Cubism

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Read the article “When Cubism met the decorative arts in France” by Paul Trauchtman (abridged). Pick out thematic vocabulary; use new words and word combinations in sentences of your own (10-15 – in writing); write 15 questions to the text; make a brief summary of the text. "When we invented Cubism, we had no intention whatsoever of inventing Cubism," said Pablo Picasso, many years later. "We wanted simply to express what was in us." What was in Picasso and his contemporaries was a voracious, if not violent, appetite for new forms of intellectual, cultural and industrial life that were shaping a nascent 20th century. The decorative and flowing Art Nouveau, along with the vibrant and emotional expressiveness of the Impressionist painters--a last flowering of 19th-century Romanticism--was cast aside for the new ideas of Freud and Einstein, stripping bare the human psyche and the physical universe. When a prominent collector objected to Picasso's use of house paint in some 1912 paintings, the artist told his Paris dealer, "Perhaps we shall succeed in disgusting everyone, and we haven't said everything yet." At first, there wasn't much of a public to disgust. Early critical responses to the new Cubist art ranged from "ugly" to "grotesque," but only a few people actually looked at it, even in Paris. Gertrude Stein, an American writer in Paris who was doing away with grammar as Picasso did away with perspective and anatomy, recorded the young painter's ire at his critics: "Picasso said to me once with a good deal of bitterness, they say I can draw better than Raphael and probably they are right, perhaps I do draw better but if I can draw as well as Raphael I have at least the right to choose my way and they should recognize it, that right, but no, they say no." When Picasso painted a portrait he wanted us to see a face not as God created it but as Picasso created it. He rearranged it so we would see what he had made. As he quipped about one of his Cubist portraits, “ I...
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