

less

"dram-

a particularly

when driven to the extreme, can

lead to painful, and, indeed, unbearable sensations.

The most objective form of the typical BP

boundary

lines

is

the

square

possess an equally strong sound. Coldness

both

pairs of

The Square

and warmth are

relatively balanced.

combination of

carries in

death:

it

it

this

most objective BP with a

single

element which also

the greatest objectivity has, as a result, a coldness similar to

can serve as the symbol of death.

It is

not without reason that

our particular time has produced such examples.

But a "completely" objective combination of a "completely" objective

116

element with a "completely" objective BP should only be looked upon as

a relative matter. Absolute objectivity cannot be attained.

Nature of

theBP

fact which

is

of immeasurable importance

and which must be viewed

as something independent of the powers of the artist

of

all this

the dependence

not only upon the nature of the individual elements, but upon

the nature of the BP

On

is

itself.

the other hand, this fact

is

a source of great

possibilities in

composi-

tiona means to an end.


The following simple given facts

Sounds

at the bottom of

lie

Every typical BP produced by 2 horizontal and 2 vertical


spondingly,

is,

beyond the boundaries of warm and cold

or cold rest, which sound


line

lines is

lines

is

above and below.

right and left.

Above

That every

and
Below

low" and must without question remain that way,


the BP which, as such,

stands

is

in

a fixed relationship to "above" and "be-

living being.

may appear

strange.

who

bility
is

feels

toward

this

being and

is

"joyfully" the

somewhat

and yet

living

not an

or less consciously

artist, this

organism

is

frivolous

responsi-

abuse of

it

and knows how obediently

BP receives the right elements

primitive

is

the "breathing" of the

aware of the fact that

akin to murder. The artist "fertilizes" this being

and

We

must, nevertheless, definitely assume

even though unconsciously


untouched BP and that he
more

that every artist feels


still

BP.

fact has deeper roots

this

For a person

We

a fact true also of

own observations to the

must assume without question, however, that


a

is

can be partly explained

also a living thing. This

as association or as transference of one's

is

warm

unalterably and organically bound up with

is

The position of the two vertical

living thing

it

= boundary.

The position of the two horizontal

assertion

rest.

therefore, associated each time with the sound of

the position of the

and that the BP

lines has, corre-

Each of these 4 sides develops a sound peculiar to

sides.

alone, which passes

second sound

116

this.

in

the right order. This

transformed by the right

treatment into a new

living

which reveals, on the contrary,

organism, which
all

no longer primitive but

is

of the characteristics of a fully developed

organism.

The "above" gives the impression of a great looseness, a feeling of


emancipation and,

ness, of

characteristics gives off

finally,

light-

Above

of freedom. Each one of these related

an accompanying sound, which has

in

each case a

slightly different colour.

This "looseness"

is

a negation of density. The nearer to the upper border

more disintegrated

of the BP the smallest individual areas seem to be, the

they appear.

The "lightness" leads to further enhancement of


smallest individual areas are not only farther

this inner quality

removed from each

but they themselves lose weight and, thereby, lose

in this

upper posi-

The note of heaviness takes on a stronger sound.

"Freedom" produces the impression of a rather


the tension here can

gains

other,

more the capacity

still

to support. Every weightier form thereby grows heavier


tion of the BP.

the

in intensity.

more

is

is

"movement," 1 and

"Climbing" or "falling"

easily play itself out.

Restraint

The effect of "below"

light

reduced to a minimum.

completely contrary: condensation, heaviness,

Below

constraint.

The closer one approaches the lower border of the


atmosphere becomes; the smallest individual areas

BP, the denser the

lie

nearer and nearer

together and thereby sustain the larger and heavier forms with ever

in-

creasing ease. These forms lose weight and the note of heaviness decreases
in

sound. "Climbing" becomes more

difficult

the

themselves loose by main force and something


friction

is

audible. (A straining upwards

the grating noise of

and arrested

"falling" downwards.)

Freedom of movement becomes more and more


attains
1

Ideas

world.

its

like

On

forms seem to tear

like

limited.

The restraint

maximum.
"movement," "climbing,"

"falling,"

etc.

are derived

from the material

the pictorial BP they are to be understood as the tensions living within the

elements, which are modified by the tensions of the BP.

117

These characteristics of the upper and lower horizontal, which together


create a double sound of the greatest possible contrast, can be strength-

ened

in

a natural way for the purpose of "dramatization," by means of a

certain accumulation of heavier forms below and

Thereby the pressure,


siderably increased

in

or,

as the case

may

lighter

be, the tension,

both directions.

Vice versa, these characteristics can be partially equalized

modified

and, of

ones above.

becomes con-

or,

at least,

course, through the use of the opposite means: heavier

forms above, lighter ones below,

or,

when

it is

a case

of the direction of

the tensions, these tensions can be directed from above to below, or from

below to above.

These

possibilities

Case

1.

In this

way, a relative balance

is

also attained.

can be represented, purely schematically, as

"dramatization"
above

weight of BP
weight of forms

2
2

4:8
below

weight of BP
weight of forms

4
4
8

Case

2.

"balance"
above

wei 9 ht of BP

weight of forms

4
6

6:6
below

we '9 ht

of BP

weight of forms

118

4
2
6

follows:

can be assumed that

If

plishing

At

all

measurements

time, perhaps,

in
in

events, the formula which

corrected

in

such a

way

means

be found of accom-

will

the above sense with more or

have

exactness.

less

roughly outlined could be

just

that the relative nature of "balance" would stand

out with clarity. The means of measurement available to us are, however,

exceedingly primitive.

how, for example, the

It is

at present almost impossible for us to imagine

weight

of a scarcely visible point could be expressed

by an exact number. The reason for

this

not represent a material weight but


force

or, in

is,

is

that the concept "weight" does

The position of the two vertical boundary

lines

sound of these tensions, which are related


is

determined by

Thus,

an inner

rather, the expression of

our case, an inner tension.

warm

in

is

right

and

The inner

left.

our imagination to ascent,

rest.

two warm elements, which by

cannot be identical,

their very nature

are associated with the two differently coloured elements of cold

At

this point, the following

side of the BP
side of the

vice versa
so,

as

we could

really

human

easily project our

would thereby be

in

by, freer, while the left side

is

is

characteristics

If

right side

more

is

is

inhibited

The right

left?

opposite our
this

left side

and

were actually

upon the

a position to define the two sides of the BP

With the majority of people, the

The contrary

and which the

be the one which

the case with every other living thing.

is

rest.

question immediately comes to the fore: which

to be considered the right

is

BP should

BP,
in

and we

question.

more developed and, thereand bound.

true of the sides of the BP.

