Cubism is a revolutionary art movement that emerged in the 20th century. It is known for its unique approach to depicting the world through fragmented, geometric shapes.
The movement was founded by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in Paris, and it quickly spread throughout Europe and beyond.
There are three main types of Cubism, each with its own distinct characteristics:
- Analytical Cubism
- Synthetic Cubism
Proto-Cubism introduced the use of simplified forms and flattened planes, which would become a hallmark of Cubist art.
Analytical Cubism, for example, is characterized by its use of monochromatic colors and its emphasis on breaking down objects into their component parts.
Synthetic Cubism, on the other hand, is known for its use of collage and its incorporation of everyday objects into artwork.
Other kinds of Cubism include Orphic Cubism, which emphasizes bright colors and abstract shapes, and Futurist Cubism, which incorporates elements of the Futurist movement, but these are seen as only very minor movements.
Types of Cubism
Proto-Cubism is the early stage of the Cubist movement that emerged in the early 20th century. It was characterized by the use of geometric shapes and the fragmentation of form, as well as an interest in the depiction of multiple viewpoints.
Proto-Cubism was influenced by the work of Paul Cézanne, who sought to break down traditional perspective and represent form in a more abstract way.
In Proto-Cubism, artists began to experiment with the use of multiple viewpoints and the representation of form through geometric shapes. This led to the development of Analytical Cubism, which is characterized by the use of multiple viewpoints and the fragmentation of form.
Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque were the pioneers of Analytical Cubism, and they used this style to create works that were highly abstract and difficult to decipher.
One of the key techniques used in Proto-Cubism was the use of papier collé, or “glued paper.” This technique involved the use of cut-out pieces of paper, which were glued onto the surface of the canvas. This allowed artists to create complex compositions that were made up of multiple layers and textures.
Late Cubism, which emerged towards the end of the movement, was characterized by a return to more representational forms. This was in part a response to the growing popularity of abstraction in the art world, and artists sought to create works that were more accessible to a wider audience.
Proto-Cubism was a highly influential movement that paved the way for the development of Analytical Cubism and other forms of abstraction in art.
It was characterized by a fascination with form, perspective, and the use of geometric shapes, and it remains an important part of the history of modern art.
2. Analytical Cubism
Analytical Cubism is a style of Cubism developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in the early 1900s. This style of art sought to break down objects into their basic geometric shapes and analyze them from multiple viewpoints.
The artists would then reconstruct the objects in a two-dimensional space, creating a new, abstracted version of reality.
One of the key features of Analytical Cubism was the use of multiple viewpoints. The artists would depict an object from different angles and perspectives, creating a fragmented and abstracted image.
This technique allowed them to explore three-dimensional space on a two-dimensional picture plane.
Modeling, shading, and textures were not as important in Analytical Cubism as they were in other styles of art. Instead, the artists focused on the underlying structure of the object and how it could be broken down into basic shapes. This resulted in a flatter, more abstracted image.
Newsprint was often used in Analytical Cubism as a way to add texture and depth to the artwork. The artists would glue pieces of newsprint onto the canvas and then paint over them. This created a layered effect and added to the overall complexity of the piece.
Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler was an art dealer who played a significant role in the development of Analytical Cubism. He was one of the first people to recognize the potential of Picasso and Braque’s work and helped to promote their art to a wider audience.
Overall, Analytical Cubism was a groundbreaking style of art that pushed the boundaries of traditional representation. By breaking down objects into their basic shapes and exploring them from multiple viewpoints, the artists created a new way of looking at the world.
3. Synthetic Cubism
Synthetic Cubism is a later phase of Cubism, which emerged in the early 20th century. It was developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, and it lasted from 1912 to 1914.
This phase of Cubism is characterized by the use of collage, which involves the incorporation of everyday objects, such as newspaper clippings, into the artwork.
In Synthetic Cubism, artists began to move away from the monochromatic color schemes of Analytic Cubism and started to use brighter and more vibrant colors.
They also started to use stenciling, lettering, and other graphic elements in their artwork. The use of these techniques helped to create a more decorative and playful style of Cubism.
One of the most notable features of Synthetic Cubism is the use of collage. Picasso and Braque used collage to incorporate everyday objects into their artwork, such as newspaper clippings, sheet music, and even pieces of furniture.
By doing so, they were able to create a new visual language that reflected the modern world.
