CUBISM : A POINT OF VIEW

Written By – Annu Taneja

Guided By – Ms Monika Malik

“Cubism is like standing at a certain point on a mountain and looking around. If you go higher, things will look different; if you go lower, again they will look different.” –Jacques Lipchitz

Pablo Picasso, “Girl with Mandolin”; Image Source:http://- https://www.pablopicasso.org/girl-with-mandolin.jsp

INTRODUCTION

Cubism was one of the most influential art movement of the early 20th century, which took place in France [Paris]. The concept of cubism soon became popular across Europe and influenced several styles of modern art. It is believed that almost all art movements and this one movement in particular was a strong response to the changing world, Cubism is considered as an Avant-Garde art movement with key features of geometric angles, lines, shapes, small brushstrokes, three dimensional surfaces, flattened perspective, abstract art and most importantly the way of viewing the art from shifting positions. Cubism was more like an intellectual art exercise for cubists as they always focused on creating intellectual art which is far away from reality. Cubism opened infinite possibilities for the treatment of visual reality in art and was the starting point for many later abstract styles.

ORIGIN OF CUBISM

It was established by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, who were later joined by many talented artists including Juan Gris, and Fernand Leger. These cubists strongly believed that art should not be a copy of nature. They took a lot of inspiration from Paul Cezanne’s artwork, African tribal masks and American art.

FAMOUS ARTISTS

Pablo Picasso and George Braque were the pioneers of Cubism. Their favourite motifs were musical instruments, bottles, pitchers, glasses, newspapers, and the human face & figure in distorted forms.

PABLO PICASSO AND GEORGES BRAQUE.

Picasso and Braque shared the same perspective towards art. They often met to discuss their art progress with each other and collaborated many times. Their artwork was so similar and closely inspired that there was a time when it became difficult for the critics to differentiate between the two artists. The colour palette used by them consisted mostly of neutral shades initially but later also included bright colours in combination with neutrals to make sure that people were able to interpret the art. One common thing which is noticeable in their artworks is use of hollow objects. They used them as props to display hollowness such as guitar, a pot, a vase etc.

Some of the famous artwork of Cubism –

Three Musicians by Pablo Picasso, 1921
Image Source: http://totallyhistory.com/three-musicians/
Bottle and Fishes 1910–12 by Georges Braque
Image Source: https://www.tate.org.uk/art/artists/georges-braque-803

PHASE / STYLE OF CUBISM

Cubism had two waves/phase. The first wave was known as Analytic Cubism (1907-12). The artworks portrayed geometric shapes and three dimensional perspective. Neutral colour palette consisting of beige & browns with greys were used to create intellectual artwork.

Nude Descending a Staircase by Marcel Duchamp, 1912
Image Source: https://www.wikiart.org/en/marcel-duchamp/nude-descending-a-staircase-no-2-1912

The second phase was known as Synthetic phase, it portrayed simpler forms which were more colourful and decorative in style. Collage came into the existence along with new materials such as newspaper clippings, tobacco wrappers and abstract.

Still life with violin and fruits by Pablo Picasso, 1912
Image Source: https://www.wikiart.org/en/pablo-picasso/still-life-with-violin-and-fruits-1912

INFLUENCE ON FASHION

Cubism has been one of the most influential art movement which had a huge impact on fashion and has always appeared on runway every now and then. The first few designers who were immensely influenced during cubism were Coco Chanel, Paul Poiret and Madeline Vionnets.

Fashion started to change in 1920’s because of many aspects and characteristics which can still be witnessed on the runways. The idea behind Cubism was to portray ordinary objects in an abstract geometric form, since then the cubist motifs has marked its place of signature style in fashion.

Currently world leaders of fashion design like Yves Saint Laurent, Prada, Givenchy, Hermes and Celine have used cubism as an inspiration for their various collections. The fashion industry calls it “the cubism madness”. Structures, layering, geometric shapes, colour blocking and clean-cut lines are the main visual impacts inspired from the cubism which manages to make its way in everyone’s wardrobe. In today’s world, cubism through fashion represents the freedom of women and the abolishment of unrealistic proportions.

Let’s have a look at some cubism inspired runway looks –

Cubism inspired interior:

Basically,

“Cubism is not a reality you can take in your hand. It’s more like a perfume, in front of you, behind you, to the sides, the scent is everywhere but you don’t quite know where it comes from.” – Pablo Picasso

It’s all about perspective my friend!!

I hope it was an insightful read……!!

For more such blogs follow, share, like and comment!!!

Until then stay awesome…….!!!!

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