The "left" of the BP produces the effect of great looseness, a feeling of


lightness, of

emancipation and,

finally,

"above"

only

the degree of these characteristics. The "looseness" of "above"

is

repeated here

in

every respect. The chief difference

unquestionably exhibits a higher degree of loosening up.

At

lies

the "left"

there are more elements of density, but the difference from "below"

is,

stands behind "above"

in

nevertheless, very great. Furthermore,

Left

of freedom. Thus, the characteriza-

tion of
in

Right and
Left

"left"

119

lightness,

much

although the weight of "left"

in

comparison with "below"

The same holds true of emancipation, and "freedom"

less.

is

more

is

restricted at the "left" than "above."

It

is

especially important that the degree of these three characteristics

varies even in the case of "left,"

upward

and

direction from the center,

the "left"

is,

in

such a

way

that they increase

and diminish downwards

so-to-speak, affected by

an

in

sound. Here,

in

"above" and "below," and

this

takes

on a special significance for the two angles formed on the one hand by
"left" and,

A further

on the other, by "above" and "below."

human being can

parallel to the

easily

be drawn on the basis of

these facts: increasing emancipation from below to above, and on the


right side, to

be

Therefore,

can be assumed that

it

specific.

tween two kinds of

living things

this parallel

is

a genuine

stood to be such a thing and treated accordingly. Since


the work the BP

completely tied up with the

is still

broken loose from him,

its

relation to him

mirrored reflection, which changes the


that

parallel be-

and that the BP must actually be under-

may be

left

artist

in

the course of

and has not yet

looked upon as a sort of

side to the right side.

must adhere to the designation which

clear

It is

have adopted: the BP

will

not be treated here as a part of the finished work, but solely as the base

upon which the work

Right

is

to be built.1

Just as the "left" of the

way

is

BP

is

inwardly related to "above," the "right"

the continuation of "below"

continuation with the

in

same

weakening. Condensation, heaviness and constraint decrease but, nevertheless,

the tensions meet with a resistance which

harder than the resistance of

1 This reaction apparently


artist

greater,

compacter and

later transferred to the finished work, not alone for the

but for the objective observer as well

way be
in

is

is

"left."

in

which class the

artist, too,

must

respect to other

artists'

works. The view, that that which

lies

on

my

right

is

the "right"

may, perhaps, explain the real impossibility of maintaining a completely objective

120

in

considered: when, for instance, he takes the position of an objective observer

tude toward the work and of entirely eliminating the subjective.

at+i-

Just as in the case of the "left," this resistance


it

increases from the center

The same influence on the

and the lower

right

is

is

divided into two parts

downward and decreases

resulting angles

in

strength upward.

the angles at the upper

to be noted here as

was observed

in

right

the case of

"ieft."

Tied

in

with these two sides

is

another special feeling which can be ex-

plained by the characteristics already described. This feeling has a

Literary

"liter-

ary" aftertaste, which again discloses the very deep-going relationships

between the different expressions of artand which, furthermore, gives us

an

inkling of the

finally,

of

all

possibilities of

very deep-lying universal roots of

spiritual fields. This feeling

movement

of the

human

is

all

art

formsand,

the result of the two sole

being, which, in spite of various

combinations, actually remain only two.

The one to the


this

"left"

going outside

case the individual leaves

his

is

movement into the distance.

his

movements by an almost

and he breathes ever more and more

freely.

He

on an "adventure." The forms whose tensions are directed to the


therefore contain something "adventurous," and the

forms gains more and more

in intensity

movement

is

comes

If

left

"movement" of these

is

a movement

combined with a certain fatigue, and

The nearer to the "right," the more languid and slow

so that the tensions of the forms moving to the

weaker, and the possibility of

goes

and speed.

The one to the "right"centered inwardly


This

Distance

customary surroundings, he frees himself

from burdensome conventions which restrain


petrified atmosphere,

In

movement becomes

toward home.
its

this

goal

is

Home

rest.

movement be-

right

become ever

increasingly limited.

a corresponding "literary" expression for "above" and "below"

is

needed, one arrives immediately, through association, at the relationship

"heaven and earth."

121

Four boundaries of the BP therefore can be represented as follows:

Sequence

Tension

"Literary"

toward

heaven,

2. left

into

the distance,

3. right

toward

home,

toward

the earth.

1.

4.

above

below

One

should not imagine that these relationships are to be taken

literally,

and, above

all,

tional idea.

They serve the purpose of representing the inner tensions of

should not believe that they can determine the composi-

the BP analytically, and to bring these tensions into consciousness. This,


so far as

know, has not yet been done

in

a clear way, although

it is

to be

estimated as an important component of the future theory of composition.


It

can be only

briefly

remarked here that these organic characteristics of

the plane carry over into the realm of space. Here the concept of the

space before the individual and the space around the individual
of the inner relationship of the two
differences. This

At

all

is

a subject

would,

nevertheless,

spite

in

reveal

some

in itself.

events, certain forces of resistance can

be

felt

upon approaching

each of the four borders of the BP, and these definitely separate the

Fig.

122

77

Resisting forces of the

sides of

a square.

unit

BP from the world surrounding

it.

