Art of the 20th Century



A Revolution in the Arts

 



Art Styles in 20th century Art Map

 


 

The Great Avant-garde Movements


 

 


Futurism
- 1909

Umberto Boccioni
Giacomo Balla
Carlo Carra

Gino Severi
ni
Joseph Stella
Luigi Russolo

Alexander Archipenko
Constantin Brancusi
Jacques Lipchitz
Henry Moore

Artists Groups - 1910
Nieuwe beelding
- term associated with DE STIJL, 1910
Der Sturm - Magazine published in Berlin, 1910
Moderne Kunstkring  - Group of Dutch artists, 1910
White Birch Society
- Japanese society of artists in Tokyo, 1910


Jack of Diamonds
[Rus. Bubnovy Valet].
Group of Russian painters, 1910

Natalia Goncharova
Aristarkh Lentulov
Pyotr Konchalovsky
Robert Falk
Ilya Mashkov


Union of Youth
[Rus. Soyuz Molodyozhi].
Group of Russian painters, 1910

Yuri Annenkov
Nathan Altman
Lev Bruni

Donkey’s Tail [Rus. Oslinyy Khvost]. Russian group of painters, 1911


Der Blaue Reiter
- 1911

Alexei von Jawlensky
Gabriele Munter
Franz Marc
August Macke


The Camden Town Group of Painters
- 1911

Walter Richard Sickert
Lucien Pissarro

Artists Groups 1911-1912
Group of Plastic Artists - Bohemian , 1911
Czech Cubism - 1911
Association of American Painters and Sculptors, 1911
Puteaux group  - term applied to a group of artists, 1911
Objet trouve - term, 1912


Section d'Or
(Golden Section) - 1912

Roger de La Fresnaye
Andre Lhote


Orphism
- 1912

Robert Delaunay
Sonia Delaunay

 

 


Futurism
 

In contrast with other early 20th-century avant-garde movements, the distinctive feature of Futurism was its intention to become involved in all aspects of modem life. Its aim was to effect a systematic change in society and, true to the movement's name, lead it towards new departures into the "future". Futurism was a direction rather than a style. Its encouragement of eccentric behaviour often prompted impetuous and sometimes violent attempts to stage imaginative situations in the hope of provoking reactions. The movement tried to liberate its adherents from the shackles of 19th-century' bourgeois conventionality and urged them to cross the boundaries of traditional artistic genres in order to claim a far more complete freedom of expression. Through a barrage of manifestos that dealt not only with various aspects of art, such as painting, sculpture, music, architecture, and design, but with society in general, the Futurists proclaimed the cult of modernity and the advent of a new form of artistic expression, and put an end to the art of the past. The entire classical tradition, especially that of Italy, was a prime target for attack, while the worlds of technology, mechanization, and speed were embraced as expressions of beauty and subjects worthy of the artist's interest.

Futurism, which started out as a literary movement, had its first manifesto (signed by Filippo Tommaso Marinetti) published in Le Figaro in 1909. It soon attracted a group of young Italian artists - Umberto Boccioni, Giacomo Balla (1871-1958), Carlo Carra (1881-1966), Luigi Russolo (1885-1947), and Gino Severini (1883-1966) - who collaborated in writing the "Technical Manifesto of Futurist Painting" and the "Manifesto of the Futurist Painters", both of which were published in 1910.

Despite being the sole Italian avant-garde movement. Futurism first came to light in Paris where the cosmopolitan atmosphere was ready to receive and promote it. Its development coincided with that of Cubism, and the similarities and differences in the philosophies of the two movements have often been discussed. Without doubt they shared a common cause in making a definitive break with the traditional, objective methods of representation. However, the static quality of Cubism is evident when compared with the dynamism of the Futurists, as are the monochrome or subdued colours of the former in contrast to the vibrant use of colour by the latter. The Cubists' rational form of experimentation, and intellectual approach to the artistic process, also contrasts with the Futurists' vociferous and emotive exhortations for the mutual involvement of art and life, with expressions of total art and provocative demonstrations in public. Cubists held an interest in the objective value of form, while Futurists relied on images and the strength of perception and memory in their particularly dynamic paintings. The Futurists believed that physical objects had a kind of personality and vitality of their own. revealed by "force-lines" - Boccioni referred to this as "physical transcendentalism". These characteristic lines helped to inform the psychology and emotions of the observer and influenced surrounding objects "not by reflections of light, but by a real concurrence of lines and real conflicts of planes" (catalogue for the Bernheim-Jeune exhibition, 1911). In this way, the painting could interact with the observer who, for the first time, would be looking "at the centre of the picture" rather than simply viewing the picture from the front. This method of looking at objects that was based on their inherent movement - and thereby capturing the vital moment of a phenomenon within its process of continual change - was partly influenced by a fascination with new technology and mechanization. Of equal importance, however, was the visual potential of the new-found but flourishing art of cinematography. Futurists felt strongly that pictorial sensations should be shouted, not murmured. This belief was reflected in their use of very flamboyant, dynamic colours, based on the model of Neo-Impressionist theories of the fragmentation of light. A favourite subject among Futurist artists was the feverish life of the metropolis: the crowds of people, the vibrant nocturnal life of the stations and dockyards, and the violent scenes of mass movement and emotion that tended to erupt suddenly. Some Futurists, such as Balla, chose themes with social connotations, following the anarchic Symbolist tradition of northern Italy and the humanitarian populism of Giovanni Cena.
 



Umberto Boccioni



Giacomo Balla

 


The first period of Futurism was an analytical phase, involving the analysis of dynamics, the fragmentation of objects into complementary shades of colour, and the juxtaposition of winding, serpentine lines and perpendicular straight lines. Milan was the centre of Futurist activity, which was led by Boccioni and supported by Carra and Russolo. These three artists visited Paris together in 1911 as guests of Severini, who had settled there in 1906. During their stay, they formulated a new artistic-language, which culminated in works dealing with the "expansion of objects in space" and "states of mind" paintings. A second period, when the Futurists adopted a Cubistic idiom, was known as the synthetic phase, and lasted from 1913 to 1916.

At this time, Boccioni took up sculpture, developing his idea of "sculpture of the environment" which heralded the "spatial" sculpture of Moore, Archipenko, and the Constructivists. In Rome, Balla and Fortunato Depero (1892-1960) created "plastic complexes", constructions of dynamic, basic silhouettes in harsh, solid colours. The outbreak of World War I prompted many Futurist artists to enlist as volunteers. This willingness to serve was influenced by the movement's doctrine, which maintained that war was the world's most effective form of cleansing. Both Boccioni and the architect Antonio Sant'Elia, who had designed an imaginary Futurist city, were killed in the war and the movement was brought to a sudden end.

