Cubism

Cubism

Overview
Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 art movement
Art movement
An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time, or, at least, with the heyday of the movement defined within a number of years...

, pioneered by Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 and Georges Braque
Georges Braque
Georges Braque[p] was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism.-Early Life:...

, that revolutionized European painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 and sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

, and inspired related movements in music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 and architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

. In cubist artworks, objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context.
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Encyclopedia
Cubism was a 20th century avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 art movement
Art movement
An art movement is a tendency or style in art with a specific common philosophy or goal, followed by a group of artists during a restricted period of time, or, at least, with the heyday of the movement defined within a number of years...

, pioneered by Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 and Georges Braque
Georges Braque
Georges Braque[p] was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism.-Early Life:...

, that revolutionized European painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 and sculpture
Sculpture
Sculpture is three-dimensional artwork created by shaping or combining hard materials—typically stone such as marble—or metal, glass, or wood. Softer materials can also be used, such as clay, textiles, plastics, polymers and softer metals...

, and inspired related movements in music
Music
Music is an art form whose medium is sound and silence. Its common elements are pitch , rhythm , dynamics, and the sonic qualities of timbre and texture...

, literature
Literature
Literature is the art of written works, and is not bound to published sources...

 and architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

. In cubist artworks, objects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in an abstracted form—instead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context. Often the surfaces intersect at seemingly random angles, removing a coherent sense of depth. The background and object planes interpenetrate one another to create the shallow ambiguous space, one of cubism's distinct characteristics.

Historians have sought to analyze the history of cubism in terms of phases. In one scheme, a first branch of cubism, known as Analytic Cubism, was both radical and influential as a short but highly significant art movement between 1907 and 1911 in France. In a second phase, Synthetic Cubism, the movement spread and remained vital until around 1919, when the Surrealist
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

 movement gained popularity. English art historian Douglas Cooper
Douglas Cooper (art historian)
Douglas Cooper, who also published as Douglas Lord was a British art historian, art critic and art collector. He mainly collected Cubist works.- Family background :...

 proposed another scheme, describing three phases of Cubism in his seminal book, The Cubist Epoch. According to Cooper there was "Early Cubism", (from 1906 to 1908) when the movement was initially developed in the studios of Picasso and Braque; the second phase being called "High Cubism", (from 1909 to 1914) during which time Juan Gris
Juan Gris
José Victoriano González-Pérez , better known as Juan Gris, was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived and worked in France most of his life...

 emerged as an important exponent; and finally Cooper referred to "Late Cubism" (from 1914 to 1921) as the last phase of Cubism as a radical avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 movement.

Conception and origins


During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the European cultural elite were discovering African, Micronesian
Micronesian
Micronesian may refer to:* Something of, from, or related to Micronesia, a subregion of Oceania composed of hundreds of small islands in the Pacific Ocean...

 and Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 art for the first time. Artists such as Paul Gauguin
Paul Gauguin
Eugène Henri Paul Gauguin was a leading French Post-Impressionist artist. He was an important figure in the Symbolist movement as a painter, sculptor, print-maker, ceramist, and writer...

, Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse
Henri Matisse was a French artist, known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. He was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter...

, and Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

 were intrigued and inspired by the stark power and simplicity of styles of those foreign cultures. Around 1906, Picasso met Matisse through Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein was an American writer, poet and art collector who spent most of her life in France.-Early life:...

, at a time when both artists had recently acquired an interest in primitivism
Primitivism
Primitivism is a Western art movement that borrows visual forms from non-Western or prehistoric peoples, such as Paul Gauguin's inclusion of Tahitian motifs in paintings and ceramics...

, Iberian
Iberians
The Iberians were a set of peoples that Greek and Roman sources identified with that name in the eastern and southern coasts of the Iberian peninsula at least from the 6th century BC...

 sculpture, African art
African art
African art constitutes one of the most diverse legacies on earth. Though many casual observers tend to generalize "traditional" African art, the continent is full of people, societies, and civilizations, each with a unique visual special culture. The definition also includes the art of the African...

 and African tribal masks
African tribal masks
Ritual and ceremonial masks are an essential feature of the traditional culture and art of the peoples of Subsaharan and West Africa. While the specific implications associated to ritual masks widely vary in different cultures, some traits are common to most African cultures: for example, masks...