Another important aspect of Synthetic Cubism is the use of sculpture. Picasso and Braque began to create sculptures that were made up of everyday objects, such as bottles, glasses, and pipes.
These sculptures were often referred to as “constructed sculptures” and were a way for the artists to bring their Cubist ideas into three-dimensional space.
Late Cubism, also known as Synthetic Cubism, emerged around 1912 and lasted until 1914. During this period, artists like Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque began to experiment with different materials, such as paper, fabric, and newsprint, to create collages and mixed media works.
In contrast to the earlier Analytical Cubism, which focused on breaking down objects into smaller geometric shapes, Late Cubism aimed to create a more cohesive image by incorporating real-life elements into the artwork. This resulted in a more decorative and playful style, with vibrant colors and patterns.
One of the key features of Late Cubism was the use of the flattened picture plane, where objects were depicted as if they were pressed against the surface of the canvas. This created a sense of depth and space, while also emphasizing the two-dimensional nature of the artwork.
Late Cubism was influenced by a range of artistic movements, including Realism, Romanticism, and Art Nouveau. It also had a significant impact on the development of modern art, inspiring artists like the Surrealists and Abstract Expressionists.
Late Cubism represents a significant shift in the way artists approached the creation of art, emphasizing the importance of experimentation and innovation in the artistic process.
What Art Styles Were Inspired by Cubism?
While Picasso and Braque are the most well-known Cubist artists, there were other forms of Cubism that emerged during this time. These other forms of Cubism include:
- De Stijl
Orphism, also known as Orphic Cubism, was a form of Cubism that emphasized the use of color and light. It was pioneered by Robert Delaunay and his wife Sonia Delaunay.
Orphism was influenced by the work of Paul Gauguin and André Derain. The movement was characterized by the use of bright, contrasting colors and the creation of abstract compositions.
Futurism was an Italian art movement that emerged in the early 20th century. It was characterized by its celebration of technology, speed, and modernity. Futurist artists were interested in capturing the energy and movement of modern life.
They were also interested in exploring the relationship between art and science. Futurism was influenced by Cubism, but it was more focused on movement and dynamism.
Suprematism was a Russian art movement that emerged in the early 20th century. It was characterized by its use of geometric forms and its rejection of representational art.
Suprematist artists were interested in creating a new kind of art that was free from the constraints of the past. They believed that art should be about pure form and color. The movement was pioneered by Kazimir Malevich.
Constructivism was a Russian art movement that emerged in the early 20th century. It was characterized by its use of industrial materials and its interest in the relationship between art and society.
Constructivist artists were interested in creating art that was functional and could be used in everyday life. They were also interested in exploring the relationship between art and technology.
5. De Stijl
De Stijl was a Dutch art movement that emerged in the early 20th century. It was characterized by its use of geometric forms and its emphasis on simplicity and unity.
De Stijl artists were interested in creating a new kind of art that was free from the distractions of the past. They believed that art should be about pure form and color. The movement was pioneered by Piet Mondrian.
Impact of Cubism
Cubism has had a significant impact on the world of art, as well as on other areas such as architecture and design. The movement emerged in the early 20th century and sought to break away from traditional forms of representation in art.
Instead, it emphasized the use of geometric shapes and multiple perspectives to create a new way of seeing the world.
In the realm of art history, Cubism is considered a major movement that paved the way for other modern art movements such as Abstract Expressionism and Pop Art. It challenged the idea of art as a mere representation of reality and instead encouraged artists to create their own reality through the use of form and color.
Cubism also had an impact on world history, as it emerged during a time of great social and political change. The movement reflected the fragmentation and dislocation of modern life, as well as the influence of new technologies and the rise of industrialization.
In architecture, the principles of Cubism were applied to create new forms and structures. The movement influenced the development of Art Deco and Bauhaus, which sought to create functional and aesthetically pleasing designs that reflected the modern world.
In the visual arts, Cubism influenced the development of abstract art, which sought to create non-representational forms that emphasized color, shape, and texture. It also had an impact on other modern art movements such as Surrealism and Futurism.
Today, Cubism remains an important influence on contemporary art, as artists continue to explore the possibilities of geometric shapes and multiple perspectives. Its legacy can be seen in the work of artists such as Pablo Picasso, Georges Braque, and Juan Gris, as well as in the ongoing development of new forms of art and design.