During the 1920s, some Futurists attempted to revive the movement and align it with other European avant-garde movements, under the label of "Mechanical Art". Its manifesto, published in 1922. showed much in common with Purism and Constructivism. Futurism also became associated with "aeropainting" a technique developed in 1929 by Balla, Benedetta, Dottori, Fillia, and other artists. This painting style served as an expression of a desire for the freedom of the imagination and of fantasy.

 



Carlo Carra



Gino Severini



Joseph Stella

 


 

 



Futurism

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

Italian Futurismo, Russian Futurizm, early 20th-century artistic movement that centred in Italy and emphasized the dynamism, speed, energy, and power of the machine and the vitality, change, and restlessness of modern life in general. The most significant results of the movement were in the visual arts and poetry.

Futurism was first announced on Feb.20, 1909, when the Paris newspaper Le Figaro published a manifesto by the Italian poet and editor Filippo Tommaso Marinetti (q.v.). The name Futurism, coined by Marinetti, reflected his emphasis on discarding what he conceived to be the static and irrelevant art of the past and celebrating change, originality, and innovation in culture and society. Marinetti's manifesto glorified the new technology of the automobile and the beauty of its speed, power, and movement. He exalted violence and conflict and called for the sweeping repudiation of traditional cultural, social, and political values and the destruction of such cultural institutions as museums and libraries. The manifesto's rhetoric was passionately bombastic; its tone was aggressive and inflammatory and was purposely intended toinspire public anger and amazement, to arouse controversy, and to attract widespread attention.
Painting and sculpture

With the support of Marinetti, the painters Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrŕ, Luigi Russolo, Giacomo Balla, and Gino Severini published several manifestos on painting in 1910. Like Marinetti, they glorified originality for its own sake and despised inherited traditions of art. Although they were not as yet working in what was to become the Futurist style, theybegan to emphasize an emotional involvement in the dynamics of modern life, and toward this end they called for rendering the perception of movement and communicating to the viewer the sensations of speed and change. To achieve this, the Futurist painters adopted the Cubist technique of depicting several sides and views of an object simultaneously by means of fragmented and interpenetrating plane surfaces and outlines. But the Futurists additionally sought to portray the object's movement in space, and they tried to achieve this goal by rhythmic spatial repetitions of the object's outlines during its transit, producing an effect akin to that obtained by making multiple and sequential photographic exposures of a moving object. The Futurist paintings differed from Cubist ones in other important ways. While the Cubists favoured still life and portraiture, the Futurists preferred such subjects as speeding automobiles and trains, racing cyclists, dancers, animals, and urban crowds in movement. The resulting paintings had brighter and more vibrant colours than Cubist works and revealed dynamic, agitated compositions in which rhythmically swirling forms reached crescendos of violent movement.

Boccioni also became interested in sculpture, publishing a manifesto on the subject in the spring of 1912. Soon afterward, he began working in this medium, creating the highly original “Development of a Bottle in Space” (1912) and “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space” (1913). Antonio Sant'Elia formulated a Futurist manifesto on architecture in 1914. His visionary drawings of highly mechanized cities and boldly modern skyscrapers of the future prefigure some of the most imaginative 20th-century architectural planning. Sant'Elia was killed in action in 1916 during World War I.

Boccioni, who had been the most talented artist in the group, also died during military service in 1916. This event, combined with dilution of the group's daring as a result of expansion of its personnel and the coming of war, brought an end to the Futurist movement as an important historical force in the visual arts.


Literature

After his initial broad manifesto of 1909, Marinetti wrote or had a hand in creating a whole series of manifestos dealing with poetry, the theatre, architecture, and other arts. He founded the journal Poesia at Paris in 1905, and he later founded a press with the same name to publish Futurist works. On proselytizing visits to England, France, Germany, and Russia, Marinetti influenced the work of the English founder of Vorticism, Wyndham Lewis, and the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire.

In Russia the Marinetti visit took root in a kind of Russian Futurism that went beyond its Italian model in a revolutionary social and political outlook. Marinetti influenced the two Russian writers considered the founders of Russian Futurism, Velimir Khlebnikov (q.v.), who remained a poet and a mystic, and the younger Vladimir Mayakovsky (q.v.), who became “the poet of the Revolution” and the popular spokesman of his generation. The Russians published their own manifesto in December 1912, entitled Poshchochina obshchestvennomu vkusu (“A Slap in the Face of Public Taste”), which echoed the Italian manifesto of the previous May. The Russian Futurists repudiated Aleksandr Pushkin, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, and Leo Tolstoy and the then-current Russian symbolist verse and called for the creation of new techniques of writing poetry. Both the Russian and the Italian Futurist poets discarded logical sentence construction and traditional grammar and syntax; they frequently presented an incoherent string of words stripped of their meaning and used for their sound alone. As the first group of artists to identify wholeheartedly with the Bolshevik Revolution of 1917, the Russian Futurists sought to dominate post-Revolutionary culture and create a new art that would be integrated into all aspects of daily life of a revolutionary culture. They were favoured by Anatoly Lunacharsky, the first Soviet commissar of education, and given important cultural posts. But the Russian Futurists' challenging literary techniques and their theoretical premises of revolt and innovation proved too unstable a foundation upon which to build a broader literary movement. The Futurists' influence was negligible by the time of Mayakovsky's death in 1930.
 

 




 


Luigi Russolo
(1885-1947)



Luigi Russolo
Music
 


(b Portogruaro, Venice, 7 May 1885; d Cerro di Laveno, Lake Maggiore, 4 Feb 1947).

Italian painter, printmaker, writer and composer. The fourth of five children, he was trained in music by his father, who was a clockmaker and organist. In 1901 he went to Milan to join his family, who had moved there so that his two brothers, Giovanni and Antonio, could study music at the conservatory. Diverging from his father’s inclinations, Luigi was attracted towards other forms of art, especially painting. Though not actually enrolled at the Accademia di Brera, through new friends he indirectly followed the ideas taught there. In the same period he worked for the restorer Crivelli in Milan, serving his apprenticeship working on the interior decorations of the Castello Sforzesco and on Leonardo’s Last Supper in the refectory of S Maria delle Grazie. In December 1909 he took part in the exhibition Bianco e nero at the Famiglia Artistica in Milan, contributing a series of etchings, made during the preceding year, which show a definite leaning towards Symbolist forms and images. The undulating quality of the line in such etchings as his portrait of Nietzsche (c. 1909; Milan, Gal. A. Mod.), which seems to translate a musical rhythm into visual form through a strong, enveloping sign, remained a distinctive and individual feature of Russolo’s work and poetics, especially in his Futurist work.




Luigi Russolo
Revolt
1911
 




Luigi Russolo
Dinamismo di un treno
1912

 

 





 


Manifesto of the Futurist Painters
 

Umberto Boccioni, Carlo Carrŕ, Luigi Russolo, Giacomo Balla, Gino Severini
 

TO THE YOUNG ARTISTS OF ITALY!
 