. They became friendly rivals and competed with each other throughout their careers, perhaps leading to Picasso entering a new period in his work by 1907, marked by the influence of Greek, Iberian and African art. Picasso's paintings of 1907 have been characterized as Protocubism, as notably seen in Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
Les Demoiselles d'Avignon
He followed his success by developing into his Rose period from 1904 to 1907, which introduced a strong element of sensuality and sexuality into his work...

, the antecedent
Antecedent
An antecedent is a preceding event, condition, cause, phrase, or word. It may refer to:* Antecedent moisture, a hydrologic term describing the relative wetness condition of a sewershed.* Antecedent , the first half of a hypothetical proposition....

 of Cubism.

According to the English art historian, collector, and author of The Cubist Epoch, Douglas Cooper, remarking on Paul Gauguin and Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne
Paul Cézanne was a French artist and Post-Impressionist painter whose work laid the foundations of the transition from the 19th century conception of artistic endeavour to a new and radically different world of art in the 20th century. Cézanne can be said to form the bridge between late 19th...

 "both of those artists were particularly influential to the formation of Cubism and especially important to the paintings of Picasso during 1906 and 1907". Cooper goes on to say however Les Demoiselles is often erroneously referred to as the first cubist painting. He explains,
The Demoiselles is generally referred to as the first Cubist picture. This is an exaggeration, for although it was a major first step towards Cubism it is not yet Cubist. The disruptive, expressionist element in it is even contrary to the spirit of Cubism, which looked at the world in a detached, realistic spirit. Nevertheless, the Demoiselles is the logical picture to take as the starting point for Cubism, because it marks the birth of a new pictorial idiom, because in it Picasso violently overturned established conventions and because all that followed grew out of it.


Some believe that the roots of cubism are to be found in the two distinct tendencies of Cézanne's later work: firstly to break the painted surface into small multifaceted areas of paint, thereby emphasizing the plural viewpoint given by binocular vision
Binocular vision
Binocular vision is vision in which both eyes are used together. The word binocular comes from two Latin roots, bini for double, and oculus for eye. Having two eyes confers at least four advantages over having one. First, it gives a creature a spare eye in case one is damaged. Second, it gives a...

, and secondly his interest in the simplification of natural forms into cylinders, spheres, and cones.

However, the cubists explored this concept further than Cézanne; they represented all the surfaces of depicted objects in a single picture plane, as if the objects had all their faces visible at the same time. This new kind of depiction revolutionized the way in which objects could be visualized in painting and art.

The invention of Cubism was a joint effort between Pablo Picasso and Braque
Georges Braque
Georges Braque[p] was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism.-Early Life:...

, then residents of Montmartre
Montmartre
Montmartre is a hill which is 130 metres high, giving its name to the surrounding district, in the north of Paris in the 18th arrondissement, a part of the Right Bank. Montmartre is primarily known for the white-domed Basilica of the Sacré Cœur on its summit and as a nightclub district...

, Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

. These artists were the movement's main innovators. A later active participant was Juan Gris
Juan Gris
José Victoriano González-Pérez , better known as Juan Gris, was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived and worked in France most of his life...

. After meeting in 1907 Braque and Picasso in particular began working on the development of Cubism. Picasso was initially the force and influence that persuaded Braque by 1908 to move away from Fauvism
Fauvism
Fauvism is the style of les Fauves , a short-lived and loose group of early twentieth-century Modern artists whose works emphasized painterly qualities and strong colour over the representational or realistic values retained by Impressionism...

. The two artists began working closely together in late 1908–early 1909 until the outbreak of World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 in 1914. The movement spread quickly throughout Paris and Europe.

