The Radical Artists’ Manifesto (1919)

by Arp, Baumann, Eggeling, Giacometti, Helbig, Hennings, Janco, Morach, Richter
11th April 1919

A clear, straightforward gaze must predominate if decisions of great import are to be taken. Spiritually and materially, we demand our right: representatives of an essential part of culture, we, the artists, want to take part in the ideological development of the State; we want to exist in the State and take our full share of responsibilities. We declare that the artistic laws of our time are already formulated in their main outline. The spirit of abstract art represents an enormous extension in man’s feeling of freedom. Our faith is fraternal art: art’s new mission in society. Art imposes clarity; should serve as a basis for the new man. He should belong to everyone without class distinction. We want to channel the conscious production-strength of each individual into the completion of the communal undertaking. We are fighting lack of system, destroyer of strength. Our highest aspiration is to realise a spiritual basis of understanding for all men. This is our duty. This work ensures the greatest vitality for all people. The initiative for this is ours. We shall direct its course and give expression to its wishes by joining into a harmonious whole its most disparate elements.

11 April 1919.

Arp, Baumann, Eggeling, Giacometti, Helbig, Henning, Janco, Morach, Richter

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