Before the twentieth century, art was recognized as an imitation of nature. Paintings and portraits were made to look as realistic and three-dimensional as possible, as if seen through a window. Artists were painting in the flamboyant fauvism style. French postimpressionist Paul Cézannes flattened still lives, and African sculptures gained in popularity in Western Europe when artists went looking for a new way of showing their ideas and expressing their views. In 1907 Pablo Picasso created the painting Les Damsoilles d'Avignon, depicting five women whose bodies are constructed of geometric shapes and heads of African masks rather then faces. This new image grew to be known as "cubism". The name originating from the critic Louis Vauxcelles, who after reviewing French artist and fellow Cubist Georges Braque exhibition wrote of "Bizzeries Cubiques", and that objects "had been reduced to cubes (Arnheim, 1984). Cubism changed the way art was represented and viewed.
Picasso, together with Braque, presented a new style of painting that showed the subject from several different angles simultaneously. The result was intended to show the object in a more complete and realistic view than traditional art, to convey a feeling of being able to move around within the painting. "Cubism abandoned traditional notions of perception, foreshadowing and modeling and aimed to represent solidarity and volume in a three-dimensional plane without converting the two-dimensional canvas illusionalistically into a three-dimensional picture space" (Chivers, 1998). Picasso and Braque pioneered the movement and worked so closely together that they had difficulty telling their own work apart. They referred to each other as Orville and Wilbur, knowing that their contributions to art were every bit as revolutionary as the first flight (Hoving, 1999).
Cubism was divided into two categories. Analytical Cubism, beginning in 1907, visually laid out... [continues]
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