French art critic Louis Vauxcelles
Louis Vauxcelles
Louis Vauxcelles was an influential French art critic. He is credited with coining the terms Fauvism , and Cubism ....

 first used the term "cubism", or "bizarre cubiques", in 1908 after seeing a picture by Braque. He described it as "full of little cubes", after which the term quickly gained wide use although the two creators did not initially adopt it. Art historian Ernst Gombrich
Ernst Gombrich
Sir Ernst Hans Josef Gombrich, OM, CBE was an Austrian-born art historian who became naturalized British citizen in 1947. He spent most of his working life in the United Kingdom...

 described cubism as "the most radical attempt to stamp out ambiguity and to enforce one reading of the picture—that of a man-made construction, a coloured canvas."

Cubism was taken up by many artists in Montparnasse
Montparnasse
Montparnasse is an area of Paris, France, on the left bank of the river Seine, centred at the crossroads of the Boulevard du Montparnasse and the Rue de Rennes, between the Rue de Rennes and boulevard Raspail...

 and promoted by art dealer Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, becoming popular so quickly that by 1911 critics were referring to a "cubist school" of artists. However, many of the artists who thought of themselves as cubists went in directions quite different from Braque and Picasso. The Puteaux Group or Section d'Or
Section d'Or
The Section d'Or , also known as Groupe de Puteaux or Puteaux Group, was a collective of painters and critics associated with an offshoot of Cubism known as Orphism...

 was a significant offshoot of the Cubist movement; it included Guillaume Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother....

, Robert Delaunay
Robert Delaunay
Robert Delaunay was a French artist who, with his wife Sonia Delaunay and others, cofounded the Orphism art movement, noted for its use of strong colours and geometric shapes. His later works were more abstract, reminiscent of Paul Klee...

, Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art...

, his brothers Raymond Duchamp-Villon
Raymond Duchamp-Villon
Raymond Duchamp-Villon was a French sculptor.Duchamp-Villon was born Pierre-Maurice-Raymond Duchamp in Damville, Eure, in the Haute-Normandie region of France, the second son of Eugene and Lucie Duchamp. Of the six Duchamp children, four would become successful artists...

 and Jacques Villon
Jacques Villon
Jacques Villon was a French cubist painter and printmaker.-Early life:Born Gaston Emile Duchamp in Damville, Eure, in the Haute-Normandie region of France, he came from a prosperous and artistically inclined family...

, and Fernand Léger
Fernand Léger
Joseph Fernand Henri Léger was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of Cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style...

, and Francis Picabia
Francis Picabia
Francis Picabia was a French painter, poet, and typographist, associated with both the Dada and Surrealist art movements.- Early life :...

. Other important artists associated with cubism include: Albert Gleizes
Albert Gleizes
Albert Gleizes , was a French painter. Born Albert Léon Gleizes and raised in Paris, he was the son of a fabric designer who ran a large industrial design workshop...

, Jean Metzinger
Jean Metzinger
Jean Metzinger was a French painter.Metzinger was born in Nantes, France. Initially he was influenced by Fauvism and Impressionism, but from 1908 he was associated with Cubism. Metzinger was a member of the Section d'Or group of artists...

, Marie Laurencin
Marie Laurencin
Marie Laurencin was a French painter and printmaker. -Biography:Laurencin was born in Paris, where she was raised by her mother and lived much of her life. At 18, she studied porcelain painting in Sèvres...

, Max Weber
Max Weber (artist)
For the social theorist and philosopher, see Max WeberMax Weber was a Jewish-American painter who worked in the style of cubism before migrating to Jewish themes towards the end of his life.-Biography:...

, Diego Rivera
Diego Rivera
Diego María de la Concepción Juan Nepomuceno Estanislao de la Rivera y Barrientos Acosta y Rodríguez was a prominent Mexican painter born in Guanajuato, Guanajuato, an active communist, and husband of Frida Kahlo . His large wall works in fresco helped establish the Mexican Mural Movement in...

, Marie Vorobieff
Marie Vorobieff
Marie Bronislava Vorobieff-Stebelska , also known as Marevna, was a Russian-born Cubist painter. She is internationally known for convincingly combining elements of cubism with pointillism and – through the use of the Golden Ratio for laying out paintings – structure. She tends to be accredited...

