CCubism or cubism - One of the most influential art movements (1907-1914) of the twentieth century, Cubism was begun by Pablo Picasso (Spanish, 1882-1973) and Georges Braque (French, 1882-1963) in 1907. They were greatly inspired by African sculpture, by painters Paul Cézanne (French, 1839-1906) and Georges Seurat (French, 1859-1891), and by the Fauves.

In Cubism the subject matter is broken up, analyzed, and reassembled in an abstracted form. Picasso and Braque initiated the movement when they followed the advice of Paul Cézanne, who in 1904 said artists should treat nature "in terms of the cylinder, the sphere and the cone."

There were three phases in the development of Cubism: Facet Cubism, Analytic Cubism, and Synthetic Cubism.

After fauvist beginnings, Braque went with Raoul Dufy in 1908 on a trip to l'Estaque, a place often painted by Cézanne. They produced a series of landscapes with simplified forms and a limited variety of colors. The controversy surrounding their exhibition at the Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler Gallery brought Cubism its name. In effect, the art critic Louis Vauxcelles described the works in this way: "M. Braque scorns form and reduces everything, sites, figures and houses, to geometric schemas and cubes."

The break with homogeneous form was completed the following year. Braque and Picasso's similar compositions are broken into planes with open edges, sliding into each other while denying all depth. Color is reduced to a gray-tan cameo, applied uniformly in small brushstrokes creating vibrations of light. The interpenetration of the forms lends these paintings a previously unknown aspect of continuity and density. Withdrawing before the abstract and hermetic character of this new space, Braque and Picasso brought recognizable illusionistic features back into their paintings during their stay in Céret, from 1911 to 1913. They used letters, fragments of words, musical notes, then significant material elements: sand or sawdust which create relief, and tend to make the picture more physically an object.

Color returned in force in 1912, in parallel to the creation of the "papiers collés" — collages. Creating a simple geometric armature and pieces of glued paper with trompe l'oeil patterns imitating wood, marble or newsprint, then introducing "already made" elements (musical scores, tobacco packets or playing cards), the "papiers collés" definitively dissociate color and form. Picasso, then Henri Laurens would create construction pieces from ordinary materials, cut out and assembled into colored geometric planes, where empty and full spaces combine to sketch out the forms.

Although the war of 1914-19 ended Picasso and Braque's collaboration, the cubist core group remained active until the 1920s, through the explorations of Braque, Matisse, Laurens, Lipchitz and Fernand Léger, whose geometric world and abstractly organized canvases with their contrasting, dynamic forms owe almost everything to the pioneering breakthroughs of Cézanne, Braque and Picasso.

 


Examples of cubist works:

Listed chronologically by artist's birth year

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see thumbnail to leftRaymond Duchamp-Villon (French, 1876-1918), The Large Horse, 1914/1976, bronze, 150 x 97 x 153 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris. See equine art.

 

 

Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Head of a Horse, 1914 / 1976, bronze, dark patina, 48 x 49 x 39.5 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Patrick Henry Bruce (American, 1881-1936).

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightAlbert Gleizes (French, 1881-1953), Portrait of Jacques Nayral, 1911, oil on canvas, 161.9 x 114.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Fernand Léger (French, 1881-1955), La couseuse (The Sewer), 1909-1910, oil on canvas, 73 x 54 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Fernand Léger, Table and Fruit, 1909, oil on canvas, 33 x 38 7/8 inches, Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

 

 

Fernand Léger, The Wedding, 1911, oil on canvas, 257 x 206 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Fernand Léger, Contrasting Forms, 1913, oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Fernand Léger, Woman in Red and Green, 1914, oil on canvas, 100 x 81 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Fernand Léger, Le Petit Déjeuner, 1919, oil on canvas, 27 3/16 x 36 1/2 inches, Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

 

 

Fernand Léger, Woman with a Cat, 1921, oil on canvas, 51 3/8 x 35 1/4 inches (130.5 x 89.5 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

Fernand Léger, Woman with a Cat, 1921, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

Pablo Picasso (born Pablo Ruiz-Picasso) (Spanish, 1881-1973), Bust of a Woman, 1907, oil on canvas, 66 x 59 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.



