PRINT April 1979

The Language of Forms and Colors

Having been rid of both the object and the subject, painting devoted itself entirely to its own specific tasks and their development has largely filled the void left by the rejection of the object and of its interpretation.

—A. Rodchenko, “The Line” (1921)

WITH THE APPEARANCE OF nonobjective painting, and of Suprematism in particular, modern art discovered a new freedom. But artists were not unaware of the difficulties that this new creative freedom of pure forms implied. Thus it was considered imperative that rules of creation should be drawn up as quickly as possible. Yet these rules could not be stylistic, for that would mean a return to a mimetic way of thinking, the rejection of which had sparked off the whole nonobjective revolution in the first place. The interest aroused by any kind of stylistic convention disappeared from the moment when style was understood as a borrowed formula

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