The approach of a form to the border

is,

of critical importance

in

therefore, subject to a special influence, which

is

the composition. The resisting forces of the borders differ from each other
only

in

the degree of resistance and

graphically

in

this,

for example, can be represented

the following manner (Fig. 77).

The forces of resistance can also be translated into tensions and be given
graphic expression through displaced angles.

Fig.

External expression of the square,

78

4 angles of 90 each.

Fig.

79

Inner expression of the square,


e.g.,

angles

60, 80, 90,

130.

123

Relativity

At

the beginning of this section, the square

was

called the most "objective"

form of the BP. Further analysis has clearly shown, however, that even
case the objectivity

this

and that

may be viewed

here, too, the "absolute"

point, so long as

is

in

as nothing other than relative,

unattainable.

In

other words: only the

remains isolated, offers complete "rest." The isolated

it

horizontal or vertical possesses, so to speak, a coloured rest, as

warmth and

coldness should be regarded as coloured. The square, therefore, cannot

be designated as a colourless form. 1

Rest

Of
as
it

the forms of the plane, the circle tends most toward colourless rest

all
it

is

the result of two forces which always act uniformly and because

lacks the violence of the angle.

The point centered

the circle represents

in

the most complete form of rest of the no longer isolated point.

As has already been suggested, the BP

presents fundamentally two typical

possibilities of carrying elements:

1.

the elements

lie

so materially upon the BP that they give especial

em-

phasis to the sound of the BP, or


2.

they are so loosely knit with the BP that the latter's accompaniment
scarcely audible;
in

it

is

disappears, so to speak, and the elements "hover"

space which, however, knows no precise

limits (especially in depth).

The discussion of these two cases belongs to the theory of construction and

the

composition. The second case especially

can be clearly explained only

in

"destruction" of the BP

connection with the inner characteristics

of the individual elements: the recession and advance of the form elements

draw the BP forward (toward the observer) and backward


from the observer)
apart

in

in

such a manner that the BP,

like

in

depth (away

an accordion,

both directions. The colour elements possess

this

is

power to a high

degree.2

Not without reason Is the relationship of the square to red


2 See "On the Spiritual in Art."

"I

24

pulled

so evident: square

If

a diagonal

is

drawn through the square

an angle of 45 to the horizontal.

In

BP, this

diagonal then stands at

right-angled planes, this angle increases or decreases. The diagonal

creases
fore,

its

inclination either to the vertical or the horizontal.

be looked upon as a kind of measure of tension

(Fig.

It

80).

Fig.

is

in-

can, there-

Diagonal

This

Formats

the transition of the square BP to other

80

axis.

the origin of the so-called vertical and horizontal formats which,

"objective" painting, have for the most part a purely naturalistic

cance and which remain untouched by the inner tension.

In

in

signifi-

painting schools

one already came to know the vertical format as a portrait format, and
the horizontal format as the format of landscape. 1 These designations had

become customary

in

Paris especially,

and were probably transplanted

from there to Germany.

It

becomes immediately clear that the

slightest deviation of the

diagonal

or of the measure of tension from the vertical or from the horizontal

The human figure required, naturally, an especially elongated vertical format.

Abstract
Art

is

125

decisive in compositional and,

more

especially, in abstract art. All the

tensions of the individual forms on the BP are given other directions each

time,

and each

time, of course, take on different colours.

the form complexes also

through an

unskillful

become

Naturally,

mathematical "harmonious structure"


clearly

measured

compressed or extended. Thus

choice of the plane format, a well-conceived order can

result in repulsive disorder.

Structure

either

Drawn upwards,

directions,

in

mean by "order"
which

but also structure

all

in

of the elements

in

lie

in

accordance with the

principle of contrast. Elements tending upwards, for example,

"dramatic"

not only the

can be made

the vertical format by bringing them into a milieu of

restraint. Let this

be mentioned only as a guidepost for the theory of

composition.

Further
Tensions

The point of intersection of the two diagonals determines the center of the
BP.

horizontal and, subsequently,

center divide the BP into four


specific

a vertical

line

drawn through

primary parts, each

appearance. The corners of

all

n
Fig.

126

81

Tensions from the center.

this
its

of these touch at the "indifferent"

center, out of which tensions flow diagonally (Fig. 81).

of which has

The numbers
a, b, c,

This

I,

2, 3,

4 are the resistance forces of the borders,

d are the designations of the four primary parts.

diagram makes the following consequences

Part a

Part d

Parts a

tension toward

tension toward 3

and d stand,

Contrasts

possible:

loosest combination,
= greatest resistance.

therefore, in the

greatest contrast to each

other.

moderate resistance upwards,


Part ctension toward 2 4 = moderate resistance downwards.
Part b

Parts b

and

In

tension toward

and c stand, therefore,

their relationship

moderate contrast

in

can readily be recognized.

combination with the forces of resistance

weight pattern

to each other,

results (Fig.

in

the plane's borderlines, a

82).

Fig.

82

Distribution of weights.

combination of the two factors

as to which of the two diagonals

is

conclusive

be or ad should

monious" and which the "disharmonious"

Compare

Fig.

the

79

axis deflected

and answers the question

(Fig.

be called the "har-

83). 1

toward the angle at the upper

right.

127

Fig.

83

"Harmonious" diagonal

Fig.

84

"Disharmonious" diagonal.

Weight

The triangle abc


triangle

128

rests far

abd which

upon the one under

exerts
it.

more
a

lightly

positive

This pressure

upon the one beneath than the

pressure
is

and bears down heavily

concentrated especially at the

point d; for this reason, apparently, the diagonal tends to be deflected

upwards from the point a and thus compelled to move out of the center.

Compared
plex nature

with the mild tension cb, the tension

the

purely diagonal direction

is

da

is

more com-

of a

accompanied by a

upwards. The two diagonals can be designated therefore

in

diversion

still

another

way:

cb

"lyric" tension,

da "dramatic"

tension.

