Cubism (fr. Cubisme) is a modernist trend in the visual arts, primarily in painting, which originated at the beginning of the 20th century in France. Cubism is based on the desire of the artist to decompose the depicted three-dimensional object into simple elements and assemble it on canvas in a two-dimensional image. Thus, the artist manages to depict the object simultaneously from different sides and emphasize the properties that are invisible in the classical depiction of the object from one side.
Cubism does not necessarily imply the use of simple geometric shapes. In painting, their use is primarily due to the desire of the artist to separate individual “patches” of the object from each other.
The English art historian Ernst Gombrich derives the origins of Cubism from the work of the French artist Paul Cezanne, citing as examples his work Mount Saint-Victoire from the Bellevue side and Mountains in Provence, as well as his response to a letter from the young Pablo Picasso. In one of his letters, Cezanne recommends that the young artist "consider nature as a collection of simple forms - spheres, cones, cylinders." He meant that these basic forms must be kept in mind as the organizing principle of the picture. Picasso and his friends took the advice literally.
Cezanne's ideas really had a great influence on the painting of the 20th century. In his works, he deliberately distorted the perspective to reflect more facets of the depicted object (in fact, the same principle underlies cubism).
The emergence of cubism is traditionally dated to 1905-1907 and is associated with the work of Pablo Picasso and J. Braque. The work “The Girls of Avignon”, written in 1907 by Pablo Picasso, inspired by African culture and the work of Paul Cezanne, is considered the beginning of the history of cubism. The term "Cubism" appeared in 1908, after Henri Matisse, having seen the painting "Houses in Estac", written by J. Braque in 1908, exclaimed: "What kind of cubes" (fr. bizarreries cubiques).
Since 1911, Prague has become the "small" capital of cubism in Europe, it was here that the creative association "Group of Artists" appeared. It included B. Kubista and E. Filla. In the United States, the beginning of the avant-garde was the Armory Show. Well-known artists, M. Weber, M. Hartley, J. Marin, exhibited their works there.
In its development, cubism went through several phases and is divided into: Cezanne, analytical and synthetic.
The name of this phase is associated with the name of the French painter Paul Cezanne. During this period, the Cubists tried to move away from the transmission of the true form, trying to decompose objects into separate shapes and geometric figures. The decomposition of objects into many forms led to a certain pattern in the use of colors. The foreground elements were painted in warm tones, and the background elements were painted in cold tones.
This period is characterized by the blurring of boundaries between space and form. Iridescent colors appear in translucent intersecting planes. Now the forms are arranged in a chaotic manner. The interaction between space and form is the result of an analytical stage in the development of cubism.
For the first time, elements of synthetic cubism appeared in the works of Juan Gris since 1911. This direction sought to enrich the world with the created objects of aesthetics. Surface texture, lines and patterns are used to construct an object. In the first stage of synthetic cubism, artists used appliqués to create a self-contained object. However, in the future, the Cubists abandoned the use of applications, as they came to the conclusion that the creation of full-fledged combinations was possible without the use of paper.
Representatives of cubism:
The most famous cubist works of the early 20th century were Picasso's "Girls of Avignon", "Guitar", works by such artists as Fernand Leger, Juan Gris, Marcel Duchamp, sculptures by Alexander Archipenko, etc.