Art Lecture - Contemporary Abstractions Relationship to Cubism
A radical concept of creating images in paintings started as a collaboration between Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque in France. Their experimentation with the revolutionary concept of presenting multiple views of objects in a single painting “Cubism” would shape contemporary art forever. Although the “Cubist” movement only lasted a short time (1907 and 1911), so powerful was the concept that it is still one of abstract artists valued tools for creating images.
The beginning of the Cubist movement is known as “Early” or “Analytic Cubism” ranging from 1906 – 1908. The early development stages of cubism are considered largely inspired by Paul Cézanne's landscapes. The second phase, “Synthetic Cubism” lasted from 1912-1914; this was about the time when the Surrealist movement was gaining popularity. The synthetic stage of cubism is more design oriented with the use of collage and materials to create textures. The English art historian Douglas Cooper referred to the ending stages of the movement as "Late Cubism" (from 1914 to 1921), the last phase of Cubism is a more radical “Avant-Garde” movement.
The principles and concepts that define cubist artworks, are that objects/subjects are broken up, analyzed, and re-assembled in abstracted forms—instead of depicting objects from a single viewpoint, the artist depicts the subject from a multitude of viewpoints to represent the subject in a greater context. Often plains or the geometry of objects intersect at seemingly random angles, removing any coherent sense of depth. The background and object’s plains interpenetrate or overlap one another to create the shallow representation of depth or dimensional space. This is a major characteristic of the cubist intention in creating images.
Following are examples of cubism artworks and abstract art using some of the principles of cubism. These paintings and drawings are by recognized masters to various working artists today.