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“Following Meyer-Amden’s death, the art historian Sigfried Giedion pointed out the surprising fact that the artist had oriented himself toward the human figure while working within an epochal style that strove for abstraction and was bent on achieving pure objecthood. In describing this mode of representation, one that forgoes any and all individuality, Giedion cited the figures on the early Gothic portals at the cathedral in Chartres as models. Meyer-Amden’s representation does not exhaust itself in the figure per se; rather, it is the expression of a particular experience, bringing forth a form that is simultaneously both objectified and constructed – for him, the one always presupposes the other. In both, an ideal movement formulates itself that extends beyond the sensible, and in this sense Meyer-Amden’s work approached that of those artists of the era who were pushing for immaterial formulations in their practices. Similarly to Schlemmer, he was guided by a desire to find an alternative path, one located away from a modernism rooted in formalism and dominated by Cubism. The similarities between the ideas of the two artists could be particularly observed in the closing years of the 1920s, in the way both would disembody the figures they portrayed. This in no way contradicts the idea of spatial perception; rather, both artists found that drawings and watercolors offered them ways to evoke the modelling of the body and face, through successions of curved lines, and in this way to ecstatically elevate them in their being within space. It’s no coincidence that Mondrian was mentioned at the start of this text, since in 1925 Meyer-Amden expressed his admiration for his work in a letter to the architect and later Bauhaus director Hannes Meyer as follows: “The beauty with which he states his conviction, and with which he himself seeks to convince, is for me always moving, and it is essential.”


Excerpt of an essay on the artist by Dieter Schwarz, 2019.