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date: 21 January 2020

Cold art [Ger. Kalte Kunst]locked

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[Ger. Kalte Kunst]

Term used primarily in reference to a branch of Constructivism based on geometric forms of unmodulated colour, organized by simple mathematical formulae in such a way that the end result clearly bears this mathematical imprint, especially as found in the work of Swiss artists such as the painter Karl Gerstner (b 1930) and Richard Paul Lohse.

Although the label is sometimes applied to other types of art structured on mathematical principles, such as Op art and Kinetic art, in its stricter sense it relates more closely to the ideas propounded by Max Bill within the context of Concrete art. In his essay ‘The Mathematical Approach in Contemporary Art’, he wrote of mathematical problems as ‘the projection of latent forces…which we are unconsciously at grips with every day of our lives; in fact that music of the spheres which underlies each man-made system and every law of nature it is within our power to discern. Hence all such visionary elements help to furnish art with a fresh content.’ As early as his series of lithographs, ...

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