Dutch artist Theo van Doesburg was perpetually at odds with the Bauhaus ideology of the early 1920s, initially inspired by German Expressionism and upheld by Johannes Itten. At the same time, Walter Gropius was vehemently against the teaching of any particular artistic style. These positions led to an adversarial relationship between the two men, especially as some students chose to leave the Bauhaus to follow van Doesburg. In his Bauhausbuch, Grundbegriffe der Neuen Gestaltenden Kunst (published in English as Plastic and Neo-Plastic Art, 1925), van Doesburg dedicated the work “To Friends and Enemies” and staked his claim:
Formation [Gestaltung] is essentially : the balancing of positive and negative to achieve exact harmonious unity.