These denotations, of course, are to be understood only as arrows pointing


the

way

Content

to the inner content. They are bridges from the external to the

inner.1

At

all

has

its

events,

own

it

may be

repeated: each part of the BP

particular voice

and

The analysis of the BP which


scientific

method

science of art. {This


point the

way

is its

will

is

individual

and

employed here

play a part

in

an example of the basic

is

the building up of the

plane,

What
It

is

Method

new

theoretic value.) The simple examples which follow

to the practical application.

simple pointed form representing a transition from the line to the plane,

and which,

which

is

inner colouration.

therefore, unites in

it

the characteristics of the

placed upon the "most objective" BP

in

line

Use

and the

the directions mentioned.

results follow?

would be an Important task to Investigate various works of art having a clear

diagonal structure to determine the nature of their diagonals and their inner connection with the pictorial content of these works.

have, for instance, more than once

used the diagonal structure without becoming conscious of


of the formula given above,
in

my "Composition

I"

this until later.

the following manner: structure cb and da with forcible emphasis on

backbone of the

picture.

On

the basis

(I9I0), for example, can be defined

cbthis

is

the

129

!.

Vertical position

"warm

Fig.

rest."

85

II.

Horizontal position

"cold rest."

Contrasts

Fig.

86

Two

contrasting pairs are created:

The

first

pair

is

an example of the greatest contrast since the form

at the

left

is

directed toward the loosest resistance

and the form at the


The second pair

(II)

is

right

toward the

stiffest.

an example of a mild contrast because both forms

are directed toward the milder resistances and their

form tensions

External
Parallels

In

both cases, the forms stand

in

differ

from each other but

slightly.

a parallel relationship to the BP which

represents an external parallelism, since the external boundaries

and not

the inner tension of the BP have been taken as the basis.

An elementary combination

130

direction; thereby,

with the inner tension requires the diagonal

two contrasting pairs once more

result:

Diagonal position

I.

"disharmonious."

II.

Fig.

87

Fig.

88

Diagonal position

"harmonious."

These two contrasting pairs

differ

from each other

in

the

two pairs under

A did

previously.

The form at the

left is

directed toward the loosest angle;

the form at the right

is

is

equally clear

Contrasts

above

directed toward the firmest angle;

thereby, they represent the

It

same way as the

greatest contrast.

why the two lower forms

constitute a

>elow

mild contrast.
The relationship between the pairs under

and under

ends here.

Inner

The latter are examples of an inner parallelism, because these forms run

Parallels

in

the

same

In

the forms run

I,

forms run

in

direction as the inner tensions of the BP. 1

in

the direction of the normal tension of the square;

the direction of the harmonious diagonal.

in

II,

the

131

Composition

Therefore, these four pairs present for compositional constructions eight

Construction

different possibilities of basic positions, lying on the surface or hidden be-

neath

foundations

upon which can be accumulated additional main

directions of forms, which either remain centralized or deviate from the

center in various directions. Yet obviously, even the

can be

off center, or the center

possibilities of construction

nation and,
tirely

finally,

is

first

basic foundation

can be altogether avoided; the number of

unlimited.

The inner mood of the time, of the

the inner strength of the personality (which

independent of the

is

not en-

two) determine the fundamental sound of

first

the compositional "tendencies." This question does not belong within the

scope of
last

book, but

this specialized

decades,

first

the

should be mentioned that during the

it

wave of the concentric and then the wave

of the ec-

and subsided. There were various reasons

centric alternately arose

for this,

which are bound up partly with contemporaneous phenomena, but which


are also often causally connected with much more deeply seated needs.

The changes

in

"mood," especially

painting, proceeded on the one

in

hand

out of the wish to abandon the BP and, on the other, out of the attempt
to maintain

History
of Art

it.

The "modern" history of art should thoroughly investigate

from which much that concerns the relationships to


be explained. Today, various things have come to
which a short while ago lay hidden

Art and
Time

this subject,

which passes far beyond the boundaries of purely pictorial questions and

To

between art

long subjects having to

strong

is

and

form the basis of the

"cultural history" (to which also be-

do with the absence of

art submits to the time


a) either the time

history

connection

mysterious obscurity.

outline this briefly: three different considerations

relationships

in

cultural history could

light in this

culture):

strong

and of concentrated content, and an equally

and concentrated

art follows the

way

of the time without

effort, or
b)

the time

is

strong but

its

content decayed, and a weak art succumbs

to this disintegration;
2. for various reasons, art

32

stands

in

opposition to the time and gives ex-

pression to possibilities contradictory of

its

time;

3. art transgresses

fine

Let

it

and so forecasts the content of the

it,

be noted

structures

readily

is

conform with

the

American theatre

day which

a clear example of the second

against "pure" art

above-mentioned

art, to

is

principles.

Examples

The

which an exact form has been

The present day reaction

principle.

against "easel painting") and the fundamental

(e.g.,

freeing

to con-

refer to basic

attacks connected therewith, belong under point b) of the

Abstract art

like

future.

briefly that the currents of our

"eccentricity" of
given,

the boundaries within which the time would

itself

first principle.

from the pressure of the day, wherefore

it

belongs under the third principle.

In this

way, appearances can be explained which at

first

appear as some-

thing indefinable or, in other cases, as completely senseless: the exclusive

may easily seem inexplicable and dadaism


may seem astonishing that these two tendencies

use of the horizontal-vertical

appears to be

senseless.

It

appeared almost simultaneously, and that


irreconcilable opposition to

stand

nevertheless,

they,

each other. The avoidance of

all

in

structural

foundations, other than the horizontal-vertical, condemns "pure" art to

death and only the "practical-useful" can escape


within but externally strong, bends art to

pendence

point b) of the

inner disintegration,
is

whereby

first

its

principle.

its

not capable of replacing these with any of

first

the time, decayed

purposes and denies

Dadaism

naturally loses

it

this:

tries to

artistic

its

own

its

inde-

reflect this

foundations and

point

b) of the

principle.

