Cubist Influence

The world of art-style is boundless and ever changing. A plethora of art-movements encapsulate history, each bearing their own distinct styles and characteristics that reflect the social influences of the times. Amongst these stylistic developments is a certain movement that radicalised 20th century art. 

Neo-Cubism defines a re-established form of Cubism, a profoundly prominent art movement that rooted itself in the early 1900’s, popularised by the likes of Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. The term Cubism derived its name from remarks that were made by critic Lois Vauxcells, in which he described the geometric shapes that were present Braque’s 1908 work Houses at L’estaque, as ‘cubes’. This avant-garde art movement revolutionised European painting and sculpture, and began an influx of inspiration throughout music, literature and architecture. Cubism truly evolved the world of art and style, and has been considered as the most radical art movements of the 20th century.

This expressionistic style disregards the more common concept of a single perspective art and instead aims to display all the possible viewpoints of a person or an object, creatively combining them in one image to represent a greater context. The style is characterised by the use geometric shapes, cubes and unconventional formatting, to establish an abstract and progressive result. Cubist painters were not bound to replicating form, texture, colour or space and they rejected the inherited concept that art should emulate the natural form. Instead they presented a new idea in which paintings depicted a radical fragmentation of reality.

Though Picasso and Braque are generally credited with establishing this novel ‘visual language’, it has been adopted and adapted by a great many painters throughout history. Cubism developed and advanced in France and all across Europe, expanding into variations of the style, including Orphism (An offshoot of Cubism that focused on pure abstraction and bright colours), Abstract art (a style that does not focus on subject but rather the visual language of shape, form, colour and line work) and Purism (an art movement formed in 1918 in which objects are represented in the most powerful, basic forms, stripped of fine detail).

Of course, Cubism is far from being a remnant of art history. Its legacy continues to inspire the work of many contemporary artists, drawing upon the stylistic and theoretic elements of the movement and continuing to influence the art that we know and love today.

As featured in the February 2020 ScrawlrBox

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