The Russian Constructivists -Tatlin, Rodchenko, Lissitzky, Johansen, Vladimir and George Stenberg, Medunetzky, Gabo, and Klucis - moved from the plane into real space. They gave spatial and plastic designs to the purely material relationships of unadulterated-pure-materials (iron, brass, copper, glass, wood, and so on) used simultaneously in the space. By giving the picture plane the sharpest asymmetrical definition possible, Peri exploded the traditional square shape of the painting. In this way he achieved a powerful spatial charge from hard, opposing relationships of two-dimensional forms. The explosiveness of the space is heightened by rhythmic repetition and the relative lack of colour of the paints used (black and greyish brown, black and red). The colours are secondary to the spatial function of the forms. As a result, the opposing relationships of the forms that produce the spatial tension are expressed much more strongly. The equilibrium of the object designed results from the immutable colour relationships and from the variability of the relationships among the forms, from the colour contrast (as the unchanging element) and the form (as the changing one) of the picture plane. A rigid, immobile stability composed of extreme contrasts.
The space-less, cubic template of today’s moronic “architectonic interior” is destroyed. A new struggling spatial activity develops from the deeply serious dark contrasts with the dominant elements that result from the omnipresent black paint. In the penultimate constructions the black paint fights with brown and grey. The activity of black is crucial. In these works, despite their asymmetrical and non-quadratic construction, both the horizontal-vertical conflict of the quadrilateral and the concentric, centripetal closed form of the old “painting” are retained. In the final works the horizontal-vertical construction of the painting is eliminated. Opposing diagonal forms span a vertical or horizontal axis as contrasting forces. The spatial tension increases to the most active power relationships of a space balanced at the outside limit of the possibility of equilibrium. Recurrent red fights with black, and its activity drowns out the activity of the black paint. The powerful form masses open up the concentricity of the composition into a dynamic of centrifugal eccentricity. From that point the path leads to the architecture of the future.
The linocuts presented here illustrate Péri’s spatial-Constructivist designs. They are not original, creative works and do not wish to be viewed as such. The artist uses linoleum because it is well suited to reproduce his spatial constructions. Nevertheless they still have the value of originals because the elimination of colour presents the artist with a new set of problems. Péri’s work is presented here in chronological order. Though reproduced on a smaller scale, the proportionality and scale relationships of the forms is the same as that of the originals intended for a wall. The role that colour plays in separating the forms and its energetic function in heightening the spatial activity of the design are fulfilled here instead by the lines. The mechanical uniformity of the lines emphasizes both the opposing connections of the form parts of the painting as a whole and the suppressed monumentality of the design, just as the repeating rhythm of the colours did in the paintings. Designing using pure relations of space-creating opposing forms is even more effective when colours are eliminated. The lines reproduce, as hard and definite outlines, the non-quadratic and objective character of the spatial constructions with intense urgency.