As appeared in Deutsche Kunst und Dekoration, Volume 19, freely translated by Mattia Moretti.
Commonly referred to be the minor art craft, design is now often in a critical economic situation, while the commercial art itself is undergoing a decided improvement process. By the point of view of the artisan it is therefore understandably how difficult is to recognize this last fact. It seems the actual artistic production tends to eliminate the matter of the subject, and only point out the beauty of the constriction style. Alan has drawn contras with the mediating sentence: The art design is moving in a wavy line, the depth of the constructions form follows the height of the ornament.
This internal process can be seen when on the question: What is actually an ornament? – Reflect.
Our time is looking for the naked scope, pure form, the design, material-and specialty-use item!Outwardly, it seems as if they do it for the sake of fashion. But in reality it just by looking – the ornament.
That this effort meets us in the form of a dogma, we could easily understand if we consider that the despotism of the unreal hollow ornament was of course an extreme reaction yield. Basically hostility is only against the false Ornaments, the useless ornaments. The ornament is the non-purpose expression, opposed to the heightened artistic expression.
Any request to the aesthetic of usage, imposed by the practical man himself, attracts an aesthetic, artistic, therefore it is supposed to be the goal of the artistic product by itself. The more civilized man, is the one who is completely involved in his way of life. And this indeed dictated the purpose of utilities. The more purified is the life style, the more so is the form of the object.
The shape is adorned in a clean way to enhance the functional form. Contrasts are then eliminated by Jewelry form and functional role. And all the argument about which of the two is the "right" is completely passing over.
Logically, the Ornament could – but should be part of a developed, healthy functional form – despite all the efforts made by craftsmen to avoid it. Empire and Biedermeier period are not our style. We have a different view of life than our fathers case, a different spirit. But our spirit and our view of life have emerged from those, and so must our style emerge from that time.
Thus it is clear that we end the bare preaching style, because we stay for the ornaments. The primitive functional form is no longer the expression for the nowadays selfish Aesthetics of enjoyment. We need to achieve the new Ornament! – We should all want the ornament. We fight for it as we defend the truthfulness of the utility object. And then, the battle cry: Here ornaments! Construction form here!
There is no overcoming in Ornament. Walt Whitman’s words: a thing is without ornament at its best! – Is only partly correct. To deal with things with and without ornament is in art actually impossible. The ornament we recognize from the thing itself is what we may safely pronounce, without any doubt that for us the spirit of embellishment which cannot reach the depths of our souls is hateful. – PAUL BROECKER (HAMBURG.)