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Transcript of Cubism
Life in the Realm of Geometry and Distortion Cubism was the first style of abstract art.
The movement was made famous by painters, Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque.
According to some sources, Paul Cezanne should be accredited with the origins of the movement since he his concepts of passage inspired Picasso.
Origins of The Term
Upon viewing a Braque painting in Paris (1908), the critic, Louis Vauxcelles, made reference to the prevalent 'geometric schemas and cubes.'
Cubism was not intended to be an abstract art, but instead to represent the world in terms of permanent reoccurring geometric forms.
The movement ended circa 1920, but its influence was felt through the 1940's. The Aims of the Movement Reject the idea that art should act as a mirror for the world around us.
Depict the less literal, permanent structure of nature.
Reduce objects into geometric forms, and then realign these within a shallow overlapping space.
Focusing on composition.
Emphasize the two-dimensionality of the canvas.
Abandon vivid colors and embrace the near-monochromatic browns, grays, or blacks.
This also included abandoning all emotion and sensation valued by the Impressionists.
Reject traditional ideas of perspective and modeling.
Embrace the bold shapes and lines of African sculptures and masks. First Works of Cubism Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1881-1973)
'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon' (1907)
Stylization and distortion were ground-breaking.
Georges Braque (French, 1882-1963)
'Standing Nude' (1908)
Their collaboration ceased on the outbreak of WWI (1914).
By 1910,the Cubist style and variations of Picasso and Braque were prevalent. Picasso .... a manifestation of a vague desire on the part of those of us who participated in it to get back to some kind of order ... We were trying to move in a direction opposite to Impressionism. That was the reason we abandoned color, emotion, sensation, and everything that had been introduced by the Impressionists, to search again for an architectonic basis in the composition, trying to make an order of it...
Fun Fact: Picasso was asked to design the decor for the 'Parade' by Diaghilev's Ballet Russe. During his term, he fell in love dancer, Olga Khokhlova, whom he later married. 'Les Demoiselles d'Avignon' (1907)
Pablo Picasso Additional Painters and Sculptures A Few Additional Cubist Painters:
Robert and Sonia Delaunay
Roger de La Fresnaye
Henri Laurens Architecture Styles Within Cubism Analytical Cubism (1907-1912)
Emphasized utilizing a variety of viewpoints.
Recreated the object within a geometric framework.
Created an image that was more of loose representation of said object.
These fractured pictorials were fused through the use a subdued color palettes.
Synthetic Cubism (1912-Forward)
This wave was an attempt to revitalize the style.
Influenced by the introduction of bold an simple collages.
More direct, colorful, and decorative
Appeared abstract, but held many traditional elements.
Often switched from geometric to free hand, dark to light, etc.
While Cubism was born in France, it influenced the development of Futurism, Vorticism, Suprematism, Constructivism, and Expressionism throughout western Europe and Russia. Literature Music Dance A Comparison Within and Between Subjects A Scottish Baronial House (1907)
John William Waterhouse Water Lilies(1907)
Claude Monet Girl with Mandolin (1910)
Pablo Picasso Portrait of Ambrose Vollard (1910)
Pablo Picasso Houses at L’Estaque (1908) Georges Braque Head of a Young Girl (1920) Henri Laurens Paysage a Meudon (1911)
Albert Gleizes Dos Mujeres (1914) Diego Rivera Dance Setting the Stage At the turn of the twentieth century, inventions such as; photography, cinema, telephones, cars, and airplanes, began to overwhelm society.
Between 1870 and 1910, western society witnessed more technological progress than it had in the previous four centuries.
In the world of art, photography had begun to replace painting as the primary medium for documenting the new world.
Cubism began as an attempt to revitalize traditions found in western art, thereby making them representative of the modernity of their time.
They aimed to create a 'new way of seeing' that was more appropriately suite for this modern age. George Braque
'Violin and Jug' (1910) Pablo Picasso
'Still Life with Chair Caning' (1912) Architects began to notice the simplified geometric forms, distorted perspective, and passage seen in Cubist art.
To the architect, Cubist paintings suggested that elements could be distorted, superimposed, or made transparent without losing their unique identity.
Cubism evolved parallel to Modern Movement architecture.
This led to an overall simplification of building structures and the use of more industrial products, such as glass.
This style was thought to better reflect the coming age of technology. Gertrude Stein Guillaume Apollinaire "Cubism is the art of depicting new wholes with formal elements borrowed not only from the reality of vision, but from that of conception." Guillaume Apollinaire
The central tenants of cubism began to appear in literature as well.
Gertrude Stein, Max Jacob, Pierre Reverdy, etc.
William Faulkner's 'As I Lay Dying' featured fifteen narratives that formed one cohesive tale.
Poetry, in particular, portray concepts that were analogous to Analytical Cubism.
Deconstruction of grammar, absent punctuation, free verse, etc.
Guillaume Apollinaire was rather fond of Synthetic Cubism ideals. His works included:
Fusing poetry withdrawing in caligrammes
Cubist poetry also often overlapped with Surrealism, Dadaism, Futurism, etc. Principles of Cubism also began to influence the style of many composers.
Igor Stravinsky's Piano-Rag-Music for Piano Solo (1919)
The work was influenced by his Russian upbringing, French residency, and exposure to American ragtime music.
Traditional elements were reassembled to feature the rhythms and harmonies from rag trends and polyrhythm, bitonality and melody from his Russian past.
This fusion is said to be an excellent example of Cubist principles.