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    Albert Gleizes. Autograph Manuscript Signed.
    "Albert Gleizes." Nine pages in French, 8.25" x 10.5", n.p.; n.d. The manuscript, titled "choses simples" [simple things] was sent to Louis Narbonne, a publisher in Ariège [France] and begins with a quote from a letter by Flaubert [in English] "Tomorrow's art will be impersonal and scientific." Presented here is paraphrase of the manuscript due to the density of the text.

    Artists seem to be engaging with a widening sense of their art, its goal and potential. Painters and sculptors are penetrating more deeply into the intrinsic truths of forms that have often remained undetected by the senses. It is an artistic renewal that responds to a taste for adventure, a desire for discovery, both generators of human action.

    Artistic works will no longer be physical elements deformed by an individual mind into a work but an emanation of the common mental state rendered accessible to all.
    This idea ties in with the main current in the world of ideas. Science has sought to transpose [not clear what] into bodies entirely created by the energy that was once borrowed from natural organisms [read: natural resources]. This yearning for synthesis did not leave artists unaffected. They, too, wished to create organisms besides natural organisms that up until now they were tasked with imitating. Efforts to both create and destroy continue. On one hand, artwork is becoming more frail due to the illness of individuality. Instantaneity corresponds to solitude. On the other hand, artwork seems supported by a framework and seems heavy, incomplete, yet it appears robust and firmly rooted. The idea of creation is not a justification for the individualist theory of simple pleasure.
    Some staunch individualists may have reached for the idea of creation thinking it justifies their search for darkness and break with their entourage, not realizing the submission it implies and the constant closeness between beings that it requires.
    The idea of creation is intimately connected with evolution. Those who claim to need only themselves and see danger in humans acquiring knowledge cannot harbor the idea of creation. Entertaining an all-consuming megalomania one paradox after another does not align with the strict discipline necessary to the act of creation in art.
    The Past is made up of a series of transformations by the spirit seeking to find the most precise material formulation for its best expression.
    Since the Java Man there has been a long series of transformations leading up to the current type, which is decidedly not the definitive [as in final] type. The spirit is looking for the most perfect physical model for its manifestation. Evolution happens to the most recent link of the chain and there is no break.
    This goes for intellectual evolution as well. Changes in language or ideas happen because they follow a path toward more precision and complexity. The changes that occurred along the way are ephemeral. Modern philosophers and mathematicians like Einstein are merely reiterating in less enigmatic terms the metaphysical truth that the body is mortal and the spirit is immortal. The Past is mortal and dissolves just like the material form that the human spirit resides in. This dissolution of the Past makes people obsessed.
    The individualist theory argues against the Past and is in conflict with the natural path [of evolution], it's intoxicated with a verbal value that gives people a sense of moral justification in their acts, that monstrous value is called freedom.
    The new prospectors are not so far along their new path that they are unaware of the alarm of those who prefer the anarchy of darkness, where they think they can yet pursue their goals, to the threat of order.
    Theories of free will are called into question when one considers where free will begins and where it ends.
    Humans and animals threaten equilibrium, their own and the external one. Acting is then a transition state between two stable states and man confuses this with freedom.
    In some cases, this transition state has little consequence on safety but in others, it can have monumental consequences.
    For instance, I could choose to move from one room to the other or to exit my apartment through the window at which point my free will becomes subject to the laws of gravity and I end up flat dead on the pavement. There is a whole scale of possibility enclosed in the idea of freedom. The limits of free will are evident even to the most intransigent individualists when it comes to material, physical circumstances like this example.
    Although less obvious in the mental realm, the bounds of free will exist there just as they do in the material world. Freedom of imagination is restricted by reason.
    Painters have known for a long time about the laws of composition, of the architecture of a painting. The individualist fever has replaced the idea of representing a collective expression with the idea of representing only one being's expression. The greatest painters were builders, not tellers of anecdotes. Nowadays paintings have no backbones and only tell anecdotes.
    Some painters today are rediscovering the idea of structure and framework and submit their imaginations to strict control. Discipline is not an arbitrary convention, its compliance and awareness of a rule that prevents the corruption of the world's stability. The particular details of discipline change but discipline in itself is eternal.
    Two words are often used interchangeably, feeling and emotion.
    What is feeling? It is affection, tenderness, love; it is a current between beings and things, a common consciousness, a psychological phenomenon.
    What is emotion? It is a mechanical reflex that suspends or upsets life, a suspension or denaturing in the rhythm of life, its unconscious and a physical phenomenon.
    Art can only develop itself through feeling, then, since that alone can maintain continuity.
    A person that processes external perceptions into emotions will never be able to create anything. Those whose experiences awaken feelings can create new things through synthesis.
