Cubism 101

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A general introduction to Cubism with ideas of task to complete. Fairly basic, hopefully useful as a starting point.

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  • 1. CUBISM

2. HOW DOES THE ART OF CUBISM REFLECTTHE SOCIETY AND OUTLOOK OF THEARTISTS OF THE TIME AROUND 1907? 3. INFLUENCE OF SOCIETY ONARTISTS There was a push towards being modern.A time of great change as peopleembraced new inventions and peopleslifestyles were changing. e.g., transport,electricity, communications, factories,people moving away from farms to thecities (industrialisation). Invention of photography took over fromthe needs of traditional art forms toreproduce realistic scenes. 4. INFLUENCE OF SOCIETY ONARTISTS New philosophies and rise ofpsychology. Artists could now interpretthe world communicating theiremotions, thoughts and philosophies. Artists no longer wanted to depict asingle traditional view in their art butwanted to interpret their worldshowing movement, time and multipleviews as if you were moving throughspace, thoughts and opinions, a moreexpressive response to the subject. 5. WHAT DID THE ARTISTS DO INTHEIR PAINTINGS TO REFLECTTHESE IDEAS? These works stressedthe use of multipleperspective (view points)and complex planes(flattened surfaces) forexpressive effect. The artists tried toincorporate a sense oftime through multipleperspectives, givingsymbolic expression tothe notion of duration. 6. WHAT DID THE ARTISTS DO INTHEIR PAINTINGS TO REFLECTTHESE IDEAS?The artists create spaceand effects of multipleviewpoints to convey aphysical and psychologicalsense of the fluidity ofconsciousness, blurring thedistinctions between past,present and future. 7. WHAT DID THE ARTISTS DO INTHEIR PAINTINGS TO REFLECTTHESE IDEAS? The subject was no longerconsidered from a specificpoint of view at a moment intime, but built following aselection of successiveviewpoints, i.e., as if viewedsimultaneously fromnumerous angles (and infour-dimensions) with theeye free to roam from one tothe other. 8. WHAT DID THE ARTISTS DO INTHEIR PAINTINGS TO REFLECTTHESE IDEAS? Imagine walking throughthe city, looking up atbuildings and down on thefoot path and behind youat the cars. The artists tried to show allof these viewpoints in oneimage rather form oneviewing point. The best known Cubistswere Picasso, Braque,Leger. 9. ANALYTICAL CUBISMSeated Nude,Picasso 1909The most famous Cubistartist was Pablo Picasso.In the early years ofcubism, Picassoconstructed his imagesusing small facets, orgeometric planes, andrepresented objects fromdifferent viewpoints.Many critics of the periodbelieved the artist aimed torepresent reality in a new,almost scientific manner. 10. ANALYTICAL CUBISMHowever, as thisatmospheric painting shows,Picasso could use thistechnique for expressiveends.Here, the woman has beenall but stripped of herhumanity and appearsstrangely mechanistic.At the same time, Picassodemonstrates his awarenessof tradition in her pose andin the play of light within the 11. SYNTHETIC CUBISM Three musicians is a largepainting measuring morethan 2 metres wide andhigh. It is painted in the style ofSynthetic Cubism andgives the appearance ofcut paper. Picasso paints The ThreeMusicians made of flat,brightly coloured,abstract shapes in ashallow, box-like room.The Three MusiciansPicasso 1921 12. SYNTHETIC CUBISMOn the left is a clarinetplayer, in the middle aguitar player, and on theright a singer holdingsheets of music.Three Musicians is aperfect example ofPicasso's Cubist style.In Cubism, the subject ofthe artwork is transformedinto a sequence of planes,lines, and arcs. 13. SYNTHETIC CUBISMCubism has been described asan intellectual style becausethe artists analysed the shapesof their subjects andreinvented them on thecanvas.The viewer must reconstructthe subject and space of thework by comparing thedifferent shapes and forms todetermine what each onerepresents.Through this process, the 14. SYNTHETIC CUBISM The Weeping Womanwas painted by Picassoin 1937. It was in response tothe bombing of thetown of Guernicaduring the Spanish civilwar to express thesuffering of the peoplethere.The Weeping WomanPablo Picasso 1937Oil paint 60x49cm 15. SYNTHETICCUBISMIt is an image we canall relate to.The painting showsmultiple viewpoints,flattened picture planeforming colouredshapes.These effects allow us toenter into theoverwhelming grief ofthe woman rather thanjust being a passiveobserver. 16. Guernica Pablo PicassoProbably Picasso's most famous work, Guernicais certainly the his most powerful politicalstatement, painted as an immediate reaction tothe Nazi's devastating casual bombing practiceon the Basque town of Guernica during SpanishCivil War.Guernica shows the tragedies of war and thesuffering it inflicts upon individuals, 17. This work has gained a monumentalstatus, becoming a perpetual reminder ofthe tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol,and an embodiment of peace.On completion Guernica was displayedaround the world in a brief tour, becomingfamous and widely acclaimed. This tourhelped bring the Spanish Civil War to theworld's attention. 18. DAVID HOCKNEYIn the early 1980s, Hockneybegan to produce photocollages, which he called"joiners, first using polaroidprints and subsequently35mm, commercially-processedcolour prints.Using polaroid snaps orphotolab-prints of a singlesubject, Hockney arranged apatchwork to make a 19. DAVID HOCKNEYAn early photomontage wasof his mother.Because the photographsare taken from differentperspectives and at slightlydifferent times, the result isa work that has an affinitywith cubism, one ofHockney's major aimsdiscussing the way humanvision works. 20. DAVID HOCKNEYSome pieces arelandscapes, such asPearblossom Highway#2,others portraits, suchas Kasmin 1982,and MyMother, Bolton Abbey,1982.While working on apainting of a living roomand terrace in Los Angeles,he took Polaroid shots ofthe living room and gluedthem together, not 21. DAVID HOCKNEYOn looking atthe finalcomposition, herealized itcreated anarrative, as ifthe viewermoved throughthe room. 22. DavidHockney 23. David Hockney 24. ASSESSMENT TASK IDEAS Each group must research and communicatetheir ideas in the form of a poster on one ofthe following questions:1. How does the art of cubism reflect thesociety and outlook of the artists of thetime around 1907?2. How did the cubist artists communicatetheir ideas through analytical cubism?Use at least 4 artworks of the most famouscubist artists to explain your research. 25. ASSESSMENT TASK IDEAS3. How did the cubist artistscommunicate their ideas throughsynthetic cubism?Use 3-4 of Picassos artworks toexplain your research.4. How did the artist David Hockneysjoiners, photo collage works, reflecta modern interpretation of cubism?Discuss 4 examples.