Cubism - the first style of abstract art
Cubism was a truly revolutionary style of modern art developed by Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque. It was the first style of abstract art which 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. In the four decades from 1870-1910, western society witnessed more technological progress than in the previous four centuries. During this period, inventions such as photography, cinematography, sound recording, the telephone, the motor car and the airplane heralded the dawn of a new age. The problem for artists at this time was how to reflect the modernity of the era using the tired and trusted traditions that had served art for the last four centuries. Photography had begun to replace painting as the tool for documenting the age and for artists to sit illustrating cars, planes and images of the new technologies was not exactly rising to the challenge. Artists needed a more radical approach - a 'new way of seeing' that expanded the possibilities of art in the same way that technology was extending the boundaries of communication and travel. This new way of seeing was called Cubism - the first abstract style of modern art. Picasso and Braque developed their ideas on Cubism around 1907 in Paris and their starting point was a common interest in the later paintings of Paul Cézanne. The Influence of Cézanne on Cubism
Cézanne was not primarily interested in creating an illusion of depth in his painting and he abandoned the tradition of perspective drawing. Perspective, which had been used since the Early Renaissance, was a geometric formula that...
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