20th Century Art Styles I: CUBISM

CUBISM is the name given to the aesthetic and technical revolution brought about by Picasso, Braque, Juan Gris and Léger. Matisse and Derain also contributed to the formation of this movement, which influenced the majority of the avant-garde artists during the years that preceded the 1914-1918 war. The Cubist movement, which may be said to have begun in 1907 and to have ended with the outbreak of war in 1914, had a stylistic coherence lacking in Fauvism. Long after the artists concerned had abandoned the style, or transformed it, it persisted as an influence in the architecture and decorative arts of the new century. The consequences of one individual act of perception were and remain incalculable.

Cézanne felt that the illusionism of perspective denied the fact that a painting is a flat two-dimensional object. He liked to flatten the space in his paintings to place more emphasis on their surface - to stress the difference between a painting and reality

Like Impressionism, Cubism at first encountered nothing but general hostility, or incomprehension.
Picasso declared: 'When we painted as we did, we had no intention of creating Cubism, but only of expressing what was inside us'. Braque said: 'For me, Cubism -- or rather, no Cubism -- is a means I created for my own use, with the aim of putting painting within range of my talents'. The vitality and fecundity of Cubism comes from the coupling of these two exceptional temperaments, who worked enthusiastically together, without surrendering their own personalities. Later, they were joined by Gris and Léger. 

The history of the development of Cubism falls into three phases: a Cézanne phase ( 1907-1909), an analytical phase ( 1910-1912), and a synthetic phase ( 1913-1914).

Analytic cubists "analyzed" natural forms and reduced the forms into basic geometric parts on the two-dimensional picture plane. Color was almost non-existent 

Synthetic Cubism was developed by Picasso, Braque and Juan Gris and others in the 1913 – 1919 period. This cubism movement was characterized by the introduction of different surfaces, textures, papier colle, collage elements and a great variety of merged subject matter. This was the beginning of collage materials introduced as an important ingredient of fine art works.