These few examples, taken from our own time exclusively, have been given The Question
* Form
with the intention of throwing light upon the organic, often inevitable,

and Culture
relationships of the pure

may
1

form question

in

art with cultural or, as the case

be, non-cultural forms. 1 This has the purpose, furthermore, of pointing

This "today"

is

made up

first.

excludes the use of the term "culture"

blind alley and threshold


The predominance of the blind alley theme

of two basically different parts

with a great preponderance of the

the time is altogether without culture, although


a few seeds of a future culture can be discovered here and there threshold theme.
This thematic disharmony

our attention.

is

the "sign" of "today" which continually forces

itself

upon

133

out that attempts to explain art on geographic, economic, political or


other purely "positive" grounds can never be conclusive, and that onesidedness cannot be avoided
tion

these methods are used. Only the connec-

if

between questions of form

in

the two above-mentioned

can point out the exact

basis of their spiritual content,

conditions play, hereby,

"Positive"

a subordinate

line

role

fields,

on the

of direction.

fundamentally,

they themselves are not determining factors but, rather, a means to the
end.

Not everything
visible

is

visible

and comprehensible

we stand on the

is

any case, we have an

And

seek the further step.

In spite

of

all

is

to be more

explicit

under the

the invisible and incomprehensible.

but

only one

Today

step

gradually coming more and more to the fore.

which our foot must

inkling of the direction in

that

is

the salvation.

the apparently insurmountable contradictions, the present-

day human being


His vision

lies

threshold of a time in which one

leading into the depths


In

and tangible, or

is,

indeed, no longer satisfied with the external alone.

becoming sharper,

to hear the inner

in

his

ear keener, and

to see

and

way are we

able

his desire

the outer ever increases. Only that

to feel the inner pulsation of even as taciturn and as modest a thing as

the BP.

Relative

Sound

This pulsation of the BP, as

multiple sounds

was shown,

transformed into double and

is

when the simplest element

is

placed upon the BP.

A free curved line, consisting of two bends toward one side and three
toward the other, has an obstinate "look" because of

and ends
line

in

its

bends

broad upper part,

a bend directed downwards and becomes ever weaker.

expands as

it

moves upward, the expression of curvature becomes

Left
R, 9 n *

more and more

forceful until the "obstinacy" attains

happens to

obstinacy when

134

the right?

this

This

it is

directed

first

its

to the

maximum. What
left

and then to

Fig.

89

Fig.

Obstinacy

Obstinacy with forebearance.


The bends are loose.

The bends harder.

left,

weak.

Resistance from the right strongly

compressed

layer.

restraining.

Resistance from the

At the

right,

Turning this example upside-down

is

and

can do for

line

is

himself.

At the

especially fitted to the investigation

of the effects of "above" and "below,"

line

90

in stiff tension.

The "content" of the

this

is

something the reader

left,

loose "air."

Above
Below

changes so radically that the

no longer recognizable: the obstinacy disappears completely and

replaced by a laborious tension. The concentration

is

is

no longer present and

135

everything
left, this

Plane upon
Plane

will

line,

is in

the process of growing.

growing

is

When

the

line is

more pronounced; toward the

now pass beyond the


but a plane, which

is

limits

of

my

task

turned toward the

right

the

laborious.1

and place upon the BP not a

but the inner significance of the tension of

the BP. (See above.)

The standard distorted square upon the BP.

Fig.

Relation
to the

Border

91

Fig.

92

Inner parallel

Inner parallel

of

of dramatic sound.

lyrical

sound.

Concurrence with the inner

Contrast to the inner

"disharmonious" tension.

"harmonious" tension.

The distance of the form from the borders plays a special and very important role

in

the relationship of the form with the borders of the BP. Let a

simple straight line of uniform length be placed upon the BP

ent ways (Fig.

In

the

first

in

two

differ-

93 and 94).

case,

it lies

free. In

approaching the border

it

takes on a pro-

nounced, increased tension toward the upper right and hereby the tension
of the lower end becomes weakened (Fig. 93).

136

In

such experiments

it is

advisable to rely upon the

first

of perception tires rapidly and lets the imagination run

impression because the power


rife.

In

the second case,

tension upwards.
quires

sickly,

it

As a

strikes
result,

edge and thereby immediately

the

downward

the

almost despairing expression

Fig.

tension increases

(Fig.

loses its

and

it

ac-

94). 1

93

Fig.

94

In

other words: on approaching the boundary of the BP, a form increases

in

tension

at the

until,

moment

of contact with the boundary, the tension

suddenly ceases. Furthermore: the farther a form

lies

from the edge of

the BP, the weaker becomes the attraction of the form to the edge. Or:

forms lying near the border of the BP augment the "dramatic" sound of
the construction, whereas those forms lying

away from

the border, which

gather more about the center, lend a "lyrical" sound to the construction.
These are, naturally, schematic rules which, by other means, can be brought
validity or

can be reduced to a barely audible sound. Never-

to their

full

theless,

they are always effective to a greater or lesser extent, a fact

which emphasizes their theoretic value.

few examples

amm mmmmmmmm^
"

will

This increased tension

appear longer

serve to explain clearly the typical cases of this rule:

____

in

mamm

_ __
.

and the adherence of the

case 2 than

in

case

I.

line to

the upper edge

make

The Lyric
The Dramatic

it

137

fa

Fig.

95

Fig.

96

Dramatization

Silent lyric

same elements

of the four elementary lines

of the

expression of rigidity.

complex pulsating expression.

Use of the eccentric:

Fig.

97

Fig.

98

Diagonals centered.

Everything acentric.

Horizontal-vertical acentric.

Diagonals strengthened

Diagonals

through their repetition.

in

the greatest tension.

Balanced tensions of the


horizontal

and

vertical.

Restraint of the dramatic sound

at the point of contact above.

The acentric structure here serves the purpose of increasing the dramatic

138

sound.

