Alec Nevala-Lee

Thoughts on art, creativity, and the writing life.

Posts Tagged ‘Amédée Ozenfant

The mathematical order

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One of the highest delights of the human mind is to perceive the order of nature and to measure its own participation in the scheme of things; the work of art seems to us to be a labor of putting into order, a masterpiece of human order…A work of art should induce a sensation of a mathematical order, and the means of inducing this mathematical order should be sought among universal means…Man and organized beings are products of natural selection. In every evolution on earth, the organs of beings are more and more adapted and purified, and the entire forward march of evolution is a function of purification. The human body seems to be the highest product of natural selection. When examining these selected forms, one finds a tendency toward certain identical aspects, corresponding to constant functions, functions which are of maximum efficiency, maximum strength, maximum capacity, etc., that is, maximum economy. Economy is the law of natural selection…

In all ages and with all people, man has created for his use objects of prime necessity which responded to his imperative needs; these objects were associated with his organism and helped complete it. In all ages, for example, man has created containers: vases, glasses, bottles, plates, which were built to suit the needs of maximum capacity, maximum strength, maximum economy of materials, maximum economy of effort. In all ages, man has created objects of transport: boats, cars; objects of defense: arms; objects of pleasure: musical instruments, etc., all of which have always obeyed the law of selection: economy…It is by the phenomenon of mechanical selection that the forms are established which can almost be called permanent, all interrelated, associated with human scale, containing curves of a mathematical order, curves of the greatest capacity, curves of the greatest strength, curves of the greatest elasticity, etc. These curves obey the laws which govern matter. They lead us quite naturally to satisfactions of a mathematical order.

Le Corbusier and Amédée Ozenfant, “Purism”

Written by nevalalee

October 20, 2018 at 7:30 am

Quote of the Day

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Amédée Ozenfant

Turn your day into a timetable, unvarying, implacable. However impulses may tempt, they must be sternly denied except in the time allowed for them. The artist too often believes that he must sit about in readiness for the kind attentions of the muse, but that amiable creature quickly learns to be on time for her appointments…Inspiration is not a flame, like the Holy Ghost, but a potency gleaming in us like a nightlight, which should glow brightly in working hours…Inspiration has a just right to weekends off.

Amédée Ozenfant, “The Life of the Artist Today”

Written by nevalalee

September 15, 2016 at 7:30 am

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