Cubism -- How It Shapes Term Paper

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" (Cottington, p. 4) Braque was to follow with an equally disjointed yet less controversial -- in subject -- breaking down of the elements of a "Violin and Candlestick" in 1910, and Picasso was subject to the same breaking-down as a subject of another Cubist's painting, Gris, in "Portrait of Picasso." 1912.

Douglas Cooper notes in his book, The Cubist Epoch, that the one common aspect of the many different artists whose work came to characterize the movement as that almost all of these artists were controversial in their day, given the harsh quality of Cubist art, particularly when rendering the human form. Yet these artists were not above reproach, even by other, liberal artists. David Cottington has noted that many criticized the 'Cubist salons' for shutting women out of the movement, except as pictorial subjects. (Cottington, p.17) Yet many have stressed the value to women and outsiders of the Cubists' responses to anti-Enlightenment philosophies, the relation of Cubist art to the "classical" art of previous eras.

This anti-classical stance is where I see my own illustrative art moving today. Today, many critics still do not see illustration or graphic novels as true art, just as African masks and stylized figures were not seen as art during Picasso's day. But what is considered great art, and an artistic medium is always changing.
Just as Picasso used sand in his early works to create material art, I am also striving to find what style of illustration I will be focusing on over the course of my career and what drawing is the most appropriate way of rendering my vision in a simple, clear, yet forceful way, as did the Cubists at the beginning of the 20th century.

Cubists suggested that art should be clear, yet art should not be afraid to challenge and shock conventional idea. Since I have learned about Cubism in school, I have tried to create using this particular geometric style of drawing and to be inspired by this drawing. Picasso could create realistic figures, but he could also see these figures most basic essences, as I have learned by studying the philosophy behind Picasso's Cubist style. As the Cubists began in blacks and white, before 'adding on' colors I have begun to try to express my artwork through stark black charcoal pencils on a white, stark surface, only gradually adding basic colors as needed. Through collages of lines, then colors, then textures, I have used cut out images, physical objects and basic shapes, and through this basic language, hopefully created a more complex way of seeing the world and telling a story through illustration.


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