Cubism Art Movement

Spain 1907 - 1928

Cubism Art Movement, History, Cubist Paintings & Artists.

The Cubist or Cubism Art Movement is the most important art movement of the 20th-century art history, laying the foundation for modern art oil paintings. Founded by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris around 1907, this movement got its name after Louis Vauxcelles, an art critic, called the elements of Braque painting Houses at L'Estaque in 1908 “ Cubes”.

Cezanne Laid the Groundwork for Cubism.

Cezanne had been painting the same Mont Saint-Victoire since 1885, by his last version in 1905, the landscape was large patches of color and some unpainted canvas. After seeing Paul Cezanne's disturbing retrospective, Pablo Picasso a painter from Spain who had been living in Paris, whom he shared a studio with Georges Braque, began laying the foundations for the most important art movement of the last century. Rejecting the logic of the pleasant and the reassuring, Picasso sought to reveal the inner geometry of objects and the human figure. He began to create harsh paintings where the decomposition of the objects into geometric lines and contours carried to such an extreme that it verges on the abstract.

The famous artists key to the movement sought to turn art on its head by eschewing the notion that art should copy nature. They started exploring different avenues regarding making two-dimensional pictures on canvas for the very reason that the canvas has two dimensions. This vanguard movement changed the face of art and brought it into the modern era.

How African Art Styles Influenced Cubism?

Braque was influenced by Cezanne, and Picasso got his inspiration from African Art he had seen at an ethnographic museum at the Palais du Trocadero in Paris. African and Polynesian sculpture played a pivotal role in the avant-garde movements of the early twentieth century, especially Cubism and German Expressionism. In the late nineteenth century, as the European countries raced to colonize. Africa and other parts of the world it provided powerful new kinds of artwork available to western artists. These works were completely different from the polished academic styles. The stark simplification of these works provided an indispensable lesson in synthetics and composition.

These influences and inspiration gelled with the artists’ ideas that art could break free from the constraints of copying nature, being a slave to perspective, and following the techniques of the masters. Cubism allowed them to focus on geometric, abstract forms that broke down an image into fractured recreations that could be viewed in relief from various and contrasting perspectives.

In the beginning, Cubism represented objects in a way in which they could be recognized. In later variations, such as High Analytic Cubism, they left landscape behind and began to focus on still lifes and human figures that were very abstracted and rendered in a range of gray and brown colors.

Picasso’s papiers collés period began in 1912 and saw the artist’s ingenuity in the emergence of a new technique that involved adding paper to paintings. Both artists began using this mixed media and stepped completely away from what they called “Illusionism”, the adherence to three-dimensional space. This new technique they called Synthetic Cubism (1912-1914), the representation of the object being shown in the abstract is alluded to in the shape of the paper cut out or the paper is printed with elements that make the connection, in which objects become recognizable again. Much of modern art takes from this movement. Cubism achieved a resounding success thanks to the courage of important gallery owners, the support of open-minded intellectuals and the patronage of pioneer collectors of contemporary art.

Other Cubist artists include Marcel Duchamp, Marc Chagall, Roger De La Fresnaye, Sonia Delaunay, Robert Delaunay, Lyonel Feininger, Louis Marcoussis, Joan Miró, Piet Mondrian, Liubov Popova.

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