Cubism Essay

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Before the twentieth century, art was recognized as an imitation of nature. Paintings and portraits were made to look as realistic and three-dimensional as possible, as if seen through a window. Artists were painting in the flamboyant fauvism style. French postimpressionist Paul Cézannes flattened still lives, and African sculptures gained in popularity in Western Europe when artists went looking for a new way of showing their ideas and expressing their views. In 1907 Pablo Picasso created the painting Les Damsoilles d'Avignon, depicting five women whose bodies are constructed of geometric shapes and heads of African masks rather then faces. This new image grew to be known as 'cubism'. The name originating from the critic
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The outcome was to be of intellectual vision rather then spontaneous. ?The aim of Analytical Cubism was to produce a conceptual image of an object, as opposed to an optical one? (Harden, 1999).

Around 1912, Analytical Cubism reached a point where it threatened to go beyond the visual comprehension of the viewer. At this time Picasso and Braque took a different approach by replacing parts of the pictures of real things with abstract signs and symbols. In Synthetic Cubism size scales no longer mattered; in Picassos painting The Three Musicians the hand of a man playing a guitar would be two inches while the guitar itself was two feet. Bright, flashy color returned. Synthetic Cubism is credited with creating the collage. Picasso made the first collage using decorative paper and words and images clipped from newspaper and sheet music put on wood to create the image of a guitar. Other artists began using sand, rope and even mirrors to symbolize things. In this way Synthetic Cubism came back slightly to the conventional method of representing objects realistically and the shape of objects became easier to recognize.

Cubism gained the interest of critics who had mixed views. One critic viewed a Picasso painting of a violin and said he considered it an insult to the viewers? intelligence to be expected to believe that a violin would look like that. Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, a Paris art dealer and

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