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Cubism Art History

25.01.2021
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what is cubism art

Firstly, What Is Cubism Art?

Cubism art was created in the early twentieth century. This art form was created and established by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris between 1907 and 1914. Combining the work of Spanish artist Picasso and French artist Braque, Cubism art was crafted to engulf a different vantage point and view on the classically-known look of canvas.

The art of Cubism consists of using rather geometric ways to portray the essence of the work itself. The term was founded by French art critic Luis Vauxcelles after seeing a landscape work of Braque being presented through cube-like emulations to create his visual.

To define Cubism in art is a taste of specific quality. The Cubism art style surrounds itself and draws a focus towards work on canvas expanding the two-dimensionality of what can be done. Though it does take a lot of influence from geometric shapes and angles, Cubism in art also draws from outside connections as well. For example, Picasso’s “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” brought inspiration from more African artistic style.

All in all, to define Cubism art is to appreciate each angle of impact while considering that the Cubism artwork is revealed through geometric thought and form.

Cubism Art Movements

The first Cubism art period was the beginning of it all with Picasso and Braque. When the two artists broke all Western idealogy of painting, the Cubism art definition came to be. Fun fact – Braque was the only artist to work with Picasso! With the pairing of these two artists, by 1908 Cubism art was exposed to the observers and the era was established, thus creating the Analytical Cubism era. As time continued, the focus of Picasso and Braque shifted from humans and bodies to objects of the world to ignite the fire of a newly revealed artistic movement. Other artists who are considered apart of the first Cubism painting movement:

  • Juan Gris (Spanish) – joined in 1911 with the intention to reject the idea of abstraction of the object itself.
  • Fernand Leger (French) – joined in 1911, with great influence from Paul Cezanne, and focused mainly on the architectural aspect of Cubism in art.
  • Marcel Duchamp (American-French) – joined lightly in 1910 but really was captured into the Cubism art movement in 1912 with his painting “Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2)”.

The next Cubism art era was Synthetic Cubism. This era consisted of Picasso and Braque incorporating words into the Cubism painting themselves. Thus evolving into the idea of collage. As well as bringing more layered aspects into the art of Cubism, the artists of the era also made shifts to flatten more the subject and brighten the colors.

cubism art history

This idea of collage led Braque to experiment with layering the canvas. Essentially, Braque crafted the technique of papier collé – a combination of using paper on canvas to convey a two-dimensional idea.

With such an experimented esta

blishment, many sculptors found themselves within the Cubism art period as well, including Russian artist Alexander Archipenko (1910) and Lithuanian artist Jacques Lipchitz (1914).

Next up for the Cubism art movements, Orphic Cubism. This era was passed on to new founders and artists. Orphic Cubism was centered around the Puteaux Group of painters, sculptors, poets, and critics of the period. Led by the brothers of Marcel Duchamp, French painter Jacques Villon, and sculptor Raymond Duchamp-Villon focused on brighter hues of color and amplified abstraction. Artists of this phase of the Cubism art period include:

  • Robert Delaunay (French) – referred to as a founder of Orphism, brought Parisian structures into the eyes and essence of Cubism.
  • Roger de la Fresnaye (French) – notable for his work The Conquest of Air (1913), depicting a self-portrait of himself with his brother in a hot-air balloon with a Cubist outlook.

World War I and Cubism

World War I and Cubism

With WWI taking its place, it ultimately brought Cubism to a standstill. Drafting many Cubism artists to serve, the art period lingered some years as the war continued.

On another hand, a hand that lifted Cubism art once again, Pablo Picasso found himself delving into more realism work rather than devoting to the Cubism art style. Keeping some aspects still alive within some of his work (such as “The Three Musicians” (1921) and “The Weeping Woman” (1937)), Picasso’s shift of artistic eye was due to the onset of the Spanish Civil War.

The Influence of Cubism

Though the artistic movement of Cubism never made a true comeback to existence after its pause, the realms of the Cubism art style influenced many movements to follow. Art periods including Futurism, Constructivism, and Abstract Expressionism all took an impression from the Cubism craft.

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