Styles & Periods

Styles & Periods

Cubism

One of the three main currents in the art of the 20th century, aside from expression and fantasy, is the abstraction of forms. Certainly one of the greatest artists to lead the new century into this new manner of depiction was Pablo Picasso. Together, with Georges Braque, Picasso began laying a foundation for Cubism 1907 and 1914. Though cubism was initially a painted movement, its effects were eventually felt in sculpture and architecture. Cubism made a radical break with traditional art by conceiving of a new pictorial space. Still-lifes, landscapes and figures were depicted in fragmented manners in Cubism, and were influenced by the geometric art of Africa and Oceania. Two strains of Cubism exist, Analytic and Synthetic. Analytic Cubism, from 1909 to 1911, stressed the analyzing of objects and massed order and systems of objects. The well-known, highly fragmented portraits made of small, fused planes are common in these works. Color is subjugated for the inspection of shallow space in Analytic Cubism. Synthetic Cubism reversed these ideals, and instead of fracturing the images, built them up of seemingly preexisting shapes. Other artists who influenced the Cubist movement included Juan Gris, Robert Delaunay and Francis Picabia. The legacy of Cubism is the freedom it gave to artists to explore subjects in alternative ways.


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