Cubism An ‘Avant-Garde’ art movement which began in Paris circa 1907 and was pioneered by...
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- Cubism An Avant-Garde art movement which began in Paris circa 1907 and was pioneered by artists Georges Braque and Pablo Picasso. Cubism has been considered the most influential art movement of the 20 th century
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- What is Avant-Garde? Avant-Garde refers to pushing the boundaries of what is accepted as the norm or the status quo in art. The concept of avant-garde refers primarily to artists, writers, composers and thinkers whose work is opposed to mainstream cultural values and often has a trenchant social or political edge. Many artists aligned themselves with the avant-garde movement and still continue to do so. Avant- Garde was exciting, it was about daring to be different. Cubist work produced at this time was incredibly shocking to the majority of people.
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- The Cubist style emphasized the flat, two-dimensional surface of the picture plane, rejecting the traditional techniques of perspective, foreshortening, modeling, and chiaroscuro, and refuting time-honoured theories that art should imitate nature. Cubist painters were not bound to copying form, texture, colour, and space; instead, they presented a new reality in paintings that depicted radically fragmented objects. Objects are analyzed, broken up and reassembled in an abstracted forminstead of depicting objects from one viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context. The key principles of the group and their manifesto Still Life with a Bottle of Rum, 1911 by Pablo Picasso. Painted during the most abstract phase of Cubism, known as "high" Analytic Cubism. In the upper center of the picture are what seem to be the neck and opening of a bottle. Some spidery black lines to the left of it might denote sheet music, and the round shape lower down, the base of a glass. In the center, at the far right, is the pointed spout of a porrn (Spanish wine bottle). This is one of the first works in which Picasso included letter forms. It has been suggested that the ones shown at the left, LETR, refer to Le Torero, the magazine for bullfighting fansPicasso being one of thembut they might simply be a pun on lettre, French for "word."
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- Influences Travelling was becoming increasingly easier and Europeans were being exposed to art from all over the world. The most influential art for the cubist movement was African, Polynesian, Micronesian and Native American art. Artists were intrigued and inspired by the stark power and simplicity of styles of those foreign cultures. African masks were a huge influence for some of Pablo Picassos cubist work. There are links between Cubism and Primitivism which is a Western art movement that borrows visual forms from non-Western or prehistoric peoples, such as Paul Gauguin's inclusion of Tahitian motifs in paintings and ceramics. I think borrowings from primitive art has been important to the development of modern art.
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- Les Demoiselles dAvignon 1907 The work portrays five nude female prostitutes from a brothel on in Barcelona. Each figure is depicted in a disconcerting confrontational manner and none are conventionally feminine. The women appear as slightly menacing and rendered with angular and disjointed body shapes. Two are shown with African mask-like faces and three more with faces in the Iberian style of Picasso's native Spain, giving them a savage aura. In this adaptation of Primitivism and abandonment of perspective in favor of a flat, two-dimensional picture plane, Picasso makes a radical departure from traditional European painting. Demoiselles was revolutionary and controversial, and led to wide anger and disagreement, even amongst his closest associates and friends.
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- Georges Braque Braque's earliest works were impressionistic, but after seeing the work exhibited by the "Fauves" in 1905, he adopted a Fauvist style. In May 1907, he successfully exhibited works of the Fauve style in the Salon des Indpendants. The same year, Braque's style began a slow evolution as he became influenced by Paul Czanne who had died in 1906 and whose works were exhibited in Paris for the first time in a large-scale, museum-like retrospective in September 1907. The 1907 Czanne retrospective at the Salon d'Automne greatly affected the avant-garde artists of Paris, resulting in the advent of Cubism. Violin and Candle stick 1910 Port en Normandie 1909
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- Picasso Three Musicians 1921 is painted in the style of Synthetic Cubism and gives the appearance of cut paper. Links to matisse? Probably Picasso's most famous work is Guernica, which was painted as an immediate reaction to the Nazi's devastating casual bombing practice on the Basque town of Guernica during Spanish Civil War. Guernica shows the tragedies of war and the suffering it inflicts upon individuals, particularly innocent civilians. This work has gained a monumental status, becoming a perpetual reminder of the tragedies of war, an anti-war symbol, and an embodiment of peace.
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- While Picasso and Braque are credited with creating this new visual language, it was adopted and further developed by many painters, including Fernand Lger, Robert and Sonia Delaunay, Juan Gris, Roger de la Fresnaye, Marcel Duchamp, Albert Gleizes, Jean Metzinger, and even Diego Rivera. Though primarily associated with painting, Cubism also exerted a profound influence on twentieth-century sculpture and architecture. The major Cubist sculptors were Alexander Archipenko, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, and Jacques Lipchitz. The liberating formal concepts initiated by Cubism also had far-reaching consequences for Dada and Surrealism, as well as for all artists pursuing abstraction in Germany, Holland, Italy, England, America, and Russia.