Essay, Research Paper: Cubism In 20th Century


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Cubism was one of the strongest art movements in the 20th century that gave
birth to many other movements such as futurism and suprematism. The Forefathers
of this revolutionary way of painting were Pablo Picasso and George Braque.
Although it may have seemed to be abstract and geometrical to an untrained eye,
cubist art do depict real objects. The shapes are flattened onto canvas so that
different sides of each shape can be shown simultaneously from many angles. This
new style gave a 3 dimensional look on the canvas. The cubist movement gave rise
to an extraordinary reassessment of the interaction between form and space
changing the course of western art forever. The groundbreaking Demoiselles
d’Avignon was controversial not only for the way the women looked but also for
the positions of the women. Although Picasso did not emphasize on detail, he
“saw that the rational, often geometric breakdown if the human head and body
employed by so many African artists could provide him with the starting point
for his own re-appraisal of his subjects”(Cubism 53). “The naked women
become inextricably bound up in a flux of shapes or planes which tip backwards
and forwards from the two-dimensional surface to produce much the same sensation
as an elaborate sculpture...”(Cubism 54). Futurism was an art movement, which
was influenced by cubist art. Cubism showed no motion it was futurism that was
fascinated with machinery, transport and communications. In paintings and
sculpture, angular forms and powerful lines were used to convey a sense of
activity, this was a Futurist’s way of showing motion and speed. One of it’s
innovator’s was Umberto Boccioni who said “We want represent not the optical
or analytical impression but the physical and total experience” (Futurism
101). “They now pinned less faith on the power of new subject matter and
strove to complement their colour divisionism with fragmentation of the cubist
sort” (Futurism 101). Suprematism was influenced by cubism because of it
geometric shapes but “suprematism was not so much a movement in art as it is
an attitude...” (Suprematism 138). This non-movement was created by Kasmir
Malevich’s , “His elemental forms were designed both to break the artist’s
conditioned responses to his environment and create new realities ‘no less
significant then the realities of nature herself’” (Suprematism 138). A
suprematist work, banishes every trace of subject, it used color and form and
there interaction to form a subject. While cubism had definite subject it was
also the interaction of color and shape that made the subject. Constructivism
was influenced by suprematism, this movement swept away traditional notions
about art, believing that it should imitate the forms and processes of modern
technology. “Often constructivism was overtly propagandist in nature:
sometimes by the placement of simple geometric forms in the kind of literary
context which turns such forms into representations...” (Constructivism 161).
De Stijl was mostly influenced by painters Piet Mondrian, Theo Van Doesburg and
architect Gerrit Rietveld. These men believed that art should strive towards
complete harmony, order clarity in a constant process of refinement. The works
in this movement were of course geometrical, using mainly square forms. The
movement’s forms were deeply philosophical and were rooted in the idea that
art should in some way reflect order. All of these movements progressed from
cubism (hence my title); they developed from shapes into other worldly meanings.
They all branched out to their own ways and fell to their feelings and desirers.
All of these movements developed from geometrical objects to seem as a true form
such as a body or face then turn into a geometrical form. All of these
innovators thought differently, they wanted to change everyone else’s state of
mind and with their unlikely way of thinking they have. But we have become so
accustomed to it that we do not recognize it and take these powerful shapes and
colors for granted.

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