Cubism and Futurism

Only available on StudyMode
  • Download(s) : 380
  • Published : September 4, 2012
Open Document
Text Preview
Essay Topic:
Semiotic analysis of visual art does not set out in the first place to produce interpretations of works of art, but rather to investigate how works of art are intelligible to those who view them, the processes by which viewers make sense of what they see (Bal & Bryson, 1991: 184) Bal and Bryson claim that a semiotic analysis of an art work exposes the pre-existing system of signs through which meaning is created. With reference to this question and to specific works of art, show how a semiotic analysis of Cubist and Futurist works may reveal the various ways in which Cubist and Futurist artists make it a priority to critique artistic conventions of representation and production.

Essay:

Semiotic analysis of visual art does not set out in the first place to produce interpretations of works of art, but rather to investigate how works of art are intelligible to those who view them, the processes by which viewers make sense of what they see (Bal & Bryson, 1991: 184) Bal and Bryson claim that a semiotic analysis of an art work exposes the pre-existing system of signs through which meaning is created. With reference to this question and to specific works of art, show how a semiotic analysis of Cubist and Futurist works may reveal the various ways in which Cubist and Futurist artists make it a priority to critique artistic conventions of representation and production.

Cubism and Futurism is concerned with the process of representation and what it entails in making up a picture and what the picture means or represents, they sought a new pictorial language. Cubists rejected the traditional values and traditions of arts representational codes and sought to show reality as a multifaceted concept that involved vision, reconstruction, salvaging, borrowing, collaging, conception and ultimately making up a sign. The study of signs is referred to as semiotics, this is the construction of the sign in terms of signifier and signified and the relationship between them as completely arbitrary. Cubist collage is a key example of semiotics analysis in that it deals with deliberate signs and sign systems that have been put together to construct a specific meaning. The use of texts and printed materials was particularly evident in Cubist collage and played a large part of its semiotic meaning and value. Cubists were playing with the semiotics of signs especially in their works where they represented visible objects that emphasized the transition from the meaning in reality to the sign equivalent semiotically. “But the motivating factor for Cubist artists was the attempt to re-present their contemporary and quotidian reality” (I.R. Bronner, 2011, Cubism and Futurism lecture 1). The Futurists sought to break free from traditional art forms and restraints and any links with authority and tradition. Futurism glorified speed, mechanics and violence; they rejected Cubist arbitrary fragmentation and literary games and puns, yet are indebted to them materially, especially with the use of collage. Futurist’s first manifesto stated the eleven principles around which Futurism was based and constructed, these principles were anchored in violence and revolt, “The essential elements of our poetry will be courage, audacity, and revolt. We wish to exalt too aggressive movement, feverish insomnia, running, the perilous leap, the cuff, the bow”. (Nash, 30) The Futurists are sometimes referred to as a cult of violence due to the motives outlined in their violent manifesto. By analyzing Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon (1907) Cubist painting, Picasso’s ‘Ma Jolie’ woman with a zither or guitar (1911-2) portrait and Russolo’s Futurist Dynamism of an Automobile (1911) semiotically we can see the various ways in which artists of these two movements made it a priority to critique artistic conventions concerning representation and production. Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon has close reference to various other works from before...
tracking img