Term used to describe the fascination of early modern European artists with what was then called primitive art. This included tribal art from Africa, the South Pacific and Indonesia, as well as prehistoric and very early European art, and European folk art. Such work has had a profound impact on modern Western art. The discovery of African tribal art by Picasso around 1906 was an important influence on his painting in general, and was a major factor in leading him to Cubism. Primitivism also means the search for a simpler more basic way of life away from Western urban sophistication and social restrictions. The classic example of this is Gauguin's move from Paris to Tahiti in the South Pacific in 1891. Primitivism was also important for Expressionism, including Brücke. As a result of these artists' interest and appreciation, what was once called primitive art is now seen as having equal value to Western forms and the term primitive is avoided or used in quotation marks. -Tate Gallery
Analytic Cubism staged modern art's most radical break with traditional models of representation. It abandoned perspective, which artists had used to order space since the Renaissance. And it turned away from the realistic modeling of figures and towards a system of representing bodies in space that employed small, tilted planes, set in a shallow space. Over time, Picasso and Braque also moved towards open form - they pierced the bodies of their figures, let the space flow through them, and blended background into foreground. Some historians have argued that its innovations represent a response to the changing experience of space, movement, and time in the modern world.
Fernand Leger Contrasted Forms 1914 Oil on canvas 80.7 x 65.2 cm
Synthetic Cubism proved equally important and influential for later artists. Instead of relying on depicted shapes and forms to represent objects, Picasso and Braque began to explore the use of foreign objects as abstract signs. Their use of newspaper would lead later historians to argue that, instead of being concerned above all with form, the artists were also acutely aware of current events - in particular WWI.
Picasso, Pablo Still Life with Chair-Caning Paris, [May] 1912 Oil and oilcloth on canvas, with rope frame
Braque, Georges Still Life on a Table: "Gillette." [Paris, early 1914] Charcoal, pasted paper, and gouache 18 7/8 x 24 3/8 in. (48 x 62 cm.)
Picasso, Pablo Still-life with Fruit-dish on a Table 1914-15 Oil on canvas 64 x 80 cm (25 1/4 x 31 1/2 in.)
Check this link for good information on Cubism: http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/cube/hd_cube.htm Also check out: http://artchive.com/artchive/P/picasso.html