4. Parallel receptions of the fundamental

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Elementary shapes (in the tradition of Pestalozzi and later Fröbel) are of great importance in children’s education and modern art. They appear, for example, in paintings such as “Die Hülsenbeckschen Kinder” (1805/06) by Philipp Otto Runge that exerted a great influence on modern art. The resulting reception enables an insight into children’s perception. Minimal art, conceptual art, and other constructivist art forms have adopted this idea. However, the obvious impact of these movements and ideas on picturebooks for children has not been adequately investigated so far. The objective here is to reveal the aesthetically innovative dimension of elementary reductions, as well as to show how young children perceive basic shapes and objects that undoubtedly inspire the young child’s imaginative powers. In this way, children's perception, the education of children, picturebooks for young children and modern art complement each other so that the underlying symbolic shifts relating to modernity become comprehensible (through the use of elementary shapes) and can be utilized productively.


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