Cubism (from French cubisme, came from cube – cube) is a modernist trend in painting of the early twentieth century, which highlighted the formal task of constructing volumetric shapes on a plane, minimizing the visual and cognitive functions of art. The word “cubists” was used in 1908 and 1909 by the French critic L. Vossel as a mocking nickname for a group of artists depicting the objective world as a combination of geometric bodies or figures. The most famous artist in this direction of painting: Pablo Picasso (1881-1973).
At the turn of the First World War, the influence of European painting fell sharply. Soft, strictly proportional forms, perfect color contrast, sophisticated grotesqueness – gave way to a rough African sculpture beyond the established framework. A modernist revolution took place in art, which served as a sharp impetus to the formation of cubism.
Paul Cezanne expanded the scope of perception of nature “through a cylinder, ball, cone.” Two of his exhibitions (1904 and 1906) made a double impression. People with undisguised interest studied creations, which caused a lot of controversy and gossip. The founders of this art are considered to be Pablo Picasso with his Avignon Maidens (1907), rigidly carved on canvas, and Georges Braque, who surprised by landscapes created by a similar method. Subsequently, the “cubic” muse was visited by such prominent French authors as: Juan Gris, Fernand Leger, Robert Delaunay, Louis Marcoussis. In cubism, abstract thinking comes to the fore, the ability to see objects in space, their decomposition into geometric components. Mathis, who was delighted with the picture of Braque’s “Houses in Estate”, made it clear that this art consists of many cubes intertwined. Later, the critic Louis Voxel wrote in the magazine “Gilles Blazes” about the life of cubes, which caused an unprecedented interest in the work of rebel artists.
Cubism has three stages of development: Cezanne (1907-1909), analytical (1910-1912) and synthetic (1913-1914). With each turn in art new forms and ideas appear, the number of adherents of the abstract style sharply increases.
The early period of Cubism was christened “Cezanne” after the opening of the sensational landscape exhibition of J. Braque. The young artist, along with the master Picasso, protested against tortured imperialism, the emptiness of the salon “beautifulness”, a symbolic understatement of images. The concept of “volume” was revealed in simple and uncomplicated plots. The basis of the paintings lay ordinary objects of existence. Instruments, houses, trees, animals, primordial images of men and women – a new way outlined by the hands of Cubist artists.
Over time, integrity and stability were replaced by dashed lines. The contours became more blurry, large parts were broken into many echoes. The audience turned around the wrong side of the forms, which caused a desire to study the paintings, “feel” with their eyes. To think about what the artist hides in his creations, of what the object created by him consists. In the analytical stage, the main role was played by materials of different textures (paper, fabric, wood). If you look closely at the picture of J. Braque “Bottle, Glass and Tube” (1913), you can see that the main figures are drawn in thin weak lines (pencil effect), but the relief of the door and newspaper inserts are clearly written in the foreground.
The collage brought a lot of decorativeness to the synthetic stage of cubism. Artists not only destroyed the integrity of the subject, but also experimented with matter. The paintings frightened and fascinated at the same time. Abstractness intensified to insanity. Combinations of various surfaces, the departure from a cubic to an oval structure – served as the impetus for the formation of rocky cubism.
Cubism left a big mark in the art of the twentieth century. Until now, some artists take as the basis of his technique and create unsurpassed masterpieces.