PRINT May 1971

On Constructivism

“At Basis, Constructivism Was Not So Much A Method Of Artistic Organization As Of Social Regulation.”

THE DEVELOPMENT OF MODERN RUSSIAN art often seems like a theatrical scenario, so stylized is the impression we have of it. A lot that has reached us appears detached from credibility, surreal, fictive even. Of course, we have the paintings to look at (or some of them), and the designs and plans—these are all concrete enough. But the difficulty isn’t so much there (though I believe we are not yet looking at them hard enough) but in the surrounding ethos. Once you get interested enough in the painting, sculpture or design to want to know more about its background everything becomes suddenly far more complicated than one could imagine. There are biomechanical and psychotechnical systems, confused relationships to the State, internecine warfare between different factions, and those more specific

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