, Louis Marcoussis
Louis Marcoussis
Louis Marcoussis, formerly Ludwik Kazimierz Wladyslaw Markus or Ludwig Casimir Ladislas Markus, was a painter and engraver of Polish origin who lived in Paris for much of his life and became a French citizen.After studying law briefly in Warsaw he went to the Kraków Academy of Fine Arts, where his...

, Jeanne Rij-Rousseau
Jeanne Rij-Rousseau
Jeanne Rij-Rousseau was a French Cubist painter and an art theoretician.Rij-Rousseau was born in Candé. From 1890 on, she lived in Paris and moved in an artistic circle with painters of the "Ile de la Grande Jatte" in Montmartre. She was a student of Maurice Denis and Paul Sérusier...

, Roger de La Fresnaye
Roger de La Fresnaye
Roger de La Fresnaye was a French cubist painter.-Early years and education:La Fresnaye was born in Le Mans where his father, an officer in the French army, was temporarily stationed. The La Fresnayes were an aristocratic family whose ancestral home, the Château de La Fresnaye, is in Falaise...

, Henri Le Fauconnier
Henri Le Fauconnier
Henri Victor Gabriel Le Fauconnier was a French cubist painter born in Hesdin. He studied art in Paris at the Academie Julian and later exhibited with the Puteaux Group.He died in Paris....

, Alexander Archipenko
Alexander Archipenko
Alexander Porfyrovych Archipenko was a Ukrainian avant-garde artist, sculptor, and graphic artist.-Biography:...

, František Kupka
František Kupka
František Kupka was a Czech painter and graphic artist. He was a pioneer and co-founder of the early phases of the abstract art movement and Orphic cubism...

, Amédée Ozenfant
Amédée Ozenfant
Amédée Ozenfant was a French cubist painter.He was born into a bourgeois family in Saint-Quentin, Aisne and was educated at Dominican colleges in Saint-Sébastien...

, Jean Marchand
Jean Marchand (painter)
Jean Hippolyte Marchand was a French cubist painter, printmaker and illustrator with an association with figures of the Bloomsbury Group....

, Léopold Survage
Léopold Survage
Léopold Survage was an important French painter of Russian-Danish-Finnish descent born in Vilmanstrand, Finland .-Biography:At a young age, Survage was...

, Patrick Henry Bruce
Patrick Henry Bruce
Patrick Henry Bruce was an American cubist painter.-Biography:A descendant of Patrick Henry, Bruce was born in Campbell County, Virginia, the second of four children. His family had once owned a huge plantation, Berry Hill, worked by over 3,000 slaves...

 among others. Section d'Or
Section d'Or
The Section d'Or , also known as Groupe de Puteaux or Puteaux Group, was a collective of painters and critics associated with an offshoot of Cubism known as Orphism...

 is basically just another name for many of the artists associated with cubism and orphism
Orphism (art)
Orphism or Orphic Cubism , the term coined by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire, was a little known art movement during the time of Cubism that focused on pure abstraction and bright colors influenced by Fauvism and the dye chemist Eugène Chevreul...

. Purism
Purism
Purism was a form of Cubism advocated by the French painter Amédée Ozenfant and the architect Charles-Edouard Jeanneret . Purism rejected the decorative trend of cubism and advocated a return to clear, ordered forms that were expressive of the modern machine age as documented in their 1918 book...

 was an artistic offshoot of Cubism that developed after World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

. Leading proponents of Purism include Le Corbusier
Le Corbusier
Charles-Édouard Jeanneret, better known as Le Corbusier , was a Swiss-born French architect, designer, urbanist, writer and painter, famous for being one of the pioneers of what now is called modern architecture. He was born in Switzerland and became a French citizen in 1930...

, Amédée Ozenfant
Amédée Ozenfant
Amédée Ozenfant was a French cubist painter.He was born into a bourgeois family in Saint-Quentin, Aisne and was educated at Dominican colleges in Saint-Sébastien...

, and Fernand Léger
Fernand Léger
Joseph Fernand Henri Léger was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of Cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style...

.

