Learn about cubism (part 2)


Volume 2: Synthetic Cubism

Interest in these subjects continued after 1912.  This stage is commonly known as artificial cubism.  The works of this stage emphasize a combination of shapes in the image.  Color plays an important role in these works.  The shapes, while still fragmented, are larger and more decorative.  Smooth and rough surfaces may contrast with each other, and often foreign materials, such as newspapers or tobacco packages, were glued to the canvas in combination with painted areas.  This technique, known as collage, places more emphasis on differences in texture, while also raising the question of what is reality and what is illusion.

By 1912, Picasso and Brock had stuck real paper (papier collé) and other materials (collage) on their canvases, creating stages beyond the Cubist conception of a work as an object.

By 1915, Picasso’s life had changed.  His mistress died later that year, and a painting he worked on during his mistress’s illness shows his grief.  The name of this painting is Harlequin.

While Picasso and Brock are known as the founders of Cubism, several other Cubist artists were involved.  Prominent Cubist painters included:

Fernand Léger Robert and Sonia Delaunay Juan Gris Roger de la Fresnaye Marcel Duchamp Albert Gleizes Jean Metzinger

Cubism, although primarily associated with painting, had a profound impact on twentieth-century sculpture and architecture.  The greatest sculptors of Cubism were Alexander Archipenko, Raymond Duchamp Villon and Jacques Lipchitz.  The acceptance of Cubist aesthetics by the Swiss architect Le Corbusier is reflected in the shape of the houses he designed in the 1920s.

There is no direct connection between Cubist art and Cubism in architecture.  But both have the properties of geometric shapes and similar shapes.  Cubist artists often drew abstract objects as discontinuous geometric shapes.  Buildings are often designed, according to Cubist principles, as geometrically intertwined shapes or quite simply as a single geometric shape.

The architecture of Cubism had a spectacular beginning.  In the fall of 1912, a group of artists exhibited 10 by 3 meter houses.  The façade was designed by French sculptor Raymond Duchamp-violin.  The interior of the room was designed by several people, among whom the main character was the French painter and designer Andre Marr.

The rooms were fully furnished and small paintings hung on the walls.  After Paris, “The Cubist House” was also screened at the Armory Exhibition in New York.  Early Cubist architecture is very rare.  There is only one country in the world where Cubism really uses architecture.  Bohemia (Czech Republic) is the capital of Prague.

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