Styles & Periods

Styles & Periods


Feeling that Cubism had become decorative and lacking in moral order, two artists created Purism. Frenchmen Amédée Ozenfant and Le Corbusier developed the variant of Cubism that advocated a removal of expressionist influences and a return to admiration for the qualities of pure form. Mechanical imagery provided the iconography for much of their paintings. Function, volume and efficiency of form were the greatest concerns of the two artists, and still-lifes were their most commonly painted subjects. From 1920 to 1925 a journal was written to spread their theories. Despite their convictions, the style did not metabolize into a school of painting, and both artists were forced to compromise their vision, and develop into other forms of expression. Ozenfant relaxed his adherence to the tenets of Purism and contributed to color theory in England, as well as running his own art academy, first in London and then New York. Le Corbusier met with great success when he transferred his ideas into the field of design and architecture, but his work in these fields has also drawn him many critics.

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