we came together here in sant’abbondio to talk about the state of affairs in an art movement that has been particularly close to our mutual friend hans heinz holz for many years: constructivist art.
perhaps we should first ask ourselves whether this art currently still exists or whether it is a closed chapter of art history. our dean anton stankowski, who is present here and who has been designing the structure since the 1920s, may take this question calmly, he will probably continue on his way—rightly—undeterred. but hans joachim albrecht. karel duschk, marcello morandini and myself did not appear at the werkplatz until several decades later and we are by no means tempted to found an academy for the care of past ideas, rather we want our art to refer to the consciousness and state of knowledge of our present.
for my part, i am convinced that the application of rational methodology in artistic work still opens up the most direct access to the flow of events of our time. all three of these terms "rationality", "methodology" and "art" have the same weight when thinking about the fundamentals of the constructivist art direction. it strikes me that in many approaches to defining the term "art" the forms of the intuitive, emotional, expressive-visionary image way of thinking play a dominant role. but there is now also—the birth of keywords—a rational, that is, measuring and constructivist image way of thinking.
the rationality of such thinking, for its part, does not coincide with the verbal, with the logic of words. the release of this pictorial logic has always been a central concern of constructivist art. ultimately, it is about the search for truth, which in turn is a highly emotional matter.
here i also see a first answer to the question asked at the beginning about the vitality of constructivist art. i think that every time one of us succeeds in adding a new message to the logic of the image, this is an indication that the discussion continues.
in reality it is usually the case that one initially takes up the basic attitude of one's predecessors as a starting point, but then confronts oneself with the formulations found in the appropriation and reflection of these principles and finally arrives at other formulations based on the changed historical experience.
hans jörg glattfelder, 1996. translation from the original german by robert b. roger, 2021