If,

for instance, simple curved lines

above instead of

straight lines, the

were to be used

times as great. Every simple curved


Line,

line,

as was said

produce a

of two tensions, which

consists

simple curved lines are replaced by wave-like

represent a simple curved line with


tensions would accordingly

the examples given

in

sum of the sounds would become three


the section on

in

Furthermore,

third.

every bend would

lines,

become greater and

greater. The relation of

is

a theme

regulations given here retain, nevertheless, their


in

which

this

sum by

The relationship of planes to the BP

way

if

three tensions, and the sum of the

its

each bend to the edges of the BP would hereby complicate


louder or fainter sounds.

Increasing
the Number
of Sounds

this special

in

itself.

validity

full

The

rules

and

Regularity

and point the

theme should be treated.

square BP has been considered. The remaining right-

Further

angled forms are products of the predominance or preponderance of the

BP Forms

Thus

far, only the

pair of horizontal boundaries or of the vertical.

gets the upper hand;

in

the second,

warm

In

the

rest; this

first

case, cold rest

obviously determines

from the start the basic sound of the BP. Striving upward and stretching

outward are antipodes. The objectivity of the square disappears and


replaced by a one-sided tension of the whole BP which
audible

We

influences

should not

fail

all

more

is

or less

the elements on the BP.

to mention the fact that both of these types are of a

considerably more complex nature than the square.


format, for example, the upper edge
creates more possibilities

in

is

In

the horizontal

longer than the side edges and so

the direction of "freedom" for the elements,

but these are soon suppressed again by the shortness of the sides. The
contrary

is

true in the vertical format.

these cases are


the square.

It

other words, the boundaries

in

much more dependent upon each other than they are

in

In

gives the impression that the surroundings of the BP partici-

pate and exert a pressure from the outside. Thus,


full

play upward

is

facilitated

in

the vertical format,

because the pressure of the surroundings

The compositional diagrams included here

illustrate such cases.

(See appendix.

139

from without

is

almost altogether lacking

in this

direction

and

is

chiefly

concentrated at the sides.

Various
Angles

Further variations of the BP are produced through the use of obtuse and

acute angles

in

the most diverse combinations.

out of the opportunity to shape the BP

elements with the angle at the upper


straining

manner

(Fig.

in

such a

New

possibilities

way

that

right, in either

it

develop

confronts the

a reinforcing or

re-

99).

Fig.

99

Reinforcing

and

restraining (dotted) BP.

There can also be many-angled basic planes which, nevertheless,


final analysis

sent

must be

classified

the

more complicated cases of the given basic form, which we need not

consider any further here (Fig. 100).

Fig.

140

in

under one basic form and, therefore, repre-

100

Complex many-angled

BP.

The angles can be present

in

ever increasing numbers and can thereby

become more and more obtuse


and the plane becomes a

This

is

until, finally,

Circular

Form

circle.

a very simple and, at the same time, a very complex case, con-

cerning which

intend sometime to speak at length.

remark only that the simplicity as

absence of angles. The


aries

they completely disappear

circle

is

imperceptably to the

left

It is

and

suffices here to

simple because the pressure of

by comparison with those of right-angled forms

differences are not so great.

It

well as the complexity result

is

from the

its

bound-

equalized

the

complex because the upper part overflows

right,

and the

left

and

right flow

downwards.

There are only four points which retain the decided sound of the four sides
which, furthermore,

These points are

angled forms:

I,

is

quite clear from the standpoint of feeling.

2,

3, 4.

4 and 2

The contrasts are the same as

in

the right-

3 (Fig. 101).

Fig.

101

141

From the top toward the

left,

increasing restriction of the

quadrant 2
the circle
in

is

4, this

the quadrant

represents a gradually

maximum "freedom," and

changes into hardness,

etc., until

completed. The facts established

in

in

the course of the

the progress around

describing the tensions

the square hold true for the tensions of the four quadrants. Thus, basic-

ally,

the circle has the

covered

in

same

inner tension concealed within

The three basic planes

triangle, square, circle

of the systematically moving point.

connected by horizontals and


the

circle,

it

as was dis-

the square.

the result

is

When two

verticals,

are, of course, products

diagonals, whose ends are

are passed through the center of

the basis of Arabic and

Roman

numerals, according

to A. S. Puschkin (Fig. 1 02):

Fig.

102

Triangle and square

in circle,

as basic source of numerals:

Arabic and Roman.


(A. S. Puschkin, Works,

Petersburg, Verlag Annenkoff,

142

855, Vol. V, p.

6.)

AD=
ABDC = 2
ABECD = 3
ABD + AE = 4
I

etc.

Thus meet here:


1

the roots of two numerical systems, and

2. the roots of the

If

forms of

art.

deep-going relationship actually

this

tion of our surmise that

exists,

we have a

certain confirma-

phenomena which seem to be fundamentally

differ-

ent on the surface and completely separate from each other derive from

one

single root.

Today, especially, the necessity of finding

appears inevitable to
motivation, but

is

intuition

root

in

required

in

intuitive nature.

rest

is

order

finally to

The road to

ful-

a harmonious combination of

the long run neither the one nor the other

suffices.

One proceeds by way


oval

The

also chosen intuitively.

and calculation

common

Such necessities do not arise without an inner

many determined attempts are

them. These necessities are of an

satisfy

fillment

alone

us.

this

is

result,

but, just as

is

of the uniformly compressed

of which the

Oval Form

to free basic planes. These are, to be sure, without angles

Free Forms

circle,

possible in the case of angular forms, they also pass

beyond

the limits of geometric forms. Here, as well, the fundamental principles

remain unchanged and

will

will

be recognizable behind the most complex

forms.

Everything which

in

very general terms has been said here about the BP

must be looked upon as a fundamental schematization, as an approach


to inner tensions which exercise their effect

in

a plane-like manner, so to

speak.

The BP

is

material:

upon the nature of

it is

created

in

this creation.

a purely material way and

is

dependent

Texture

As already has been mentioned, the most

diverse textural possibilities are available for this creation: the smooth,

motivation, but

many determined attempts

are required

in

order finally to

which

1.

isolates,

2. in

and

combination with the elements gives especial emphasis to the inner

effects of the BP.

