Cubism history & Cubist art
Cubism was sparked in 1907 by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, and is one of the most potent art movements of the 20th century. The cubists were inspired by painters like Georges Seurat, Fauves, and Paul Cezanne as well as by African sculpture as you can see in many of Picasso’s works. Cubist artists believed in breaking up a subject matter, analyzing it, and then re assembling it in abstract form. Instead of depicting an object from one angle, cubist artists were able to paint an object from multiple angles at the same time in order to represent an object in the most complete way possible. Braque and Picasso took this idea to heart after hearing the advice of Paul Cezanne in 1904: nature should be treated “in terms of the cylinder, the sphere, and the cone”. There were three main stages to the development of the cubist movement: Facet Cubism, Analytic Cubism, and Synthetic Cubism. The first controversial exhibition that gave cubism it’s initial fame was put on by Braque and Raoul Dufy in 1908, both artists having fauvist beginnings. They created a series of landscapes with limited variety of colors and simplified forms. Art critic Louis Vauxcelles described Braque as an artists that “scorns form and reduces everything, sites, figures and houses, to geometric schemas and cubes”. Over the next couple years Braque and Picasso created works broken into planes and edges defying perspective and depth. Many cubist works have bland colors and uniform small brushstrokes which work to create vibrations of light. Braque and Picasso conveyed elements of illusion, unconventional continuity and density. Even though the first world war stopped Picasso and Braque from working together on the Cubist movement, the cubist core continued to be active until the 1920’s. Cubism artists like Matisse, Laurens, Lipchitz, and Fernand Leger were all influenced by the works of Braque, Picasso, and Cezanne before them.