Cubism and modern European art
Modern art
Modern art includes artistic works produced during the period extending roughly from the 1860s to the 1970s, and denotes the style and philosophy of the art produced during that era. The term is usually associated with art in which the traditions of the past have been thrown aside in a spirit of...

 was introduced into the United States at the now legendary 1913 Armory Show
Armory Show
Many exhibitions have been held in the vast spaces of U.S. National Guard armories, but the Armory Show refers to the 1913 International Exhibition of Modern Art that was organized by the Association of American Painters and Sculptors...

 in New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, which then traveled to Chicago
Chicago
Chicago is the largest city in the US state of Illinois. With nearly 2.7 million residents, it is the most populous city in the Midwestern United States and the third most populous in the US, after New York City and Los Angeles...

. In the Armory show Jacques Villon
Jacques Villon
Jacques Villon was a French cubist painter and printmaker.-Early life:Born Gaston Emile Duchamp in Damville, Eure, in the Haute-Normandie region of France, he came from a prosperous and artistically inclined family...

 exhibited seven important and large drypoints, his brother Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp
Marcel Duchamp was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Considered by some to be one of the most important artists of the 20th century, Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art...

 shocked the American public with his painting Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2
Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2
-External links:* at the Philadelphia Museum of Art* from Life magazine...

(1912) and Georges Braque
Georges Braque
Georges Braque[p] was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art style known as Cubism.-Early Life:...

, Pablo Picasso
Pablo Picasso
Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso known as Pablo Ruiz Picasso was a Spanish expatriate painter, sculptor, printmaker, ceramicist, and stage designer, one of the greatest and most influential artists of the...

, Fernand Léger
Fernand Léger
Joseph Fernand Henri Léger was a French painter, sculptor, and filmmaker. In his early works he created a personal form of Cubism which he gradually modified into a more figurative, populist style...

, Raymond Duchamp-Villon
Raymond Duchamp-Villon
Raymond Duchamp-Villon was a French sculptor.Duchamp-Villon was born Pierre-Maurice-Raymond Duchamp in Damville, Eure, in the Haute-Normandie region of France, the second son of Eugene and Lucie Duchamp. Of the six Duchamp children, four would become successful artists...

, Roger de La Fresnaye
Roger de La Fresnaye
Roger de La Fresnaye was a French cubist painter.-Early years and education:La Fresnaye was born in Le Mans where his father, an officer in the French army, was temporarily stationed. The La Fresnayes were an aristocratic family whose ancestral home, the Château de La Fresnaye, is in Falaise...

, Marie Laurencin
Marie Laurencin
Marie Laurencin was a French painter and printmaker. -Biography:Laurencin was born in Paris, where she was raised by her mother and lived much of her life. At 18, she studied porcelain painting in Sèvres...

, Albert Gleizes
Albert Gleizes
Albert Gleizes , was a French painter. Born Albert Léon Gleizes and raised in Paris, he was the son of a fabric designer who ran a large industrial design workshop...

, and other cubist painters contributed examples of their cubist works. Braque and Picasso themselves went through several distinct phases before 1920, and some of these works had been seen in New York prior to the Armory Show, at Alfred Stieglitz
Alfred Stieglitz
Alfred Stieglitz was an American photographer and modern art promoter who was instrumental over his fifty-year career in making photography an accepted art form...

's "291" gallery.
Czech artists who realized the epochal significance of cubism of Picasso and Braque attempted to extract its components for their own work in all branches of artistic creativity—especially painting
Painting
Painting is the practice of applying paint, pigment, color or other medium to a surface . The application of the medium is commonly applied to the base with a brush but other objects can be used. In art, the term painting describes both the act and the result of the action. However, painting is...

 and architecture
Architecture
Architecture is both the process and product of planning, designing and construction. Architectural works, in the material form of buildings, are often perceived as cultural and political symbols and as works of art...

. This developed into Czech Cubism
Czech Cubism
Czech Cubism was an avant-garde art movement of Czech proponents of Cubism, active mostly in Prague from 1910 to 1914.Members of this movement realised the epochal significance of the Cubism of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque and attempted to extract its components for their own work in all...

 which was an avant-garde
Avant-garde
Avant-garde means "advance guard" or "vanguard". The adjective form is used in English to refer to people or works that are experimental or innovative, particularly with respect to art, culture, and politics....

 art movement of Czech proponents of cubism active mostly in Prague
Prague
Prague is the capital and largest city of the Czech Republic. Situated in the north-west of the country on the Vltava river, the city is home to about 1.3 million people, while its metropolitan area is estimated to have a population of over 2.3 million...

 from 1910 to 1914.

