Introduction to Cubism
In the early twentieth century Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque invented cubism together. In cubist works the figures and objects were cut up into small geometrical shapes mostly quads. These quads were then rearranged to form the same object or figure. They wanted the viewers to rethink how they viewed their work. Cubism went against the concept that art should copy nature and that they had to conform to techniques like perspective and realistic figure drawing which were traditional techniques from preceding eras. The term Cubism was made up after louis Vauxcelles, a French art Critic, saw some landscapes Braque had painted in 1908 at L’Estaque. The critic interpreted the paintings as simply “cubes”.
Picasso Les Demoiselles d’Avignion
Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignion, was one of the works which gave an indication that the early cubist painting took inspiration from African tribal art and primitivism. In les demoiselles d'Avignion there five "deformed" women who are said to be prostitutes. the figures are like shattered pieces of glass, sharp and angulated. there are two women on the right side of the painting that have a face which looks like a tribal African masks. this painting is so large the figures appear to be life sized. also in this picture depth and space are absent.
Braque's Still Life with Tenora
Braque's Still Life with Tenora, is an interesting cubist work. This is because he introduced real materialls and textures into his art work. He uses cut-and-pasted printed and painted paper, charcoal, chalk, and pencil on gessoed canvas. The technique of pasting pieces paper (newspaper, wallpaper, wood-grained paper, .etc) on canvas is called papier collé. Brauqe fragments the objects in the still life just like Picasso did with his figures in the previously discussed work, the difference is that he uses the paper to do so.
Cubism Movement, Artists and Major Works | The Art Story. 2015. Cubism Movement, Artists and Major Works | The Art Story. [ONLINE] Available at: http://www.theartstory.org/movement-cubism.htm. [Accessed 11 December 2015].
Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Paris, June-July 1907 | MoMA. 2015. Pablo Picasso. Les Demoiselles d'Avignon. Paris, June-July 1907 | MoMA. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.moma.org/collection/works/79766. [Accessed 11 December 2015].
Georges Braque. Still Life with Tenora. (summer or fall 1913) | MoMA. 2015. Georges Braque. Still Life with Tenora. (summer or fall 1913) | MoMA. [ONLINE] Available at:http://www.moma.org/collection/works/38330. [Accessed 11 December 2015].