30 x 30 cm
Gouache on paper
Collection Museum Haus Konstruktiv
Donated by Sammlung Rolf und Friedel Gutmann
Albert Jean Gorin (born 1899 in Saint-Émilien-de-Blain, France, died 1981 in Niort, France), also known simply as Jean Gorin, was one of the most important representatives of French Constructivist and Concrete Art. Before he began to express his own Constructivist ideas in paintings, sculptures, and architecture, however, he first engaged in an intense exploration of Piet Mondrian’s Neoplasticism and Russian Constructivism.
Gorin did not create his first reliefs until 1930. Using these to develop architectural studies, he eventually arrived at the “space-time compositions” that would become so characteristic for his work after 1965. Relying on a sculptural notion that was fundamentally developed not least by Piet Mondrian, Gorin regarded sculpture as an open system. He thus created sculptures that can be seen through and that are interwoven with the surrounding space. Depending on our perspective, they allow us to see and experience changing constellations of figures, images, and colors. While Gorin continued to reduce his artistic means throughout his career, he placed increasing importance on color and light effects. His relief-like work “Composition ciné-temporelle No. 72,” which is in the collection of the Museum Haus Konstruktiv, is a prime example of this. Slim pieces of wood painted red, yellow, blue, and white are mounted on a wood surface parallel to each other in two groups, one diagonal and one horizontal, emphasizing their spatial character. The composition that presents itself to the beholders unfolds a complex interplay of planes and lines in space in which the surfaces of the boards in relief are overshadowed by those above them. Here we see Gorin’s strong tendency to balance the distribution of graphic elements as much as possible in an artwork according to formal and coloristic aspects.
Throughout his career, Jean Gorin remained faithful to Theo van Doesburg’s principle as stated in the first issue of the art magazine “De Stijl” in 1917: “In order to spread beauty, we need a spiritual, and not a social community. However, a spiritual community cannot be realized without sacrificing an individuality that strives for honor.” In accordance with this dictum, Gorin valued the synthesis of the arts highly, believing this was embodied in architecture. Seen in this light, his reliefs can also be understood as architectural models with a poetic note.
Dominique von Burg