Synthetic Cubism



Synthetic Cubism was the second main movement within Cubism that was developed by Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris
Juan Gris
José Victoriano González-Pérez , better known as Juan Gris, was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived and worked in France most of his life...

 and others between 1912 and 1919. Synthetic cubism is characterized by the introduction of different textures, surfaces, collage
Collage
A collage is a work of formal art, primarily in the visual arts, made from an assemblage of different forms, thus creating a new whole....

 elements, papier collé
Papier collé
Papier collé is a painting technique and type of collage. With papier collé the artist pastes pieces of flat material into a painting in much in the same way as a collage, except the shape of the pasted pieces are objects themselves...

 and a large variety of merged subject matter. It was the beginning of collage materials being introduced as an important ingredient of fine art work.

Considered the first work of this new style was Pablo Picasso's "Still Life with Chair-caning" (1911–1912), which includes oil cloth that was printed to look like chair-caning pasted onto an oval canvas, with text; and rope framing the whole picture. At the upper left are the letters "JOU", which appear in many cubist paintings and refer to the newspaper titled Le Journal
Le Journal (Paris)
Le Journal was a Paris daily newspaper published from 1892 to 1944 in a small, four-page format.It was founded and edited by Fernand Arthur Pierre Xau until 1899...

. Newspaper clippings were a common inclusion, physical pieces of newspaper, sheet music, and like items were also included in the collages. JOU may also at the same time be a pun on the French words jeu (game) or jouer (to play). Picasso and Braque had a friendly competition with each other and including the letters in their works may have been an extension of their game.

Whereas Analytic Cubism was an analysis of the subjects (pulling them apart into planes), Synthetic Cubism is more of a pushing of several objects together. Less pure than Analytic Cubism, Synthetic Cubism has fewer planar shifts (or schematism), and less shading, creating flatter space.

Cubism today



Far from being an art movement confined to the annals of art history, Cubism and its legacy continue to inform the work of many contemporary artists. Not only is cubist imagery regularly used commercially, but significant numbers of contemporary artists continue to draw upon it both stylistically and perhaps more importantly, theoretically. The latter contains the clue as to the reason for cubism's enduring fascination for artists. As an essentially representational school of painting, having to come to grips with the rising importance of photography as an increasingly viable method of image making, cubism attempts to take representational imagery beyond the mechanically photographic, and to move beyond the bounds of traditional single point perspective perceived as though by a totally immobile viewer. The questions and theories which arose during the initial appearance of cubism in the early 20th century are, for many representational artists, as current today as when first proposed.

Cubist sculpture


Cubist sculpture developed in parallel to Cubist painting by many of the same artists. Different sources name the first cubist sculpture as either Picasso's 1909 bronze Head of a Woman or Otto Gutfreund
Otto Gutfreund
Otto Gutfreund was a Czech-Czechoslovak cubist sculptor. He is acknowledged by the art historian Douglas Cooper to be the author of the first cubist sculpture: Anxiety , created in 1911 and exhibited in Paris in 1912.- Life :...

's Anxiety (Úzkost in Czech) shown in Prague in 1912.

Many other European sculptors were quick to follow their lead: the French Raymond Duchamp-Villon
Raymond Duchamp-Villon
Raymond Duchamp-Villon was a French sculptor.Duchamp-Villon was born Pierre-Maurice-Raymond Duchamp in Damville, Eure, in the Haute-Normandie region of France, the second son of Eugene and Lucie Duchamp. Of the six Duchamp children, four would become successful artists...

, whose career was cut short by his death in military service, the Ukrainian Alexander Archipenko
Alexander Archipenko
Alexander Porfyrovych Archipenko was a Ukrainian avant-garde artist, sculptor, and graphic artist.-Biography:...