143

Of

depend

course, the characteristics of the surface

characteristics of the materials (canvas

manner of

its

and

treatment, paper, stone, glass,

is

and the

like

every other means

tools associated
dis-

but elastic,

precise,

two

pliable potentiality for proceeding schematically in

1.

and the

and handling. Texture, which we cannot

with the materials, their use


cuss here at length,

etc.),

upon the

entirely

nature, stucco

its

directions:

the texture takes a road parallel to that of the elements and thereby

supports them

an external manner

in

primarily, or

accordance with the principle of contrast; that

2. in

it is
is, it

used
stands

in

external

opposition to the elements and supports them inwardly.

The

in-between.

possibilities of variation lie

Aside from the materials and the tools for the producing of a material BP,
the

same consideration

must, of course, be given the materials

tools for the production of the material


in

and the

form of the elements. This belongs

a detailed study of the theory of composition.

It is

important here to point the

modes

of the suggested
serve not only

way

to possibilities of this kind, since

of creation, with their inner consequences, can

the building up of the material plane, but

in

all

the optical

in

destruction of this plane as well.

Demateri-

The elements

alized

the eye, tangible BP and,

Plane

lying firmly (materially)

material weight
different

in

in

on a

solid,

more or

less

hard and, to

contrast, the elements "floating" without

an indefinable (immaterial) space are of fundamentally

appearance, and stand

in antithesis

to each other. The general-

materialistic point of view which, naturally, also extended to

expressions

all

of art, brought about the natural, organic result of exceptional esteem for

the material plane, together with


ness, art

owes

its

knowledge and especially


itself. It is

edge

144

is

all

of

its

ramifications.

sound, indispensable interest


in

in

To

this

handicraft,

one-sided-

in

technical

a thorough consideration of the "material"

especially interesting that, as has been said, this detailed knowl-

not only

unquestionably necessary

for the purpose of the material

production of the BP, but also for the purpose of

its

dematerialization

in

combination with the elements

It

the road from the

external to the inner.

must nevertheless be strongly emphasized that the "floating sensations"

depend not alone upon the above-mentioned


inner attitude of the observer

or the other, or

both ways:

in

whose eye can be capable of seeing


if

organically connected with the

be able to emancipate

itself

upon the

conditions, but also

in

one

the inadequately developed eye (which

spirit)

cannot experience deeply,

from the material plane

in

it will

The
Observer

is

not

order to perceive

the indefinable space. The properly trained eye must have the ability
partly to see the plane, as such, necessary to the work of art

when

it

be treated

in

disregard
finally
lies

it

takes on spatial form.

two

wayseither

free in space. The point clawing

free itself from the plane

it

simple complex of lines can

has become one with the BP or

way

its

and to "float"

Just as the inner tensions of the

and partly to

in

into the plane

is

it

also able to

space. 1

BP described above continue to

exist in

the

complex BP forms, these tensions are also transferred from the demateriaplane to the indefinable space. The law does not lose

lized

point of departure

is

correct

and the

direction taken

is

its

effect.

If

the

well chosen, the

goal cannot be missed.

And

the goal of a theoretic investigation

Goal of
Theory

to find the living,

1.

2. to

make

3. to

determine wherein the

is

It

is

its

pulsation perceptible,

One

respects.

time: space

is

finable"

its

time cannot

and the general character

are certain to have very important consequences


is

the change

in

is,

It

is

have called the space resulting from dematerialization "inde-

after

all,

illusory

these cases be expressed

the other hand, the illusory depth

and consequently a

in

the feeling for

identical with depth; also, with the elements receding into depth.

depth
in

it

of the most important of these

not without reason that

On

conforms to law.

clear that the transformation of the material plane

of the elements combined with

many

living

and

certain, even

is

and, therefore, not exactly measurable. Thus,


in

figures,

and so

it

cooperates only relatively.

an actual one from the pictorial point of view

though immeasurable, time

is

required to follow the

form elements receding into depth. Therefore: the transformation of the material BP
into indefinable

space offers the opportunity of increasing the span of time.

145

Living facts

gathered

from

This

146

as

in

isolated

phenomena and

such a manner.

this material,

and

it is

It is

in their interrelationships

the task of philosophy to

draw

can be

conclusions

a work of synthesis of the highest order.

work leads to such inner revelations as can be given to each epoch.

APPENDIX

147

Diagram

Point

Cool tension toward the center

148

Diagram 2
Point
Dissolution in progress (suggested diagonal d-a)

150

>

Diagram 3
Point
9 points
weight)

152

in

ascent (emphasis upon the diagonal d-a through

Diagram 4
Point
Horizontal-vertical-diagonal point pattern for a free line
construction

154

# *

Diagram 5
Point
The black and white points as elementary colour values

156

Diagram 6
Line

The same
158

in linear

form

Diagram 7
Line

With a point on the edge of the plane


160

Diagram 8
Line

Emphasized weights

162

in

black and white

Diagram 9
Line

The
164

thin lines hold their

own

in

the presence of the heavy point

Diagram 10
Line

Graphic structure of a part of "Composition 4" (1911)


166

Diagram

11

Line
Linear structure of "Composition

168

4"vertical-diagonal ascent

Diagram 12
Line
Eccentric structure in which the eccentricity
by the developing plane

170

is

emphasized

r\

Diagram 13
Line

Two curved

172

lines to

one straight

line

Diagram 14
Line

The horizontal format favors the total tension of individual


forms in slight tension

174

Diagram 15
Line
Free curve to the point
curves
176

accompanying

sound of geometric

Diagram 16
Line
Free wave-like line with
178

accenthorizontal

position

Diagram 17
Line

The same wave-like


180

line

accompanied by geometric

lines

Diagram 18
Line
Simple and unified complex of several free lines

182

Diagram 19
Line

The same complex complicated by free


184

spirals

Diagram 20
Line
Diagonal tensions and counter-tensions with a point which
brings an external construction to inner pulsation

186

Diagram 21
Line

Double soundcold tension of the straight lines, warm tension of the curved lines, the rigid to the loose, the yielding to
the compact

188

Diagram 22
Line

Colour vibration attained


colour (black)

190

in

essence through a minimum of

Diagram 23
Line
Inner relation of a complex of straight lines to a curve (leftright) from the picture "Black Triangle" (1925)

192

Diagram 24
Line
Horizontal-vertical structure with contrasting diagonal and
11
point tensions scheme for picture "Intimate Communication
(1925)

194

Diagram 25
Line
Linear structure of the picture "Little
(next page)

196

Dream

in

Red

11

CI

925)

KANDINSKY:

Little

Dream

in

red.