The cry of rebellion which we utter associates our ideals with those of the Futurist poets. These ideals were not invented by some aesthetic clique. They are an expression of a violent desire which boils in the veins of every creative artist today.

We will fight with all our might the fanatical, senseless and snobbish religion of the past, a religion encouraged by the vicious existence of museums. We rebel against that spineless worshipping of old canvases, old statues and old bric-a-brac, against everything which is filthy and worm-ridden and corroded by time. We consider the habitual contempt for everything which is young, new and burning with life to be unjust and even criminal.

Comrades, we tell you now that the triumphant progress of science makes profound changes in humanity inevitable, changes which are hacking an abyss between those docile slaves of past tradition and us free moderns, who are confident in the radiant splendor of our future.

We are sickened by the foul laziness of artists, who, ever since the sixteenth century, have endlessly exploited the glories of the ancient Romans.

In the eyes of other countries, Italy is still a land of the dead, a vast Pompeii, whit with sepulchres. But Italy is being reborn. Its political resurgence will be followed by a cultural resurgence. In the land inhabited by the illiterate peasant, schools will be set up; in the land where doing nothing in the sun was the only available profession, millions of machines are already roaring; in the land where traditional aesthetics reigned supreme, new flights of artistic inspiration are emerging and dazzling the world with their brilliance.

Living art draws its life from the surrounding environment. Our forebears drew their artistic inspiration from a religious atmosphere which fed their souls; in the same way we must breathe in the tangible miracles of contemporary life—the iron network of speedy communications which envelops the earth, the transatlantic liners, the dreadnoughts, those marvelous flights which furrow our skies, the profound courage of our submarine navigators and the spasmodic struggle to conquer the unknown. How can we remain insensible to the frenetic life of our great cities and to the exciting new psychology of night-life; the feverish figures of the bon viveur, the cocette, the apache and the absinthe drinker?

We will also play our part in this crucial revival of aesthetic expression: we will declare war on all artists and all institutions which insist on hiding behind a façade of false modernity, while they are actually ensnared by tradition, academicism and, above all, a nauseating cerebral laziness.

We condemn as insulting to youth the acclamations of a revolting rabble for the sickening reflowering of a pathetic kind of classicism in Rome; the neurasthenic cultivation of hermaphodic archaism which they rave about in Florence; the pedestrian, half-blind handiwork of ’48 which they are buying in Milan; the work of pensioned-off government clerks which they think the world of in Turin; the hotchpotch of encrusted rubbish of a group of fossilized alchemists which they are worshipping in Venice. We are going to rise up against all superficiality and banality—all the slovenly and facile commercialism which makes the work of most of our highly respected artists throughout Italy worthy of our deepest contempt.

Away then with hired restorers of antiquated incrustations. Away with affected archaeologists with their chronic necrophilia! Down with the critics, those complacent pimps! Down with gouty academics and drunken, ignorant professors!

Ask these priests of a veritable religious cult, these guardians of old aesthetic laws, where we can go and see the works of Giovanni Segantini today. Ask them why the officials of the Commission have never heard of the existence of Gaetano Previati. Ask them where they can see Medardo Rosso’s sculpture, or who takes the slightest interest in artists who have not yet had twenty years of struggle and suffering behind them, but are still producing works destined to honor their fatherland?

These paid critics have other interests to defend. Exhibitions, competitions, superficial and never disinterested criticism, condemn Italian art to the ignominy of true prostitution.

And what about our esteemed “specialists”? Throw them all out. Finish them off! The Portraitists, the Genre Painters, the Lake Painters, the Mountain Painters. We have put up with enough from these impotent painters of country holidays.

Down with all marble-chippers who are cluttering up our squares and profaning our cemeteries! Down with the speculators and their reinforced-concrete buildings! Down with laborious decorators, phony ceramicists, sold-out poster painters and shoddy, idiodic illustrators!

These are our final conclusions:

With our enthusiastic adherence to Futurism, we will:

1.Destroy the cult of the past, the obsession with the ancients, pedantry and academic formalism.

2. Totally invalidate all kinds of imitation.

3. Elevate all attempts at originality, however daring, however violent.

4. Bear bravely and proudly the smear of “madness” with which they try to gag all innovators.

5. Regard art critics as useless and dangerous.

6. Rebel against the tyranny of words: “Harmony” and “good taste” and other loose expressions which can be used to destroy the works of Rembrandt, Goya, Rodin...

7. Sweep the whole field of art clean of all themes and subjects which have been used in the past.

8. Support and glory in our day-to-day world, a world which is going to be continually and splendidly transformed by victorious Science.

The dead shall be buried in the earth’s deepest bowels! The threshold of the future will be swept free of mummies! Make room for youth, for violence, for daring!


 

 


 

 


FUTURIST SCULPTURE

Umberto Boccioni published his "Technical Manifesto of Futurist Sculpture" in 1912, despite having completed only two sculptural works at the time. He had developed his new theories after coming into contact with Duchamp-Villon, Archipenko, Brancusi, and Picasso while in Paris. Boccioni's ambition was to make sculpture capable of expressing the dynamic structures of modern society. To this end, he aimed to capture the totality of reality, including psychological and emotional dimensions, and all its varied facets in their continual condition of change. The resultant work would be "sculpture of environment", in which he could "fling open the figure and let it incorporate within itself whatever may surround it".
 



Alexander Archipenko
 

 


The Cubists had already tried a fresh approach to reality, interrupting the continuity of line and breaking up the rhythm of forms according to analytical and geometric conceptions. However, they did not alter the static perception of reality. Futurists aimed to convey all the changes that an object undergoes during movement. After demonstrating the sculptural motion of an everyday object in his famous "bottles" series (Development of a Bottle in Space, 1912),
Boccioni tackled the theme of movement in the human body, constructing aerodynamic, compressed compositions with a succession of concave and convex shapes. By stretching and distorting his figures, he created "syntheses" of "internal plastic infinity" and "external plastic infinity", as seen in his Unique Forms of Continuity in Space (1913). The most conclusive work of Boccioni's sculptural experimentation was his inspired composition Horse + rider + buildings (1913-14). The materials chosen for this work, including wood, tin. copper, and cardboard, represented the need to progress from traditional sculpture made in a single material to the use of a multiplicity of colours and materials. Picasso's assemblage of various materials for his sculptures in 1911 and 1912 had already started to change the course of plastic art in Europe. The Horse (1914) by Duchamp-Villon showed a remarkable affinity with
Boccioni's work, which was also discernible in Lipchitz's solid three-dimensional structures, and in Constructivist works.


 



Constantin Brancusi



Jacques Lipchitz



Henry Moore

 




 

 



I. Avant-garde sculpture (1909–20)

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

In the second decade of the 20th century the tradition of body rendering extending from the Renaissance to Rodin was shattered, and the Cubists, Brancusi, and the Constructivists emerged as the most influential forces. Cubism, with its compositions of imagined rather than observed forms and relationships, had a similarly marked influence.