, whose 1912 Walking Woman was the first to introduce an abstracted void, and the Lithuanian Jacques Lipchitz
Jacques Lipchitz
Jacques Lipchitz was a Cubist sculptor.Jacques Lipchitz was born Chaim Jacob Lipchitz, son of a building contractor in Druskininkai, Lithuania, then within the Russian Empire...

, identified as the first Cubist sculptor.

Just as in Cubist painting, the style is rooted in Paul Cézanne's reduction of painted objects into component planes and geometric solids (cubes, spheres, cylinders, and cones). And just as in painting, it had its course by about 1925, to become a pervasive influence and contribute fundamentally to Constructivism
Constructivism (art)
Constructivism was an artistic and architectural philosophy that originated in Russia beginning in 1919, which was a rejection of the idea of autonomous art. The movement was in favour of art as a practice for social purposes. Constructivism had a great effect on modern art movements of the 20th...

 and Futurism
Futurism
Futurism was an artistic and social movement that originated in Italy in the early 20th century.Futurism or futurist may refer to:* Afrofuturism, an African-American and African diaspora subculture* Cubo-Futurism* Ego-Futurism...

.

Cubism in other fields


The influence of cubism extended to other artistic fields, outside painting and sculpture. In literature, the written works of Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein
Gertrude Stein was an American writer, poet and art collector who spent most of her life in France.-Early life:...

 employ repetition and repetitive phrases as building blocks in both passages and whole chapters. Most of Stein's important works utilize this technique, including the novel The Makings of Americans (1906–08) Not only were they the first important patrons of Cubism, Gertrude Stein and her brother Leo
Leo Stein
Leo Stein was an American art collector and critic. He was born in Allegheny, Pennsylvania, the older brother of Gertrude Stein. He became an influential promoter of 20th-century paintings. Beginning in 1892, he studied at Harvard University in Cambridge, Massachusetts, for two years. The...

 were also important influences on Cubism as well. Picasso in turn was an important influence on Stein's writing.

In the field of American fiction, William Faulkner
William Faulkner
William Cuthbert Faulkner was an American writer from Oxford, Mississippi. Faulkner worked in a variety of media; he wrote novels, short stories, a play, poetry, essays and screenplays during his career...

's 1930 novel As I Lay Dying can be read as an interaction with the cubist mode. The novel features narratives of the diverse experiences of 15 characters which, when taken together, produce a single cohesive body.

The poets generally associated with Cubism are Guillaume Apollinaire
Guillaume Apollinaire
Wilhelm Albert Włodzimierz Apolinary Kostrowicki, known as Guillaume Apollinaire was a French poet, playwright, short story writer, novelist, and art critic born in Italy to a Polish mother....

, Blaise Cendrars
Blaise Cendrars
Frédéric Louis Sauser , better known as Blaise Cendrars, was a Swiss novelist and poet naturalized French in 1916. He was a writer of considerable influence in the modernist movement.-Early years:...

, Jean Cocteau
Jean Cocteau
Jean Maurice Eugène Clément Cocteau was a French poet, novelist, dramatist, designer, playwright, artist and filmmaker. His circle of associates, friends and lovers included Kenneth Anger, Pablo Picasso, Jean Hugo, Jean Marais, Henri Bernstein, Marlene Dietrich, Coco Chanel, Erik Satie, María...

, Max Jacob
Max Jacob
Max Jacob was a French poet, painter, writer, and critic.-Life and career:After spending his childhood in Quimper, Brittany, France, he enrolled in the Paris Colonial School, which he left in 1897 for an artistic career...

, André Salmon
André Salmon
André Salmon was a French poet, art critic and writer. He was one of the defenders of cubism, with Guillaume Apollinaire and Maurice Raynal.-Biography:Andre Salmon was born in Paris...

 and Pierre Reverdy
Pierre Reverdy
Pierre Reverdy was a French poet associated with surrealism and cubism.Pierre Reverdy was born in Narbonne and grew up near the Montagne Noire in his father's house. Reverdy came from a family of sculptors. His father taught him to read and write. He studied at Toulouse and Narbonne.Reverdy...

