One of Pablo Picasso's paintings

The Beauty and Complexity of Cubism: A Radical Shift in Western Art


One of Pablo Picasso’s primary creations was the art genre of Cubism. Cubism is a simple but, at the same token complex style of art.


This visual arts genre puts much prominence on the multi-perspective style. Cubism is produced with geometric shapes all split into different perspectives adding up to one product.


This artwork is fascinatingly abstract, but it seems simple regarding the superficial aspects of the creation.


This art style was radical at the time because it did not correlate with the reality and norms of western European art.





There were two main timespans of Cubism in its history. The first phase of the timespan is Analytic Cubism, and the second is Synthetic Cubism.


The origin of mainstream Cubism began in Paris, France, in 1907. Society and social and moral standards were changing along with new technologies, inventions, and more information.

The first significant event of this movement’s beginnings was unusual at the time of the painting created by Pablo Picasso. This painting was called “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon” (picture below the text).


This painting is the point of transition from traditional styles and perspectives of painting and was considered one of the first Cubist paintings.


This painting comprises five naked women in flat, differently textured geometric planes without a central vanishing point. African and Iberian cultures inspired this piece of art.


This artwork was very radical and controversial because critics at the time stated that the showing of female nudity and the irregularity of these nudities were directly insulting femininity and even degrading it to the point of a mere gaze which was usually taboo in the culture, especially in art.





Cubism introduced a considerable shift away from the principles of Western European paintings.


This genre of art was also inspired by masks and using strangely designed masks to add an exotic and surreal feeling to art pieces.


That was because African, Native American, Iberian, and Egyptian cultures, arts, and sculptures significantly influenced Cubist art pieces.



Analytic Cubism


This style of Cubism mostly stressed the utilization of simple shapes and planes that overlap to represent the separate parts of the piece into one image with many vaguely shaped features.


That forces the viewer to be fascinated with the shape and spot many details combined into that one distorted image with just a few structured shapes that hardly add up.


This overlapping of the shapes sometimes made images nearly unrecognizable. Analytical Cubist paintings are also known to use very few colors to place more emphasis on the shapes.






Synthetic Cubism


Synthetic Cubism became a typical style of artwork that featured simple forms, bright and bold colors, and little to no depth, thanks to two well-known Cubist painters, Pablo Picasso, and George Braque. Collage art was also born during this period, in which artists integrated actual objects into drawings.





Influence Cubism Has Today


Orphism in France, Futurism in Italy, Vorticism in London, Suprematism and Constructivism in Russia, and finally, Expressionism in Germany all owe their origins to Cubism.


The movement’s innovations faded as they were adopted, and the leading figures moved beyond the cubist aesthetic. However, Cubism’s influence occurred in their work and those after them.




Cubism ushered in a paradigm change, and we now have a new way of seeing the world in the bits and shards of its works in the modern era.


Cubism’s stylistic and theoretical characteristics influence many modern artists.


Cubism opened more possibilities in art and made art easier to express. Art, in turn, did become less romantic but more freely creative in an expressive sense.

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