 

see thumbnail to leftPablo Picasso, Les Demoiselles d'Avignon, 1907, oil on canvas, 8 feet x 7 feet 8 inches (243.9 x 233.7 cm), in the Museum of Modern Art, New York. This is considered by many the first cubist painting. It was influenced by the paintings by Paul Cézanne and by the fauvists, as well as by African sculptures. The subjects of this picture are actually not women of the city of Avignon, but prostitutes of a street named Avignon.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Three Women, oil on canvas, 79 x 73 inches (200 x 185 cm), Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Head of a Woman (Fernande Olivier), 1909, bronze, height 16 1/4 inches. This was Picasso's first attempt to create three-dimensionally what he had developed two-dimensionally with cubism. As H. H. Arnason said, although it is therefore "historically of the greatest significance as the first step toward an entirely new kind of sculpture -- that of construction or assemblage -- at this point Picasso had not yet realized the implications of cubism for sculpture." This was exhibited in the influential Armory Show of 1913.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Bust of a Woman, 1909, oil on canvas, 72.7 x 60.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Seated Nude, 1909-10, oil on canvas, 92.1 x 73.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Portrait of Daniel-Henry Kahnweiler, Paris, Autumn 1910, oil on canvas, 39 5/8 x 25 5/8 inches, Art Institute of Chicago.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, A Woman Sitting in a Chair, 1910, oil on canvas, 100 x 73 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Bottle of Vieux Marc, Glass, Guitar and Newspaper, 1913, collage and pen and ink on blue paper, 46.7 x 62.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Bowl of Fruit, Violin and Bottle, 1914, oil on canvas, 92.0 x 73.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Still Life, 1914, painted wood and upholstery fringe, relief, 25.4 x 45.7 x 9.2 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, The Violin, 1914, oil on canvas, 81 x 75 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Harlequin with Violin ("Si tu veux"), 1918, oil on canvas, Cleveland Museum of Art.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Open Window on the Rue de Penthièvre in Paris, 1920, oil on canvas, 109 cm x 196 cm, Tehran Museum of Contemporary Art, Iran.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Head of a Woman, 1924, oil on canvas, 34.5 x 26.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Still Life, 1925, oil (with sand) on canvas, 97.8 x 131.2 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, The Three Dancers, 1925, oil on canvas, 215.3 x 142.2 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Studio of the Milliner, 1926, oil on canvas, 172 x 265 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftPablo Picasso (Spanish, 1882-1973), Girl Before a Mirror, 1932, oil on canvas, 64 x 51 1/4 inches, Museum of Modern Art, NY. See mirror.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Nude Woman in a Red Armchair, 1932, oil on canvas, 129.9 x 97.2 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Dish of Pears, 1936, oil on canvas, 38.0 x 61.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Guernica, 1937, oil on canvas, 11 feet 5 1/2 inches x 25 feet 5 3/4 inches, Prado, Madrid. Guernica was photographed at several stages of Picasso's work on it. See distort.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman, 1937, pencil and crayon on paper, 29.2 x 23.2 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Weeping Woman, 1937, oil on canvas, 60.8 x 50.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Dora Maar Seated, 1938, oil on canvas, 65.1 x 48.9 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, from "School Prints", Composition, 1948, lithograph on paper, image: 49.5 x 76.2 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Goat's Skull, Bottle and Candle, 1952, oil on canvas, 89.2 x 116.2 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Studio, 1955, oil on canvas, 80.9 x 64.9 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Pablo Picasso, Nude Woman with Necklace, 1968, oil on canvas, 113.5 x 161.7 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Morton Livingston Schamberg (American, 1881-1918).

 

 

Max Weber (American, 1881-1961), Chinese Restaurant, 1915, oil on canvas, 40 x 48 inches (101.6 x 121.9 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.