INDEX
Above

116, 117, 120, 121, 122, 127, 135, 138, 141

Abstract Art

35,53, 101, 103, 106, 107, 110, 125, 133

Abstract Form

30,33, 106, 108, 110, 125, 126

Analysis

17-19,21,68,83,99, 100, 108

Angles

59,69,79, 120, 123, 140, 141

Acute

69.71,74,78, 140

Free

69,78

Obtuse

69, 72, 74, 78, 140

Right

59,69,70,71,72,74,78, 120

Architecture

18,40,83,93, 100, 106, 110

Art, History of

19,

Art, Science of

18-20,26,35,67,76,99, 129

Below

116, 117, 120, 121, 122, 127, 135, 141

Cold

58, 100, 115, 130, 139

Collision

67

Colour

19, 58, 62, 72, 73, 75, 82, 91, 98, 99, 106,

132

Black

62, 63, 64, 65, 76,

Blue

58, 62, 72-75, 82

Green

65,75

Grey

65,75

Orange

74

Red

65,72,74,75, 124

Violet

74

White

62, 63, 75, 76,

Yellow

58, 62, 72-75, 82

Composition
Theory

111,1

12,

124

99

99

33, 34, 36-38, 66, 90, 92, 93, 97, 100, 103, 123, 132
18, 35, 62, 83, 87, 91, 93, 98, 108, 122, 124, 126,

144

Contrast

59, 80, 82, 88, 94, 96, 97, 103,

Dance

42,83,99, 100

Dramatic

67, 97,

Elements

20, 21, 31-33, 35, 37, 57, 58, 62, 82, 83, 109,

Graphic Expression

43-45, 48, 63, 64, 68, 74, 99, 101

Graphics

21, 32, 46-50, 53, 109,

15,

Etching

Lithography

46,49, 109, III, 112

Material

48,

48-50,

Woodcut

46,48, 109, 110, III, 112

Line

16,

19, 120, 121, 122, 124, 125, 136, 141

29,57-112, 129

96

Angular

68-78, 8

Boundary

91

Combined

92

Complex

93-97,115,78,85

Curved

79-8

Diagonal

59, 65, 75, 125, 128, 142

1 ,

84, 9

84, 90,

1 ,

94,

94, 95, 96,

Free

61,78,106,134

Horizontal

58, 65, 67, 75, 98, 99, 100, 107,

Straight

57-67, 79, 80, 82, 90, 9

Temperature

59, 60, 63, 67, 70-72, 73

Vertical

59, 65, 75, 98, 100, 107,

Wave-like

85-88, 139

67,97, 129, 136, 137, 138

Method

21,76,83,129

Nature

8, 34,

10

30, 92, 93, 101, 104, 145

34,

39

15, 133,
1

142

15, 133,

43, 68, 83, 93, 95, 98, 99,

34, 38, 39, 83, 103, 109,

Numerical Expression 29,

1 ,

94, 95,

1 ,

Lyric

Music

10

Tools

Left

138

18, 126, 129, 136, 137,

46,48, 109, III, 112

15, 126, 127, 130, 131, 136,

39

142

12,

124

144

Painting

18, 32, 34, 35, 50, 58, 64, 68, 75, 76,

81,91, 106, 108,

10, 125,

132, 133

Parallel

103, 120, 130, 131, 136

Plane

8,

29, 30, 32, 40, 60, 6

82. 84, 85, 90, 94,

09,

0,

29,

36,

145
Basic

28,29,35,36,38,50,91, 115-146

Circle

30, 32, 60, 73, 74, 75, 81, 82, 84, 124, 141, 142, 143

Square

31, 32, 36, 62, 70, 74,

Triangle

31,72,74,82, 142

15, 123, 124,

142

Poetry

83,93, 101

Point

21, 25-54, 57, 60, 68, 78, 90, 91, 99, 103, 105, 107, 109,
142, 145

and Line

29

Conception

28, 29, 32

Form

29,30,31

Geometric

15,38,39

on Plane

36

Size

29,30

Purpose (Goal)

18,21,28,30,37,38,48,52,93,

Repetition

94,95, 138

Right

116, 119, 120, 121, 122, 134, 135, 136, 141

Sculpture

40,68,83,

Sound

28,30,31,47,59,70,72,83,89,

100, 110

Double (Two)

28,30,32,36-38, 115, 133

Multi-

36,37,66, 134, 139

One

36, 37,

Proto-

65

Three

71

Structure

109, 133, 145

III, 115, 116, 139

66

18,37, 106, 107, 109, 126, 129, 131, 137

Acentric

37, 132, 138

Centric

36,61, 107, 108, 132, 137, 139

Eccentric

61, 107, 108, 133, 138

12,

124

Synthesis

21, 67, 68, 83, 99, 103, 121, 143, 146

Technique

46, 101, III

Tension

27, 32, 33, 53, 58, 62, 65, 79, 80, 92,
136, 137, 142, 143, 145

Texture

50-52, 143, 144

Time

34, 35,98, 145

Translation

42-45, 68, 9

Warm

59,100,115,119,130,139

Weight

94,

17,

1 ,

18,

98, 99,

00

19, 120, 127, 128,

139

12,

15,

18, 121, 123, 126,