A non objective school of painting and sculpture developed in Paris in the early 20th century, characterized by the reduction and fragmentation of natural forms into abstract, often geometric structures usually rendered as a set of discrete planes.
Cubism was a drastic change to the art we knew to that time. We see it as an avant garde art movement. Pablo Picasso pioneered this innovative step in 1907 with his painting Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (The Young Ladies of Avignon). Cubism revolutionized the world of painting, music, literature and architecture.
Cubism shows the objects broken up and reassembled in an abstract way. The artist does not just see the subject from on point of view, but rather from multiple viewpoints. At a later stage in time the collage evolved out of this art movement.
Cubism was the first style of abstract art, which, as we mentioned, evolved at the beginning of the 20th century in response to a world that was changing with unprecedented speed. Cubism was an attempt by artists to revitalise the tired traditions of Western art, which they believed had run their course. The Cubists challenged conventional forms of representation, such as perspective, which had been the rule since the Renaissance. Their aim was to develop a new way of seeing which reflected the modern age.
Historians have sought to analyze the history of cubism in terms of phases. In one scheme, a first branch of cubism, known as Analytic Cubism, was both radical and influential as a short but highly significant art movement between 1907 and 1911 in France. A second phase, Synthetic Cubism, remained vital until around 1919, when the Surrealist movement gained popularity. English art historian Douglas Cooper proposed another scheme, describing three phases of Cubism in his book, The Cubist Epoch. According to Cooper there was “Early Cubism”, (from 1906 to 1908) when the movement was initially developed in the studios of Picasso and Braque; the second phase being called “High Cubism”, (from 1909 to 1914) during which time Juan Gris emerged as an important exponent; and finally Cooper referred to “Late Cubism” (from 1914 to 1921) as the last phase of Cubism as a radical avant-garde movement. Douglas Cooper’s restrictive use of these terms to distinguish the work of Braque, Picasso, Gris (from 1911) and Léger (to a lesser extent) implied an intentional value judgement.
The most extreme forms of Cubism were not those practiced by Picasso and Braque, who resisted total abstraction. Other Cubists, by contrast, especially František Kupka, and those considered Orphists by Apollinaire (Delaunay, Léger, Picabia and Duchamp), accepted abstraction by removing visible subject matter entirely.
Les Demoiselles d’Avignon
Horta de Ebro
Violin and Jug
Violin and Glass