The concept and origin of cubism
Cubism was born in the years 1907-1911. Pablo Picasso’s 1907 painting Avignon Maidens is often considered a proto-Cubist work. Georges Braque’s “Homes in Estate” (and related works) prompted the critic Louis Vosel to turn to bizarreries cubiques (cubic oddities). Gertrude Stein referred to landscapes painted by Picasso in 1909, for example, “Pond (Reservoir at Horta de Ebro)” as the first Cubist paintings. The first organized group exhibition of cubists took place at the Salon de la Independent in Paris in the spring of 1911 in a room called Hall 41 (Salle 41); it included the works of Jean Metzinger, Albert Gleize, Fernand Leger, Robert Delaunay and Henri Le Focognier, works by Picasso and Braque have not yet been exhibited.
Paul Cezanne Quarry Bibémus (“The Bibemius Quarry”), 1898-1900, Folkwang Museum, Essen, Germany
By 1911, Picasso was recognized as the inventor of Cubism, and the importance and predecessor of Braque, in relation to his interpretation of space, volume and mass in the landscapes of L’Estack, was proved later. But “this vision of cubism is connected with a clearly limiting definition of which of the artists should be called Cubists,” wrote art historian Christopher Green: “Ignoring the contribution of artists who exhibited at the Salon of Independents in 1911 …”
Historians divided the history of cubism into stages. According to one version, the first stage of cubism, known as analytical cubism, the phrase was invented by Juan Gris on the basis of experience, was so radical and influential as a short, but at the same time important direction in the art of France from 1910-1912. The second stage, synthetic cubism, remained relevant until 1919, when surrealism gained popularity. The English art critic Douglas Cooper proposed a different version, describing the three stages of cubism in his book The Age of Cubism. According to Cooper, “early cubism” (1906-1908) was when the direction developed in the studios of Picasso and Braque; the second stage, called “high cubism” (1909-1914), during which time a significant representative of cubism Juan Gris appeared (after 1911); and in conclusion, Cooper called “late cubism” (1914-1921) as the last stage of cubism as a radical avant-garde trend. Douglas Cooper limited the use of these terms to highlight the works of Braque, Picasso, Gris (since 1911) and Leger (to a lesser extent) implying an intentional value judgment.
The statement that cubists depict space, mass, time and volume confirming (instead of denying) the flatness of the canvas was made by Daniel-Henri Canweiler in 1920, but in the 1950s and 1960s it became a subject of criticism, especially from Clement Greenberg The modern views of Cubism are complex, formed to some extent in response to the Cubists of “Hall 41”, whose methods were too different from Picasso and Braque, and are considered only secondary to them. Therefore, alternative interpretations of cubism were developed. The broader views of Cubism include: artists who were later associated with the artists of Hall 41, for example, Francis Picabia; brothers Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon and Marcel Duchamp, who began at the end of 1911, forming the core of the “Golden Section” (or the Péutot group); sculptors Alexander Arkhipenko, Jozsef Chucky and Osip Tsadkin, as well as Jacques Lipschitz and Henri Laurent; and such painters as Louis Marcoussis, Roger de la Frenet, Frantisek Kupka, Diego Rivera, Leopold Survage, Auguste Erben, Andre Lot, Gino Severini (after 1916), Maria Blanchard (after 1916) and Georges Valmierre (after 1918 g.). More significantly, Christopher Green argues that the terms of Douglas Cooper were “subsequently questioned by interpretations of the works of Picasso, Braque, Leger and Gris, which emphasize iconographic and ideological issues rather than presentation methods.”
John Burger defines the essence of cubism using a mechanical scheme. “The metaphorical model of cubism is a diagram: a diagram is a visible symbolic representation of invisible processes, forces, structures. The diagram does not need to avoid certain aspects of the appearance, but they will also be regarded as signs and not as copies or newly created creations. ”