Cyclades’ cubism by Jorge Lomonaco
cubism art movement, primarily in painting, originating in Paris c.1907.
Cubism began as an intellectual revolt against the artistic ｅxpression of previous eras. Among the specific elements abandoned by the cubists were the sensual appeal of paint texture and color, subject matter with emotional charge or mood, the play of light on form, movement, atmosphere, and the illusionism that proceeded from scientifically based perspective. To replace these they employed an analytic system in which the three-dimensional subject (usually still life) was fragmented and redefined within a shallow plane or within several interlocking and often transparent planes.
Analytic and Synthetic Cubism
In the analytic phase (1907-12) the cubist palette was severely limited, largely to black, browns, grays, and off-whites. In addition, forms were rigidly geometric and compositions subtle and intricate. Cubist abstraction as represented by the analytic works of Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris intended an appeal to the intellect. The cubists sought to show everyday objects as the mind, not the eye, perceives them—from all sides at once. The trompe l'oeil element of collage was also sometimes used.
During the later, synthetic phase of cubism (1913 through the 1920s), paintings were composed of fewer and simpler forms based to a lesser extent on natural objects. Brighter colors were employed to a generally more decorative effect, and many artists continued to use collage in their compositions. The works of Picasso, Braque, and Gris are also representative of this phase.
The Scope of Cubism
In painting the major exponents of cubism included Picasso, Braque, Jean Metzinger, Gris, Duchamp, and Léger. The chief segments of the cubist movement included the Montmartre-based Bâteau-Lavoir group of artists and poets (Max Jacob, Guillaume Apollinaire, Gertrude and Leo Stein, Modigliani, Picabia, Delaunay, Archipenko, and others); the Puteaux group of the Section d'Or salon (J. Villon, Léger, Picabia, Kupka, Marcoussis, Gleizes, Apollinaire, and others); the Orphists (Delaunay, Duchamp, Picabia, and Villon; see orphism); and the experimenters in collage who influenced cubist sculpture (Laurens and Lipchitz).
Cubist Inspiration and Influence
In painting the several sources of cubist inspiration included the later work of Cézanne; the geometric forms and compressed picture space in his paintings appealed especially to Braque, who developed them in his own works. African sculpture, particularly mask carvings, had enormous influence in the early years of the movement. Picasso's Demoiselles d'Avignon (1907; Mus. of Modern Art, New York City) is one of the most significant examples of this influence. Within this revolutionary composition lay much of the basic material of cubism.
The cubist break with the tradition of imitation of nature was completed in the works of Picasso, Braque, and their many groups of followers. While few painters remained faithful to cubism's rigorous tenets, many profited from its discipline. Although the cubist groups were largely dispersed after World War I, their collective break from visual realism had an enriching and decisive influence on the development of 20th-century art. It provided a new stylistic vocabulary and a technical idiom that remain forceful today.
Their main influences are said to have been Tribal Art (although Braque later disputed this) and the work of Paul Cezanne.
The movement itself was not long-lived or widespread, but it began an immense creative explosion which resonated through all of 20th century art.
The key concept underlying Cubism is that the essence of an object can only be captured by showing it from multiple points of view simultaneously.
Cubism had run its course by the end of World War I, but among the movements directly influenced by it were Orphism, Precisionism, Futurism, Purism, Constructivism, and, to some degree, ｅxpressionism.
Cubism (a name suggested by Henri Matisse in 1909) is a non-objective approach to painting developed originally in France by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque around 1906. The early, "pre-Cubist" period (to 1906) is characterized by emphasizing the process of construction, of creating a pictorial rhythm, and converting the represented forms into the essential geometric shapes: the cube, the sphere, the cylinder, and the cone.
Between 1909 and 1911, the analysis of human forms and still lifes (hence the name -- Analytical Cubism) led to the creation of a new stylistic system which allowed the artists to transpose the three-dimensional subjects into the flat images on the surface of the canvas.
An object, seen from various points of view, could be reconstructed using particular separate "views" which overlapped and intersected.
The result of such a reconstruction was a summation of separate temporal moments on the canvas.
Picasso called this reorganized form the "sum of destructions," that is, the sum of the fragmentations.
Since color supposedly interfered in purely intellectual perception of the form, the Cubist palette was restricted to a narrow, almost monochromatic scale, dominated by grays and browns.
A new phase in the development of the style, called Synthetic Cubism, began around 1912. In the center of the painters' attention was now the construction, not the analysis of the represented object -- in other words, creation instead of recreation.
Color regained its decorative function and was no longer restricted to the naturalistic description of the form.
Compositions were still static and centered, but they lost their depth and became almost abstract, although the subject was still visible in synthetic, simplified forms.
The construction requirements brought about the introduction of new textures and new materials (cf. paper collages).
Cubism lasted till 1920s and had a profound effect on the art of the avant-garde.
Russian painters were introduced to Cubism through the works bought and displayed by wealthy patrons like Shchukin and Morozov.
As they did with many other movements, the Russians interpreted and transformed Cubism in their own unique way.
In particular, the Russian Cubists carried even further the abstract potential of the style. Some of the most outstanding Cubist works came from the brush of Malevich, Popova, and Udal'tsova. In Two Figures (1913-14), Liubov' Popova beautifully demonstrates the artistic possibilities of a Cubist reconstruction and, at the same time, her talent to transcend simple imitation. The painting might have been influenced by Umberto Boccioni's 1912 Technical Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture (published in Moscow in 1914), in which he suggested "a translation in plaster, bronze, glass, wood, or any other material of those atmospheric planes which bind and intersect things" (Costakis, 352). [B.B., C.B., and A.B.]
1907년부터 1914년 사이 파리의 아방가르드 예술계를 무대로 전개된 큐비즘은 20세기 미술의 시각 혁명으로 불릴 만큼 이후 현대미술의 지형을 바꿔 놓은, 현대미술사에 참으로 커다란 영향을 끼친 미술운동이었다. 일반 대중에게 큐비즘은 피카소의 이름과 동일시되어 왔다고 해도 지나치지 않을 것이다. 그만큼 20세기 아방가르드 미술의 신호탄이 된 큐비즘의 실험은 피카소와 그의 동료 브라크에 의해 주도되었다.
그러나 큐비즘은 한 천재 예술가의 개인적 창조일 뿐 아니라, 20세기초 파리의 시대적 상황 속에서 만들어진 산물이기도 하다. 또한 큐비즘 운동은 피카소와 브라크뿐만 아니라, 동시대 파리의 다른 아방가르드 화가들에 의해서도 발전되었던 것이 사실이다. 큐비즘 이후 많은 아방가르드 예술가들에게 새로운 미술형식에 대한 아이디어를 제공한 피카소의 콜라주 속에 등장하는 신문지 조각들은, 파리 거리의 시위, 발칸 반도의 전쟁 소식 등 당시의 사회상황을 생생하게 보고하는 역사적 현실의 기록이기도 하다.