One of the first examples of the revolutionary sculpture is Picasso's “Woman's Head” (1909). The sculptor no longer relied upon traditional methods of sculpture or upon his sensory experience of the body; what was given to his outward senses of sight and touch was dominated by strong conceptualizing. The changed and forceful appearance of the head derives from the use of angular planar volumes joined in a new syntax independent of anatomy. In contrast to traditional portraiture, the eyes and mouth are less expressive than the forehead, cheeks, nose, and hair. Matisse's head of “Jeanette” (1910–11) also partakes of a personal reproportioning that gives a new vitality to the lessmobile areas of the face. Likewise influenced by the Cubists' manipulation of their subject matter, Alexander Archipenko in his “Woman Combing Her Hair” (1915) rendered the body by means of concavities rather than convexities and replaced the solid head by its silhouette within which there is only space.

Brancusi also abandoned Rodin's rhetoric and reduced the body to its mystical inner core. His “Kiss” (1908), with its twoblocklike figures joined in symbolic embrace, has a concentration of expression comparable to that of primitive art but lacking its spiritualistic power. In this and subsequentworks Brancusi favoured hard materials and surfaces as wellas self-enclosed volumes that often impart an introverted character to his subjects. His bronze “Bird in Space” became a cause célčbre in the 1920s when U.S. customs refused to admit it duty free as a work of art.

Raymond Duchamp-Villon began as a follower of Rodin, but his portrait head “Baudelaire” (1911) contrasts with that by his predecessor in its more radical departure from the flesh; the somewhat squared-off head is molded by clear, hard volumes. His famous “Horse” (1914), a coiled, vaguely mechanical form bearing little resemblance to the animal itself, suggests metaphorically the horsepower of locomotive drive shafts and, by extension, the mechanization of modern life. Duchamp-Villon may have been influenced by Umberto Boccioni, one of the major figures in the Italian Futurist movement and a sculptor who epitomized the Futurist love of force and energy deriving from the machine. In “Unique Forms of Continuity in Space” and “Head + House + Light” (1911), he carried out his theories that the sculptor should model objects as they interact with their environment, thus revealing the dynamic essence of reality.

Jacques Lipchitz came to Cubism later than Archipenko and Duchamp-Villon, but after mastering its meaning he produced superior sculpture. In 1913, after several years of conservative training, he made a number of small bronzes experimenting with the compass curve and angular planes. They reveal an understanding of the Cubist reconstitution of the bodies in an impersonal quasi-geometric armature over which the artist exercised complete autonomy. Continuing towork in this fashion, he produced “Man with a Guitar”, and “Standing Figure” (1915), in which voids are introduced, while in the early 1920s he developed freer forms more consistently based on curves.

Lehmbruck's mature style emerged in the “Kneeling Woman”(1911) and “Standing Youth” (1913), in which his gothicized, elongated bodies with their angular posturings and appearance of growing from the earth give expression to his notions of modern heroism. In contrast to this spiritualized view is his “The Fallen” (1915–16), intended as a compassionate memorial for friends lost in the war.


Constructivism and Dada

Between 1912 and 1914 there emerged anantisculptural movement, called Constructivism, that attacked the false seriousness and hollow moral ideals of academic art. The movement began with the relief fabrications of Vladimir Tatlin in 1913. The Constructivists and their sympathizers preferred industrially manufactured materials, such as plastics, glass, iron, and steel, to marble and bronze. Their sculptures were not formed by carving, modelling, and casting but by twisting, cutting, welding, or literally constructing: thus the name Constructivism.

Unlike traditional figural representation, the Constructivists' sculpture denied mass as a plastic element and volume as an expression of space; for these principles they substitutedgeometry and mechanics. In the machine, where the Futurists saw violence, the Constructivists saw beauty. Like their sculptures, it was something invented; it could be elegant, light, or complex, and it demanded the ultimate in precision and calculation.

Seeking to express pure reality, with the veneer of accidental appearance stripped away, the Constructivists fabricated objects totally devoid of sentiment or literary association; Naum Gabo's work frequently resembled mathematical models, and several Constructivist sculptures,such as those by Kazimir Malevich and Georges Vantongerloo, have the appearance of architectural models. The Constructivists created, in effect, sculptural metaphors for the new world of science, industry, and production; their aesthetic principles are reflected in much of the furniture, architecture, and typography of the Bauhaus.

A second important offshoot of the Cubist collage was the fantastic object or Dadaist assemblage. The Dadaist movement, while sharing Constructivism's iconoclastic vigour, opposed its insistence upon rationality. Dadaist assemblages were, as the name suggests, “assembled” from materials lying about in the studio, such as wood, cardboard, nails, wire, and paper; examples are Kurt Schwitters' “Rubbish Construction” (1921) and Marcel Duchamp's “Disturbed Balance” (1918). This art generally exalted the accidental, the spontaneous, and the impulsive, giving free play to associations. Its paroxysmal and negativist tenor led its subscribers into other directions, but Dadaism formed the basis of the imaginative sculpture thatemerged in the later 1920s.

Conservative reaction (1920s)

In the 1920s modern art underwent a reaction comparable to the changes experienced by society as a whole. In the postwar search for security, permanence, and order, the earlier insurgent art seemed to many to be antithetical to these ends, and certain avant-garde artists radically changed their art and thought. Lipchitz' portraits of “Gertrude Stein” (1920) and “Berthe Lipchitz” (1922) return volume and features to the head but not an intimacy of contact with the viewer. Tatlin and Alexander Rodchenko broke with the Constructivists around 1920. Jacob Epstein developed some of his finest naturalistic portraiture in this decade. Rudolph Belling abandoned the mechanization that had characterized his “Head” (1925) in favour of musculature and individual identity in his statue of “Max Schmeling” of 1929. Matisse's reclining nudes and the “Back” series of 1929 show less violently worked surfaces and more massive and obvious structuring.

Aristide Maillol continued refining his relaxed and uncomplicated female forms with their untroubled, stolid surfaces. In Germany, Georg Kolbe's “Standing Man and Woman” of 1931 seems a prelude to the Nazi health cult, andthe serene but vacuous figures of Arno Breker, Karl Albiker, and Ernesto de Fiori were simply variations on a studio theme in praise of youth and body culture. In the United States adherents of the countermovement included William Zorach, Chaim Gross, Adolph Block, Paul Manship, and Wheeler Williams.



II. Sculpture of fantasy (1920–45)


One trend of Surrealist or Fantasist sculpture of the late 1920s and the 1930s consisted of compositions made up of found objects, such as Meret Oppenheim's “Object, Fur Covered Cup” (1936). As with Dadaist fabrications, the unfamiliar conjunction of familiar objects in these assemblies was dictated by impulse and irrationality and could be summarized by Isidore Ducasse's often-quoted statement, “Beautiful . . . as the chance meeting on a dissecting table of a sewing machine with an umbrella.”