. As American poet Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth
Kenneth Rexroth was an American poet, translator and critical essayist. He is regarded as a central figure in the San Francisco Renaissance, and paved the groundwork for the movement...

 explains, Cubism in poetry "is the conscious, deliberate dissociation and recombination of elements into a new artistic entity made self-sufficient by its rigorous architecture. This is quite different from the free association of the Surrealists and the combination of unconscious utterance and political nihilism of Dada." Nonetheless, the Cubist poets' influence on both Cubism and the later movements of Dada
Dada
Dada or Dadaism is a cultural movement that began in Zurich, Switzerland, during World War I and peaked from 1916 to 1922. The movement primarily involved visual arts, literature—poetry, art manifestoes, art theory—theatre, and graphic design, and concentrated its anti-war politics through a...

 and Surrealism
Surrealism
Surrealism is a cultural movement that began in the early 1920s, and is best known for the visual artworks and writings of the group members....

 was profound; Louis Aragon
Louis Aragon
Louis Aragon , was a French poet, novelist and editor, a long-time member of the Communist Party and a member of the Académie Goncourt.- Early life :...

, founding member of Surrealism, said that for Breton, Soupault, Éluard and himself, Reverdy was "our immediate elder, the exemplary poet." Though not as well remembered as the Cubist painters, these poets continue to influence and inspire; American poets John Ashbery
John Ashbery
John Lawrence Ashbery is an American poet. He has published more than twenty volumes of poetry and won nearly every major American award for poetry, including a Pulitzer Prize in 1976 for his collection Self-Portrait in a Convex Mirror. But Ashbery's work still proves controversial...

 and Ron Padgett
Ron Padgett
Ron Padgett is an American poet, essayist, fiction writer, translator, and a member of the New York School. Bean Spasms, Padget's first collection of poems, was published in 1967 and written with Ted Berrigan...

 have recently produced new translations of Reverdy's
Pierre Reverdy
Pierre Reverdy was a French poet associated with surrealism and cubism.Pierre Reverdy was born in Narbonne and grew up near the Montagne Noire in his father's house. Reverdy came from a family of sculptors. His father taught him to read and write. He studied at Toulouse and Narbonne.Reverdy...

 work.

Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens
Wallace Stevens was an American Modernist poet. He was born in Reading, Pennsylvania, educated at Harvard and then New York Law School, and spent most of his life working as a lawyer for the Hartford insurance company in Connecticut.His best-known poems include "Anecdote of the Jar",...

' "Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
Thirteen Ways of Looking at a Blackbird
"Thirteen Ways Of Looking At A Blackbird" is a poem from Wallace Stevens' first book of poetry, Harmonium. It consists of thirteen short, separate poems, all of which mention blackbirds in some way. Although inspired by haiku, none of the segments is actually haiku...

" is also said to demonstrate how cubism's multiple perspectives can be translated into poetry.

The composer Edgard Varèse
Edgard Varèse
Edgard Victor Achille Charles Varèse, , whose name was also spelled Edgar Varèse , was an innovative French-born composer who spent the greater part of his career in the United States....

 was heavily influenced by Cubist writing and art.

Further reading

  • Alfred H. Barr, Jr., Cubism and Abstract Art, New York: Museum of Modern Art, 1936.
  • John Golding, Cubism: A History and an Analysis, 1907-1914, New York: Wittenborn, 1959.
  • Richardson, John
    John Richardson (art historian)
    John Richardson is a British art historian and Picasso biographer.-Life and work:John Patrick Richardson was born as the elder son of Sir Wodehouse Richardson, D.S.O., K.C.B., Quarter-Master General in the Boer War, and founder of London and the British Empire's Army & Navy Stores...

    . A Life Of Picasso, The Cubist Rebel 1907-1916. New York: Alfred A. Knopf
    Alfred A. Knopf
    Alfred A. Knopf, Inc. is a New York publishing house, founded by Alfred A. Knopf, Sr. in 1915. It was acquired by Random House in 1960 and is now part of the Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group at Random House. The publishing house is known for its borzoi trademark , which was designed by co-founder...

    , 1991. ISBN 978-0-307-26665-1

External links