Purism (French pur = pure, genuine) is regarded as a French variant of abstract art with its roots in Cubism.
In 1918, based on Cubism's theorizing "intellectual wing" around the "Section d`Or" and the Puteaux group, several artists around Amédée Ozenfant (1886-1966) and Le Corbusier (1887-1965, actually Charles-Edouard Jeanneret) found their way to an orderly style with simple and elementary geometric forms that was close to Constructivism. Also parts of Fernand Léger's work of the 1920s can be allocated to Purism.
The first exhibition took place in 1919, the theoretic fundament of the movement had already been affixed one year earlier in the programmatic manifesto "Aprčs le Cubisme" ("After Cubism"). The magazine "L`Esprit Nouveau" ("The New Spirit"), the movement's organ, was published between 1919 and 1925.
To purist artists, Cubism was too individualized and too much coined by the individual artists personality and ideology. In return, they asked for a return to the pure form by means of a simple and precise style and a similar manner regarding the composition. This attained rational-reduced way of depicting was supposed to comprise all art genres in the same way.
The purists placed an emphasis on the typification of the depicted objects in graphic art and painting, their paintings often show so-called "objets-types" or "objets-standarts" as standardized reproducible basic forms. This shows Purism's groundbreaking basic assumption that a particular type is inherent to any object. Thus Purism and its principle of rationality instead of ornaments marked the beginning of a new esthetic, which would be carried forth in Functionalism.