Of greater artistic importance was the sculpture of a second group that included Alberto Giacometti, Jean Arp, Lipchitz, Henry Moore, Barbara Hepworth, Picasso, Julio González, andAlexander Calder. Although these sculptors were sometimes in sympathy with Surrealist objectives, their aesthetic and intellectual concerns prohibited a more consistent attachment. Their art, derived from visions, hallucinations, reverie, and memory, might best be called the sculpture of fantasy. Giacometti's “Palace at 4 A.M.”, for example, interprets the artist's vision not in terms of the external public world but in an enigmatic, private language. Moore's series of “Forms” suggest shapes in the process of forming under the influence of each other and the medium of space. The appeal of primitive and ancient ritual art to Moore, the element of surprise in children's toys for Calder, and the wellsprings of irrationality from which Arp and Giacometti drank were for these men the means by which wonder and the marvelous could be restored to sculpture. While their works are often violent transmutations of life, their objectives were peaceful, “. . . to inject into the vain and bestial world and its retinue, the machines, something peaceful and vegetative.” ([Jean] Hans Arp, On My Way, Documents of Modern Art, vol. 6, p. 123, George Wittenborn, Inc., New York, 1948.)


Other sculpture (1920–45)

The sculpture of Moore, Gaston Lachaise, and Henri Laurens during the 1920s and '30s included mature, ripe human bodies, erogenic images reminiscent of Hindu sculpture, appearing inflated with breath rather than supported by skeletal armatures. Lachaise's “Montagne” (1934–35) and Moore's reclining nudes of the '30s and '40s are identifications with earth, growth, vital rhythm, and silent power. Prior to Moore and the work of Archipenko, Boccioni, and Lipchitz, space had been a negative element in figure sculpture; in Moore's string sculptures and Lipchitz' transparencies of the 1920s, it became a prime element of design.

Lipchitz' figure style of the late 1920s and '30s is inseparable from his emerging optimistic humanism. His concern with subject matter began with the ecstatic “Joy of Life” (1927). Thereafter his seminal themes were of love and security and assertive passionate acts that throw off the inertia of his Cubist figures. In the “Return of the Prodigal Son” (1931), for example, strong, facetted curvilinear volumes weave a pattern of emotional and aesthetic accord between parent and child.

The American sculptor John B. Flannagan rendered animal forms as well as the human figure in a simple, almost naive style. His interest in what he called the “profound subterranean urges of the human spirit in the whole dynamiclife process, birth, growth, decay and death” (quoted in Carl Zigrosser, Catalog for the Exhibition of the Sculpture of John B. Flannagan, p. 8, The Museum of Modern Art, New York, 1942) resulted in “Head of a Child” (1935), “New One” (1935), “Not Yet” (1940), and “The Triumph of the Egg” (1941).

Somewhat more mystical are Brancusi's “Beginning of the World” (1924), “Fish” (1928–30), and “The Seal” (1936). As with Flannagan, the recurrent egg form in Brancusi's art symbolizes the mystery of life. Nature in motion is the subject of Alexander Calder's mobiles, such as “Lobster Trapand Fish Tail” (1939) and others suggesting the movement of leaves, trees, and snow. In the history of sculpture there is no more direct or poetic expression of nature's rhythm.


Developments after World War II

“The modern artist is the counterpart in our time of the alchemist-philosopher who once toiled over furnaces, alembics and crucibles, ostensibly to make gold, but who consciously entered the most profound levels of being, philosophizing over the melting and mixing of various ingredients” (Ibram Lassaw, quoted by Lawrence Campbell in Art News, p. 66, The Art Foundation Press, New York, March 1954). While work in the older mediums persisted, it was the welding, soldering, and cutting of metal that emerged after 1945 as an increasingly popular medium for sculpture. The technical and expressive potential of uncast metal sculpturewas carried far beyond the earlier work of González and Picasso.

The appeal of metal is manifold. It is plentifully available from commercial supply houses; it is flexible and permanent; it allows the artist to work quickly; and it is relatively cheap compared to casting. Industrial metals also relate modern sculpture physically, aesthetically, and emotionally to its context in modern civilization. As the American sculptor David Smith has commented, “Possibly steel is so beautiful because of all the movement associatedwith it, its strength and functions. Yet it is also brutal, the rapist, the murderer and death-dealing giants are also its offspring” (quoted in Garola Giedion-Welcker, ContemporarySculpture, Documents of Modern Art, vol. 12, p. 123, George Wittenborn, Inc., New York, 1955).

The basic tool of the metal sculptor is the oxyacetylene torch, which achieves a maximum temperature of 6,500° F (3,600° C; the melting point of bronze is 2,000° F). The intensity and size of the flame can be varied by alternating torch tips. In the hands of a skilled artist the torch can cut or weld, harden or soften, colour and lighten or darken metal. Files, hammers, chisels, and jigs are also used in shaping themetal, worked either hot or cold. The sculptor may first construct a metal armature that he then proceeds to conceal or expose. He builds up his form with various metals and alloys, fusing or brazing them, and may expose parts or the whole to the chemical action of acids. This type of work requires constant control, and many sculptors work out and guard their own recipes.

Other sculptors such as Peter Agostini, George Spaventa, Peter Grippe, David Slivka, and Lipchitz, who were interested in bringing spontaneity, accident, and automatism into play, returned to the more labile media of wax and clay, with occasional cire-perdue casting, which permit a very direct projection of the artist's feelings. By the nature of the processes such work is usually on a small scale.

A number of artists brought new technique and content to theDadaist form of the assemblage. Among the most important was the American Joseph Cornell, who combined printed matter and three-dimensional objects in his intimately sealed, often enigmatic “boxes.”

Another modern phenomenon, seen particularly in Italy, France, and the United States, was the revival of relief sculpture and the execution of such works on a large scale, intended to stand alone rather than in conjunction with a building. Louise Nevelson, for example, typically employed boxes as container compartments in which she carefully disposed an assortment of forms and then painted them a uniform colour. In Europe the outstanding metal reliefs were those by Alberto Burri, Gio and Arnaldo Pomodoro, César, Zoltán Kemény, and Manuel Rivera.

Development of metal sculpture, particularly in the United States, led to fresh interpretations of the natural world. In the art of Richard Lippold and Ibram Lassaw, the search for essential structures took the form of qualitative analogies. Lippold's “Full Moon” (1949–50) and “Sun” (1953–56; commissioned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City, to hang in its room of Persian carpets) show an intuition of a basic regularity, precise order, and completeness that underlies the universe. Lassaw's comparable interest in astronomical phenomena inspired his “Planets” (1952) and “The Clouds of Magellan” (1953).

