Cubism

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A cubism painting by Jeanne Rij-Rousseau
A painting by Paul Cézanne, an artist who influenced the Cubists
Air+Man+Space by Lyubov Popova, 1912

Cubism was a very important avant-garde art movement which started in 1907 in France.

Cubism is a style of art which aims to show all of the possible viewpoints of a person or an object all at once. It is called Cubism because the items represented in the artworks look like they are made out of cubes and other geometrical shapes. Cubism was first started by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. Analytical Cubism is the first type of cubism. Most analytical Cubists painted and drew in monochrome (only one colour) so that the person who was looking at the painting did not pay attention to colour, but only to the shapes and the forms that were being shown.

This was changed in 1912 when Picasso first started painting with colours and using collages. Collage is when you glue together different cut-up pieces of paper to make an artwork. This new form of Cubism was called Synthetic Cubism. Picasso invented collage because he was tired of the way he was making his art, and wanted to try out something new. Pablo Picasso created over 20,000 pictures. From 1912 to 1919 was Picasso's Synthetic Cubism Period.

Galleries[change | change source]

Picasso and Braque only showed their artworks in privately owned galleries. Because of this, they are called the Gallery Cubists.

Soon, there was a group of painters who painted in a Cubist style who showed their artworks in public galleries, which in Paris at the time were called Salons. This group of painters were called the Salon Cubists. These artists were interested in showing, in their artworks, mathematical and philosophical ideas that were new at the time.

Many critics now think that the work of the Gallery Cubists is better than that of the Salon Cubists, but some disagree. However, most people agree that the Gallery Cubists had a bigger influence overall and more impact on the rest of 20th century art than the Salon Cubists.

At the time, very few people knew about the Gallery Cubists because they were so secretive and private, but everyone knew about the Salon Cubists. This is the opposite of how we know about Cubism today: Pablo Picasso the Gallery Cubist is very famous, but far fewer people know about the Salon Cubists. Some of the Salon Cubists include:

Henri Le Fauconnier
Jean Metzinger
Albert Gleizes
Robert Delaunay
Fernand Leger

References[change | change source]

  • Cooper, Douglas 1970. The Cubist epoch. London: Phaidon. ISBN 0875870414.