    Individualism exists only through emotion. An artist subscribing to this theory wants to share this emotion with the audience. The degeneracy in the concept of Beauty atrophies the senses and leads to sentimentality.
    Artwork that embodies the idea of abstract creation is now a reality, an organized whole. Such artwork does not make the audience emotional through the viewing of someone else's individual experience but yields feeling through the viewing of a concrete object's representation.
    The drama and lyricism in the work of today's painters and sculptors comes from the spiritual condensation of an as-yet unknown material form, rather than the centrifugal dispersion that someone romantic like Delacroix showed.
    Today's art does not aim for the sublime, which distinguishes it from its romantic counterpart. The forms are simpler and freshened up the academic world and its terminology.
    Individualist artists are trapped in the spectator's first impression of their artwork. They wish to create an impression like a clap of thunder and their work has no lasting impact or deeper meaning.
    New art does not try to say anything or fill itself with intentions; it just is and can adapt harmoniously to the changes that operate in people and in the world.
    The contents of a painting should not be dictated by its frame. Rather, the world exists outside the frame and the painting represents a slice of life which often might not appeal to the eye of a spectator who's used to being shown fragments of life that are manipulated so as to appear organized or complete.
    The first material used by painters is the canvas. Painters today have forgotten the significance of the role played by the canvas. They see it as simply a surface to spread out their ideas upon that offers no resistance.
    However, the fact is that the painter must remain acutely aware of the canvas, its specific material nature and limitations.
    All artistic vision is subject to the limitations of its materials. Each sort of artistic expression is beholden to its particular materials and none overstep into the boundaries of another. Painting expresses something that would otherwise remain unknown, inexpressible through other artistic means.
    Creating is not expressing an opinion; it is observing and understanding the causes of natural phenomena.
    Making art is repeating the processes of a given phenomenon by subjecting it constantly to the medium of painting, the canvas.
    The painting becomes something new; its reality is not that of a mirror but of the object itself. It is a homogenous and closed entity and not a fragment that the frame leaves open.
    How will the flat surface become animated?
    Through the application of the laws of perspective in relation to said surface and not by applying the laws to it in order to project a representation of the external world.
    The current problem lies with this solution. The artistic revolution that has taken shape in the last decade aims to focus the laws of perspective - mechanism of the eyes.
    Cubist painters - cubism is the first stage in this revolution - perceived this and were liable to transform a painting into a black painting as a geometric or mathematical demonstration.
    However, the painting cannot serve such a demonstration. Scientific facts can be used to create an equilibrium of relations and proportions but said facts are secondary to the flat surface and its fate.
    Perspective can be brought to bear on the order of the flat surface. Perspective will become real when it becomes wedded to the reality of the human eye within the reality of a medium [the canvas] that it does not denature.
    We are not strictly exposed to an intellectual truth but to a truth aligned with the human visual system in its sensory dimension.
    Over time the significance of the painting's content went from being the foremost factor to simply a pretext to create art. The importance of the painter's materials began to vastly overshadow the image.
    Painters only borrowed the picturesque if it fit with the nature of the canvas. The external image slowly became disassociated and revealed its internal nature as the picturesque elements faded. The painter wished to become the master of the action rather than a simple reporter.
    For some painters, and a few sculptors, too, the break from the external image is complete. The break was an a posteriori consequence of the intensive search, in deductive order. The subject-pretext suddenly becomes useless. The painter had learned during his analytical period the secret order. The divine, as embodied in man, manifested through the awareness of his possible creations. The material of the canvas would bend to the ordered will of the painter, with imagination subject to physical rules. Nothing can be created outside of order and without awareness.
    The abandonment of the subject did not occur a priori. Painters knew this would happen inexorably, and that they did not need to speed it along. As the image became less and less significant, it was only a matter of time before images from the world and images from intuition would meet. No need to reject elementary truths around equilibrium or present artwork as having intentions, all more or less paradoxical.
    Hence, a new form of expression has come about. Man invented words to refer to objects in the world that preceded words. Let there be no confusion. A tree is material for literature; literature is not material for a tree. A new painting will be material for literature; literature will not be material for a new painting.

    Albert Gleizes (1881-1953) was a French artist, theoretician, philosopher, and a self-proclaimed founder of Cubism. He along with Jean Metzinger (1883-1956), fellow French artist, theorist, critic, writer, and poet, wrote the first major treatise on Cubism, Du "Cubisme" in 1912. Gleizes spent four crucial years in New York, and played an important role in making America aware of modern art.

    A remarkable treatise on art of the period written by a founder of Cubism.

    Condition: Manuscript has the usual folds, otherwise very good.


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