In contrast to the macrocosmic concern of these two artists were the interests of sculptors such as Raymond Jacobson, whose “Structure” (1955) derived from his study of honeycombs. Using three basic sizes, Jacobson constructed his sculpture of hollowed cubes emulating the modular, generally regular but slightly unpredictable formal quality ofthe honeycomb.

Isamu Noguchi's “Night Land” is one of the first pure landscapes in sculpture. David Smith's “Hudson River Landscape” (1951), Theodore J. Roszak's “Recollections of the Southwest” (1948), Louise Bourgeois's “Night Garden” (1953), and Leo Amino's “Jungle” (1950) are later examples.

In the 1960s a number of sculptors, particularly in the United States, began to experiment with using the natural world as a kind of medium rather than a subject. Among the more notable examples were the American Robert Smithson, who frequently employed earth-moving equipment to alter natural sites, and the Bulgarian-born Christo, whose “wrappings” of both natural and man-made structures in synthetic cloth generated considerable controversy. The name environmental sculpture has come to denote such works, together with other sculptures that constitute self-contained environments.


The human figure since World War II

Since figural sculpture moved away from straightforward imitation, the human form has been subjected to an enormous variety of interpretations. The thin, vertical, Etruscan idol-like figures developed by Giacometti showed his repugnance toward rounded and smooth body surfaces orstrong references to the flesh. His men and women do not exist in felicitous concert with others; each form is a secret sanctum, a maximum of being wrested from a minimum of material. Reg Butler's work (e.g., “Woman Resting” [1951]) and that of David Hare (“Figure in a Window” [1955]) treat the body in terms of skeletal outlines. Butler's figures partake of nonhuman qualities and embody fantasies of an unsentimental and aggressive character; the difficulties andtensions of existence are measured out in taut wire armatures and constricting malleable bronze surfaces. Kenneth Armitage and Lynn Chadwick, two other British sculptors, make the clothing a direct extension of the figure, part of a total gesture. In his “Family Going for a Walk” (1953), for example, Armitage creates a fanciful screenlike figure recalling wind-whipped clothing on a wash line. Both Chadwick and Armitage transfer the burden of expression from human limbs and faces to the broad planes of the bulk of the sculpture. Chadwick's sculptures are often illusive hybrids suggesting alternately impotent De Chirico-like figures or animated geological forms.

Luciano Minguzzi admired the amply proportioned feminine form. Minguzzi's women (e.g., “Woman Jumping Rope” [1954]) may exert themselves with a kind of playful abandon. Marini's women (e.g., “Dancer” [1949]) enjoy a stately passivity, their quiescent postures permitting a contrapuntal focus on the graceful transition from the slender extremities to the large, compact, voluminous torso, with small, rich surface textures.

The segmented torso, popular with Arp, Laurens, and Picasso earlier, continued to be reinterpreted by Alberto Viani, Bernard Heiliger, Karl Hartung, and Raoul Hague. The emphasis of these sculptors was upon more subtle, sensuous joinings that created self-enclosing surfaces. Viani's work, for example, does not glorify body culture or suggest macrocosmic affinities as does an ideally proportioned Phidian figure; his torsos are seen in a private way, as in his “Nude” (1951), with its large body and golf ball-sized breasts.

Among the most impressive figure sculptures made in the United States in the late 1950s were those by Seymour Lipton. Their large-scale, taut design and provocative interweaving of closed and open shapes restore qualities of mystery and the heroic to the human form.

The American George Segal emerged from the Pop movement of the 1950s and '60s as a major figurative sculptor. His plaster casts from live models, usually left white and indistinctly featured, are often situated in mundane settings of actual furniture or other objects.

The works of the French-born American artist Marisol contrast sharply with Segal's in their boxlike forms, onto which highly individualized features are usually painted. In the 1970s and '80s, Duane Hanson, another American, took Segal's live-model casting technique a step further with his startlingly naturalistic, fully pigmented cast fibreglass figures.


Archaizing, idol making, and religious sculpture


After World War II several sculptors became interested in theart of early Mediterranean civilizations. The result was a conscious archaizing of the human form with the intent of recapturing qualities of Cycladic idols, early Greek and Egyptian statuary, and some aspects of late Roman art.

Moore's admiration for archaic Greek sculpture produced “Draped Reclining Figure” (1952), which shows his return to the solid form and the suggestion of power and force by using drapery as a tense foil for the volumes that press against it. His “King and Queen” (1952–53) resulted from further excursions into the archaic Greek myth world.

The interest in recreating idols or totems was continued by Arp in his “Idol” (1950) and by Noguchi in his Stone Age-type sculptures for the Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (Hartford). By creating presences that elude rational definition, these artists restored to art its ancient aura of myth, mystery, and magic in an age that consistently disclaims their existence.

The argument that modern sculpture is inappropriate for religious requirements is disproved by works of Lipchitz, Lassaw, and Herbert Ferber. In keeping with the Jewish preference for nonfigural art, Ferber's “. . . and the bush was not consumed” (1951), commissioned by a synagogue in Millburn, New Jersey, comprises clusters of branches and boldly shaped weaving flames, invisibly suspended in a powerful and intimate vision that absorbs its viewers with itshypnotic rhythm. Lassaw's “Pillar of Fire,” for the exterior of a synagogue in Springfield, Massachusetts, also has a mesmerizing pattern recalling the illusory images sometimes seen in flames. Lipchitz' sculpture of the “Virgin of Assy” (1948–54) was commissioned for the Catholic church at Assy, France.

Moreover, an increasing number of gifted sculptors are providing handsome liturgical objects and decorations, such as Harry Bertoia's shimmering reredos, Lipton's work for a synagogue in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and Roszak's sculptured spire for Kresge Chapel on the campus of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge.

 

 



 

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Nieuwe beelding [Dut. ‘new imagery’].

Term used by Piet Mondrian and other artists associated with DE STIJL in the 1910s and 1920s. The search for the ‘new imagery’ was characterized by the use of the most basic elements of image-making: straight lines (horizontal and vertical), the primary colours and rectangular forms. The theosophist M. H. J. Schoenmaekers also used the term in writing about his central concepts in Het nieuwe wereldbeeld (‘New world image’; 1915) and Beeldende wiskunde (‘Visual mathematics’; 1916). The two uses of nieuwe beelding are not, however, related.

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Der
Sturm

Magazine published in Berlin from 1910 to 1932 which promoted the avant-garde in Germany. It is particularly well known for its reproduction of original Expressionist graphics and woodcuts. It was founded and edited by HERWARTH WALDEN, who had worked for brief periods as editor for the journals Der neue Weg and Das Theater (1908–10), before founding Der Sturm, the Sturm-Galerie (1911–27) and the Sturm publishing house. Der Sturm was an important carrier of the work and ideas of leading German and European modernist writers and painters before World War I and introduced the work of the Italian Futurists and French Cubists to Germany; it also, however, included articles on a wide variety of topical issues, including birth control, women’s rights and legal cases. The use of daily-newspaper format (three columns in bold Roman type) meant that artistic affairs appeared as ‘news’, allowing Der Sturm to play a polemical role in contemporary debates. Walden’s own editorials were mostly satirical, including vicious attacks on German cultural nationalism, the parochial tastes and prejudices of the German bourgeoisie, and, above all, art criticism.

