Sunday, 14 August 2011

100 Artists' Manifestos

Currently reading "100 Artists' Manifestos from the Futurists to the Stuckists" published by Penguin (and hence the previous Bauhaus entry - that was inspired by my reading of the book in the bookshop before I actually bought it to read on holiday!).

The manifesto book is really interesting and well worth dipping into, some are really quite daft like the Futurist Manifesto of Men's Clothing 1913:

"WE MUST DESTROY ALL PASSEIST CLOTHES, and everything about them which is tight fitting, colourless, funereal, decadent, boring and unhygienic...we must abolish: wishy washy, pretty-pretty, gloomy and neutral colours, along with patterns composed of lines, checks and spots"!!! Great.

Some were very influential like The Suprematist Manifesto by Kasimir Malevich 1916:

" ...In repeating or tracing the forms of nature, we have nurtured our consciousness with a false conception of art... The transmission of real objects onto canvas is the art of skilful reproduction, that's all.
And between the art of creating and the art of repeating there is a great difference.
And however much we arrange furniture about rooms, we will not extend or create a new form for them.
And however many moonlit landscapes the artist paints, however many grazing cows and pretty sunsets, they will remain the same dear little cows and sunsets. Only in a much worse form.
And in fact, whether an artist is a genius or not is determined by the number of cows he paints.

The artist can be a creator only when the forms in his picture have nothing in common with nature..."

There are some fabulous Dada and Surrealist manifestos too, like the Dada manifesto by Francis Picabia from 1920:

"...Art is a drug for imbeciles...The Dadists are nothing, nothing, nothing and they will certainly succeed in nothing, nothing, nothing."

With excellent introductions to each Manifesto by Alex Danchev, I can feel several project briefs stirring.

1 comment:

Sector 4 said...

On my to buy list now. Looks great.