Four Arts Redefined: Wladyslaw Strzeminski's Theory of Unism

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2005-05-25

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Wladyslaw Strzeminski, one of the leading figures of Polish Constructivism, developed his radical modernist theory of Unism during the interwar period, following the artist's move from Russia to Poland in 1922. Unism began as an artistic experimentation through an analysis of form in painting and was soon expanded to other arts - sculpture, architecture, and typography. The development of Unism from a purely analytical stage to a more practical one signifies an important aspect of Strzeminski's theory. Although the theory evolved to address successfully different arts, its key concepts, such as the idea of the unity of the work of art with the place of its creation, the principle of organicity, and the utopian belief in the ability of the work of art to organize life and its functions, remained consistent through the years and unified the four arts under the umbrella of Unism, and constituted Strzeminski's greatest achievement.

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