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Moderne Kunstkring [Dut.: ‘Modern art circle’].

Group of Dutch artists founded in November 1910 on the initiative of Conrad Kikkert (1882–1965), a Dutch painter and critic, who had moved to Paris in the same year. The objective was to convey to the Netherlands the latest developments in painting in Paris. Its members included a large number of Dutch painters who either had connections with Paris or lived there. Kikkert financed the venture. The first exhibition was held between 6 October and 5 November 1911 at the Stedelijk Museum, Amsterdam. It was a great success, attracting 6000 visitors. Of the 166 works shown, half came from abroad. As ‘father of Cubism’, Paul Cézanne was well represented by 28 works from the Hoogendijk collection; also exhibited were 19 works by Auguste Herbin, 7 by Pablo Picasso and 6 by Georges Braque. The Paris-based painter Lodewijk Schelfhout (1881–1943), one of the first Dutch artists to paint in a Cubist style, submitted 12 works; other Dutch artists, such as Jan Sluyters, Kees van Dongen  and Piet Mondrian, were mainly influenced by Fauvism. Mondrian showed the triptych Evolution (1910–11) and Red Mill (1910), in which, in addition to a vivid use of colour, he first divided the surface in a schematic manner; after December 1911, when he went to Paris at Kikkert’s insistence, he came under the influence of Cubism.

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Jan Sluyters
(1881 - 1957)


Jan Sluyters
Nude in front of Mirror



Jan Sluyters
Landscape
1910

 



Jan Sluyters
Two Nudes

 


Jan Sluyters
South America
(poster for Holland-American
shipping line)
 
 





 

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White Birch Society [Shirakabaha].

Japanese society of literary figures and artists formed in Tokyo in 1910 by, among others, the novelists Saneatsu Mushanokoji (1885–1976) and Naoya Shiga (1883–1971), and the painter and critic Muneyoshi Yanagi. The society produced an eponymous monthly journal, the first issue of which appeared in April 1910. The aim of the journal was to discuss ideas on Western literature and art and to introduce to Japan the work of such major Western artists as Cézanne, van Gogh and Rodin. The society greatly influenced young Japanese artists, such as Ryusei Kishida, whose early work was inspired by late Impressionism, and who was a founder of the Grass and Earth Society of Western-style painters. The society also held exhibitions of Western art (principally reproductions), including a show of Western prints (Tokyo, 1911) and another showing the work of Rodin, Renoir and Bernard Leach. The society’s journal ran for 160 issues, until August 1923.

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Ryusei Kishida
(1891-1929)


Portrait of Reiko

 



 

 

 

 

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Jack of Diamonds [Rus. Bubnovy Valet].

 

Group of Russian avant-garde painters active in Moscow from 1910 to 1917. It was founded by Mikhail Larionov, Natalia Goncharova, Aristarkh Lentulov, Pyotr Konchalovsky, Robert Falk, Ilya Mashkov and Aleksandr Kuprin, young artists who found membership of existing art societies no longer compatible with their experimental styles of painting. Regular participants included Alexandra Exter, David Burlyuk and Vladimir Burlyuk. The name ‘Jack of Diamonds’, chosen by Larionov, suggested not only the roguish behaviour of the avant-garde but also their love of popular graphic art forms such as old printed playing cards.

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Natalia Goncharova


Ilya Mashko


Robert Falk

 

 

 



Aristarkh Lentulov


 



Pyotr Konchalovsky

 



 

 


Jack of Diamonds

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

also called Knave Of Diamonds, Russian Bubnovy Valet, group of artists founded in Moscow in 1909, whose members were for the next few years the leading exponents of avant-garde art in Russia. The group's first exhibition, held in December 1910, included works by the French Cubists Albert Gleizes, Henri Le Fauconnier, and André Lhote; other paintings were exhibited by Wassily Kandinsky and Alexey von Jawlensky, both Russian artists then living in Germany. The Russian members of the group themselves—Robert Falk, Aristarkh Lentulov, Pyotr Konchalovsky, and Ilya Mashkov—displayed portraits and still lifes that were strongly influenced by the French artists Paul Cézanne and Henri Matisse. Other Russians participating in this first exhibition were Mikhail Larionov and Nathalie Goncharova, as well as Kazimir Malevich.

In succeeding Jack of Diamonds exhibitions, works by the German painters Ernst Ludwig Kirchner, Erich Heckel, and Max Pechstein were shown, as well as works by the French artist Fernand Léger. Also exhibiting with the group was Vladimir Tatlin, who later founded Russian Constructivism.
 

 






 

 



Yuri Annenkov





Nathan Altman

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Union of Youth [Rus. Soyuz Molodyozhi].

 

Association of Russian avant-garde painters, active in St Petersburg from 1910 to 1914. It was financed by the businessman Lerky Zheverzheyev, who was also its president. The core of the group comprised the artists Pavel Filonov, Olga Rozanova, Iosif Shkolnik (1883–1926) and Eduard Spandikov (1875–1929) and the painter and art critic Vladimir Markov (Waldemar Matvejs, 1877–1914). The musician and painter Mikhail Matyushin and his wife, the poet Yelena Guro (1877–1913), were also associated with the group, as were the artists Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin (in 1910), Jean Pougny (1912–14) and Nathan Altman and Ivan Klyun (both 1913–14). The Union functioned principally as an exhibiting society, holding five annual exhibitions in St Petersburg and one in both Riga and Moscow. A reaction against the conservatism of the contemporary art and exhibition societies, Union of Youth was the first major organized group of young avant-garde painters in Russia. Members of the Union had a rather free aesthetic ideology in distinction to other groups of the period (such as Donkey’s Tail) and painted in a variety of styles. Pavel Filonov’s Neo-primitivism and Rozanova’s Cubo-Futurism with Rayist elements typified the breadth of stylistic aspirations within the group. The Union was a microcosm of the rich and varied picture of Russian avant-garde art in the pre-war years.
The first exhibition was held in 1910 in St.Petersburg. In the “Union of Youth” exhibitions the members of the “Jack of Diamonds” and of the “Donkey’s Tail” groups participated also.

