Presentation on theme: "Cubism originated in the work of Pablo Picasso and George Braque in Paris late in the first decade of the 20th century. Picasso and Braque were prompted."— Presentation transcript:
Cubism originated in the work of Pablo Picasso and George Braque in Paris late in the first decade of the 20th century. Picasso and Braque were prompted by the work of the French painter Paul Cezanne and his emphasis on form over color, itself a reaction against the immediacy, luminosity, and brushwork of Impressionism. Cubism borrowed from Cezanne’s dictum to “treat nature by means of the cylinder, the sphere, the cone…”
Cubism took as its subject the commonplace motifs of still-life, figure, and portrait, and only initially the landscape. Dramatic, narrative, and historical scenes were abandoned in favor of simplified formal arrangements of shape. The traditional recognition of a painting as a window through which the observer sees the world is abandoned in favor of a painter Maurice Denis’ famous assertion -- "Remember that a painting – before being a warhorse, a naked woman, or some story or other – is essentially a flat surface covered with colors assembled in a certain order.” Painting is no longer an unexamined illusion of a distant reality -- it becomes a visible artifice, an arena for perceptual and intellectual manipulation, commentary, and play.
Visual Characteristics of Cubism Point-of-view shifts within a painting (versus the Renaissance convention of a single consistent point- of-view); different pictorial logic Color contrasts are minimized in favor of value (light and dark) The distinction of figure (main subject) and ground (background) is deliberately made ambiguous (it’s hard to tell where the figure ends and background begins) Form is interpreted in planes or facets, rather than smooth transitions. Use of visual rhyming and repetition of shapes
Cubist painters began to introduce collage elements into their work. Artists began to insert sly verbal and visual puns into paintings, often blurring the distinction between “found” surfaces and illusionistic passages.
The style of later Cubism is termed “Synthetic Cubism” and is marked by joining separate elements into the composition (rather than fracturing a form into planes). Forms are assembled, suggested by a composite or synthesis of shapes and textures.
"The purpose of the papier colle (collage) was to give the idea that different textures can enter into composition to become the reality in the painting that competes with the reality in nature. We didn't any longer want to fool the eye; we wanted to fool the mind. If a newspaper can become a bottle, that gives us something to think about in connection with both newspapers and bottles, too. This displaced object has entered a universe for which it was not made and where it retains, in a measure, its strangeness. And this strangeness was what we wanted to make people think about because we were quite aware that our world was becoming very strange and not exactly reassuring.” -- Georges Braque