PRINT April 1969

An Exchange

TERRY FENTON’S OVERSIMPLIFICATIONS have only added to the confusions surrounding Constructivism.

Ten years ago it might have been barely permissible to interpret Constructivism through the writings of Gabo, which after the 1920 Realist Manifesto show a notably altered relationship to science and society. Gabo’s writings were Constructivism to the great majority of the Western art world. With the many pieces of scholarship now at hand, in English, and covering Tatlin’s return to Russia (1913) through the activities of the Russian Constructivists in the early 1930s, there is scant excuse for writing that Constructivism began in 1920 and was somehow transplanted to the Bauhaus a few years later. Constructivist theory and its entwinement with other European movements is hardly so cut and dried. The Dada alliance with the Constructivist International of 1922 was superficially political and never

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