A truly revolutionary art movement, Cubism radicalized the way we see, opening up a myriad of possibilities in representational form. While manifesting in music, literature, and architecture, Cubism is primarily located in the visual arts, especially on the two dimensional surface of the canvas and can be defined as a major avant-garde movement in painting. The term is broadly used to characterize art produced in Paris during a period extending from the 1910s through to the 1920s.
The exaggeratedly tactile imagery of Paul Cézanne was a primary influence that led to Cubism. His representation of three-dimensional structures suggested a deconstruction of viewpoint, form, and perspective which might provide a new visual experience; one made up of simultaneous and multiple layers. Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque are often cited as the founding Cubist artists, along with Fernand Léger, Henri Le Fauconnier, Juan Gris, Albert Gleizes, and Robert Delaunay, with others like Paul Klee also developing the movement. In Cubist artwork, objects are analyzed, broken up, and reassembled in an abstracted form; flattened, fragmented, and collaged.
As well as interweaving perspectival planes to produce multiple contexts, Cubism also sought to break with European conventions of figurative form, looking to African, Polynesian, Micronesian, and Native American art and sculpture for alternatives - cultures valued at the time for their ‘primitive’ purity. These often simplified geometric shapes, typically produced in muted colors, also held associations of mechanization and modern life. Like the Impressionists, the Cubists wished to forge a new language for their new times. TASCHEN’s book titles on Cubism provide a definitive overview of what many consider to be the most influential movement of the 20th century. With stunning reproductions and insightful biographical information, TASCHEN’s books chart the various sects of the movement, including Analytical Cubism and Synthetic Cubism, investigating various takes on what remains one of the most significant developments in modern art.