Ostwald and the Russian Avantgarde art movement

Ostwald’s energetics influenced the thinking of the Russian Marxist Alexander Bogdanov (1873-1928) and his color theory the art of the Russian Avantgarde after the Revolution (e.g. Kazimir Malevich). Bogdanov himself developed also a theory of organisation which he called Tektology what he viewed as a new universal science (1922). For Bogdanov knowledge had to be seen as the organisation of experience.

Bogdanov tried, with modifications, to extent Ostwald’s project of conceiving everything in the terms of the transformation of energy. (Gare, p. 234)

  • Charlotte Douglas, Energetic abstraction: Ostwald, Bogdanov, and the Russian post-revoltionary art, in: Bruce Clarke and Linda Linda Dalrymple Henderson (eds.), From energy to information : representation in science and technology, art, and literature. Stanford, Calif. : Stanford Univ. Press, 2002, pp. 76-94
  • Arran Gare, Aleksandr Bogdanov’s history, sociology and philosophy of science, in: Studies In History and Philosophy of Science Part A 31 (2000) 231-248
  • Charlotte Douglas, Wilhelm Ostwald und die Russische Avantgarde, in: Miltiadis Papanikolaou (Ed.), Licht und Farbe in der Russischen Avantgarde : die Sammlung Costakis aus dem Staatlichen Museum für Zeitgenössische Kunst Thessaloniki ; eine Ausstellung des Staatlichen Museums für Zeitgenössische Kunst Thessaloniki, der Berliner Festspiele und des Museums Moderner Kunst Stiftung Ludwig Wien in Zusammenarbeit mit der Griechischen Kulturstiftung Berlin. Köln: DuMont, 2004.