 

 

Georges Braque (French, 1882-1963), Le Viaduct de L'Estaque, 1907, oil on canvas, 25 5/8 x 31 3/4 inches, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Although Braque was a pioneer of Cubism, he was in the midst of exploring the Fauves' adventurous uses of color at the time of the first Cubist experiments.

 

 

Georges Braque, Terrace of Hotel Mistral, L'Estaque [and Paris], autumn 1907, oil on canvas, 31 1/2 x 24 inches (80 x 61 cm), private collection, NY.

 

 

Georges Braque, Viaduct at L'Estaque, Paris, early 1908, oil on canvas, 28 5/8 x 23 1/4 inches (72.5 x 59 cm), Musée National d'Art Moderne, Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris.

 

 

Georges Braque, Large Nude, Paris, spring 1908, oil on canvas, 55 1/4 x 39 1/2 inches (140 x 100 cm.), collection Alex Maguy, Paris.

 

 

Georges Braque, Fruit Dish, Paris, winter 1908-09, oil on canvas, 21 1/4 x 25 1/2 inches (54 x 65 cm), Moderna Museet, Stockholm, Sweden.

 

 

Georges Braque, Castle at La Roche-Guyon, La Roche-Guyon, summer 1909, oil on canvas, 36 1/4 x 28 3/4 inches (92 x 73 cm), Stedelijk van Abbe Museum, Eindhoven, Netherlands.

 

 

Georges Braque, Candlestick and Playing Cards, winter of 1909-10, oil on canvas, 25 5/8 x 21 3/8 inches (65.1 x 54.3 cm), Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

 

 

Georges Braque, Glass on a Table, 1909-10, oil on canvas, 33.1 x 37.2 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Georges Braque, The Pedestal Table, autumn 1911, oil on canvas, 116.5 x 81.5 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Georges Braque, Still-Life with Violin, 1911, oil on canvas, 130 x 89 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Georges Braque, Fruit Dish, "Quotidien du Midi", Sorgues, August-September 1912, oil and sand on canvas,16 x 13 inches (41 x 33 cm), Thomas Ammann Fine Art, Zurich.

 

 

Georges Braque, Fruit Dish and Cards, 1913, oil, heightened with chalk and charcoal on canvas, 81 x 60 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Georges Braque, Bottle, Newspaper, Pipe, and Glass, 1913, charcoal and various papers pasted on paper, 18 7/8 x 25 1/4 inches (48 x 64 cm), private collection, NY.

 

 

Georges Braque, Glass, Carafe and Newspapers, 1914, pasted papers, chalk and charcoal on cardboard, 62.5 x 28.5 cm (24 5/8 x 11 1/4 inches), private collection, Basel.

 

 

Jean Metzinger (French, 1883-1957), Still Life, n.d., oil on canvas, 28 1/4 x 39 inches, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. See still life.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightRobert Delaunay (French, 1885-1941), Joie de vivre (The Joy of Life), 1930 , oil on canvas, 200 x 228 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris. See Orphism, also known as Orphic Cubism.

 

see thumbnail to leftRoger de la Fresnaye (French, 1885-1925 ), Married Life, 1912, oil on canvas, Minneapolis Institute of Arts.

 

 

Henri Laurens (French, 1885-1954), La bouteille de Beaune (The Bottle of Beaune), 1918, painted wood and sheet iron, 66.8 x 27 x 24 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Henri Laurens, Head of a Young Woman, 1920, limestone, 39.3 x 17.4 x 12.5 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightDiego Rivera (Mexican, 1886-1957), Still Life with Bottle, 1914, drawing with pencil, papier-collé and gouache on paper, 35.5 x 19 cm, government of Veracruz, Mexico. Among the papers Rivera used is some wallpaper. See Mexican art.

 

 

Manierre Dawson (American, 1887-1969)

 

 

Marcel Duchamp (American, born France, 1887-1968), Nude Descending a Staircase, 1911-12, oil on canvas, 58 x 35 inches, Philadelphia Museum of Art, PA. Sometimes called Cubo-Futurist, so also see Futurism, as well as the Armory Show of 1913, in which this painting was highly controversial.

