Cubism

Article

May 19, 2022

Cubism was an avant-garde art movement in the early 20th century. It began with paintings by Picasso and Braque in 1907 and essentially ran out in 1914 with the outbreak of World War I. Despite his short time, his vision still influences art.

Origin of the name

Its name was coined from the word ‘cube’ by critic Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler.

Features, aspirations

Cubism has tried to create a new plastic language and has broken since the renaissance with dominant empirical spectacle. He tried to replace the classical view of space, perspective and image editing with a new solution, one that corresponds to the modified interpretation of nature as a result of the modern revolution in natural science, the concept of relativity to space and time. He ultimately intensified the geometrical necessities that determine structure, objects, and spatial relationships. Cubists generally took well-known motifs such as guitars, bottles, fruit bowls, and human figures. Stages in the history of Cubism

"Cézanne" period (1907-1909)

In the first period, according to the Cézanne principle, the geometric reformulation of the form takes place, but they do not yet break completely with the classical perspective. Color, as the ultimate tool of illusionism, is already being reduced, thus breaking away from Cézanne.

“Analytical” period (1910–1912)

The second period is characterized by “simultaneousness”, ie in the same image several points of view are combined, the same object is examined from different points of view, it is almost spread out on the surface. The mass loses its relevance to the surface. The predominant color is brownish gray. Artists, even if they paint a panel image, break with the concept of a panel image, the structure of the image goes beyond its closed boundaries. The objects are therefore analyzed and decomposed, hence the name of this phase. The still life of Picasso Violin and Grapes was made in 1912. We see the snail of the violin head and one of the keys as they usually appear in our imagination, i.e. from the side. However, we can already see the sound openings from the front. Picasso exaggerated the curves of the violin's body. The string and the strings float somewhere in space, and we even see the strings twice once from the front and another time around the f-hole. The image is not chaotic despite the shattered shapes. The reason for this is that the artist constructed his image from more or less uniform forms, so that the painting as a whole gives a consistent structure.

“Synthetic” period (1913–1914)

In the third period, the imitation of natural objects is replaced by the use of already freely invented fine art “signs”. This is also characterized by several perspective points of view, the masses being absorbed even more in the plane. Instead of the grayish-brown tone of the second era, the colors are enriched. A lively rhythm permeates the compositions. Instead of statics, movement is emphasized, and thus, according to the aesthetics of the Cubists, the spatial formation of the Renaissance is replaced by the temporal form. Picasso painted his head in 1928. He cut out the outlines of the head from rough material, glued it to his drawing sheet, and then drew the two schematic eyes to the edge, a considerable distance apart. He depicted the mouth with a broken line at right angles, in which we can also see the dentures, the outline of the face with a wavy line. For cubist artists, form is very important. Paul Klee describes how he began to relate lines, colors, shades to each other so that the shapes that form between his hands slowly turn into real or perceived images in his imagination. He was convinced that nature itself was created through the person of the artist, the same mysterious force that would make it happen.