 

 

Juan Gris (born "Jose Victoriano Gonzales Perez") (Spanish, 1887-1927), Three Lamps, 1910-11, watercolor on paper, 61.8 x 47.8 cm, Kunstmuseum Bern.

 

 

Juan Gris, Bottles and Knife, 1911-12, oil on canvas, 54.6 x 46 cm, Rijksmuseum Kroeller-Mueller, Otterlo.

 

 

Juan Gris, Portrait of Picasso, 1912, oil on canvas, 36 3/4 x 29 1/4 inches (93.4 x 74.3 cm), Art Institute of Chicago.

 

 

Juan Gris, The Siphon, 1913, oil on canvas, 81 x 65 cm, Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, MA.

 

 

Juan Gris, The Sunblind, 1914, gouache, collage, chalk and charcoal on canvas, 92.1 x 72.7 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

Juan Gris, Fruit Dish and Carafe, 1914, oil, papier-collé and charcoal on canvas, 92 x 65 cm, Rijksmuseum Kroller-Muller, Otterlo.

 

 

Juan Gris (born "Jose Victoriano Gonzales Perez") (Spanish, 1887-1927), Breakfast, 1915, oil and charcoal on canvas, 92 x 73 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

Juan Gris, The Pot of Geraniums, 1915, oil on canvas, 81 x 60 cm (31 7/8 x 23 5/8 inches), collection S.

 

 

Juan Gris, Still Life, 1917, oil on wood panel, 28 3/4 x 36 3/16 inches, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. See still life.

 

 

Juan Gris, Harlequin at a Table, 1919, oil on canvas, 101 x 65 cm, Morton G. Neuman family collection.

 

 

Juan Gris, Guitar and Music Paper, 1926-27, oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm (25 5/8 x 31 7/8 inches), Saidenberg Gallery, NY.

 

 

Gerald Murphy (American, 1888-1964), Cocktail, 1927, oil on canvas, 29 1/16 x 29 7/8 inches (73.8 x 75.9 cm), Whitney Museum of American Art, NY.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightJacques Lipchitz (born Chaïm Jacob) (French and American, born Russia, 1891-1973), Head, 1915, patinated plaster, 62 x 27 x 22.5 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftJacques Lipchitz, Sculpture, 1915-16, limestone, 98.0 x 28.0 x 18.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightJacques Lipchitz, A Standing Person, 1916, plaster, 109.2 x 27.4 x 20.2 cm, Georges Pompidou Center, Paris.

 

 

 

 

see thumbnail to leftJacques Lipchitz, Seated Man with Clarinet, 1920, plaster, 77.5 x 29.3 x 28.0 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightJacques Lipchitz, Guitar Player in Armchair, 1922, cast material, 39.4 x 29.2 x 30.4 cm, Tate Gallery, London.

 

Joan Miró (Spanish, 1893-1983), Spanish Playing Cards, 1920, painting, Minneapolis Institute of Arts. Also see Surrealism.

 

 

Joan Miró, Still Life — Glove and Newspaper, 1921, oil on canvas, 46 x 35 1/4 inches (116.8 x 89.5 cm).

 

 

 

 

see thumbnail to rightWifredo Lam (Cuban, 1902-1982), The Jungle, 1943, gouache on paper, mounted on canvas, 7 feet 10 1/4 inches x 7 feet 6 1/2 inches (239.4 x 229.9 cm), Museum of Modern Art, NY. Lam's fantastical moonlit scene portrays masked figures amid stalks of bamboo and sugarcane. Although he was an integral member of the surrealist movement, Lam's multiperspectival renderings of these figures mirrors his use of Cubist vocabulary.


 

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Also see Groupe du Bateau-lavoir, isms and -ism, Neo-Impressionism, pique assiette (also called picassiette), Post-Impressionism, trencadis, and Vorticism.

 

 

 

 

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