The following artists took part in the Union:
Yuri Annenkov, Lev Bruni, Varvara Bubnova, David Burliuk, Vladimir Burliuk, Valentin Bystrenin, Marc Chagall, Alexandra Exter, Pavel Filonov, Alexey Grishchenko, Kuzma Petrov-Vodkin, Nathan Altman, Vladimir Tatlin, Ivan Kliun, Nadezhda Lermontova, Kazimir Malevich, Waldemars Matvejs, Piotr Miturich, Alexey Morgunov, Ivan Puni, Olga Rozanova, Alexandr Shevchenko, Iosif Shkolnik, Eduard Spandikov,  Nikolai Tyrsa, Nadezhda Udaltzova, Sviatoslav Voinov, and Levkii Zheverzheyev.
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Lev Bruni

(b Malaya Vishera, province of Novgorod, 1894; d Moscow, 1948). Russian painter and graphic artist. He came from a well-established artistic family and after a brief involvement with avant-garde experimentation he returned to a figurative style. He trained in St Petersburg at Princess Tenisheva’s school (1904–9) and at the Academy of Arts (1909–12). He then studied under Henri Laurens at the Académie Julian in Paris (1912–13). Paintings such as The Rainbow (1916; St Petersburg, Rus. Mus.) show the influence of Cubism and Futurism. At this time his flat in Petrograd became a meeting-point for various members of the avant-garde, including Vladimir Tatlin. Under Tatlin’s influence, Bruni began making purely abstract reliefs and constructions. Painterly Work with Materials (1916), which was apparently made from painted wood and metal, explored pictorial relationships of colour and plane, whereas a lost construction of 1917 is more three-dimensional and textural, incorporating very varied materials such as celluloid, aluminium, glass and cloth.
 



Lev Bruni
Osip Mandelshtam

1916



Lev Bruni
Anna Achmatova
1922

 



 

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Donkey’s Tail
[Rus. Oslinyy Khvost].

Russian group of painters active in 1911–15. It was led by Mikhail Larionov and Natal’ya Goncharova. The name was chosen by Larionov and recalled a famous artistic scandal in Paris, when a picture, painted by tying a brush to a donkey’s tail, was exhibited without comment at the Salon des Indépendants of 1905. The Donkey’s Tail group was the result of a difference in aesthetic ideology within the Jack of Diamonds group. While most of their colleagues in Jack of Diamonds preferred to rely on the example of contemporary French and German painting, Larionov and Goncharova adopted the view that their art should evolve from the stylistic traditions of popular Russian art forms, such as the icon and lubok (a type of wood-engraving). A few, such as Kazimir Malevich and Alexsey Morgunov (1884–1935), shared their views and resigned in order to help found Donkey’s Tail in 1911. The official launch of the group took place in early 1912 at the Jack of Diamonds conference, when Goncharova and Larionov interrupted the proceedings and, ‘in a halo of scandal’ (Livshits), proclaimed the formation of Donkey’s Tail and their secession from Jack of Diamonds.

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Der Blaue Reiter
(Centered in Munich, 1911-1914)




Alexei von Jawlensky




Gabriele Munter





Franz Marc





August Macke

After setting up the New Artists' Association of Munich in 1909, Kandinsky co-founded Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider) with the German Expressionist painter Franz Marc (1880-1916) in 1911. Kandinsky later explained, "we berth loved blue, Marc liked horses, I riders. So the name came by itself." Blue was the colour attributed to the spirit by Neo-Platonic philosophy, and it had already assumed Symbolist and "ideiste'' connotations. The rider was a regular motif in Kandinsky's work, symbolizing the artists aspirations. The group continued to pursue the concerns of the New Artists' Association: to lead a renewal of art based on the spiritual, abandoning any concern with representing material reality to create works born out of "inner necessity". As Marc said, they sought to create "symbols that belong on the altars of a spiritual religion." The group's first show was organized at the Tannhauser Gallery in 1911. Works by artists (43 in total) from a wide variety of backgrounds were shown in order to "prove in the variety of forms represented how the inner aspirations of artists are realized in many different ways". As well as the group's founders, exhibitors included Campendonck, Macke, Munter, Schoenberg, Burljuk, Delaunay, and Rousseau. An even greater proportion of international work was included in the 1912 exhibition, which was held at the Goltz Gallery and was restricted to graphic work. Among the exhibitors were the Cubists Picasso and Braque; Die Brucke painters Kirchner and Nolde; Russian abstract artists Malevich and Goncharova, as well as Arp, Kubin, and Klee. The next year, the group was invited to take part in the first German Salon d'Automne in Berlin. The work included there made it clear that the artists would no longer acknowledge social issues, preferring to cut themselves off from the outside world. Plans for another exhibition were curtailed by the outbreak of war in 1914 and the group disbanded.

 



Der Blaue Reiter

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

(German“The Blue Rider”)

organization of artists based in Germany that contributed greatly to the development of abstract art. Neither a movement nor a school with a definite program, Der Blaue Reiter was a loosely knit organization of artists that organized group shows between 1911 and 1914.

After resigning from the Neue Künstlervereinigung-München (“New Artists' Society-Munich”), artists Wassily Kandinsky, Gabriele Munter, and Franz Marc organized a show entitled “First Exhibition by the Editors of the Blue Rider,” which was held December 1911 to January 1912 at the Moderne Galerie Tannhäuser, Munich. Forty-three works were shown by 14 artists, including, in addition to Kandinsky and Marc, Henri Rousseau, David and Vladimir Burlyuk, Albert Bloch, and August Macke. The work of these artists was diverse, but it generally reflected an interest in free experimentation and spiritual expression.

The first exhibition received a mixed critical and public reception, but other artists were drawn to the group's expressive freedom and eagerly volunteered to take part in a second group exhibition devoted largely to graphic art. Held in February 1912, this second show included 315 works by over 30 international artists, including Paul Klee, André Derain, Jean Arp, Georges Braque, Maurice de Vlaminck, Mikhail Larionov, Natalya Goncharova, and Pablo Picasso. By this time it was clear that Der Blaue Reiter artists were expressionistically oriented, as was the earlier German organization Die Brücke; but, unlike Die Brücke, their expressionism took the form of lyrical abstraction. Wishing to give form to mystical feelings, these artists wanted to imbue their art with deep spiritual content. Der Blaue Reiter painters were variously influenced by the Jugendstil group, Cubism, Futurism, and “naive” folk art.

The position of the group became evident in Der Blaue Reiter Almanach, published in May 1912 and edited by Kandinsky and Marc (the group's name was taken from this almanac in advance of its publication). The almanac featured essays by various artists as well as reproductions of works of primitive and folk art.

The two Blaue Reiter exhibitions traveled throughout Europe from 1912 to 1914. The almanac was also widely read during this time, further spreading the group's ideas. The group's final exhibition took place at the famous Galerie Der Sturm in Berlin, where their work was included in a show called the “First German Salon d'Automne,” held in September 1913. At that time the German-American artist Lyonel Feininger became affiliated with the group, and the Russian painter Alexey von Jawlensky, though not officially a member of Der Blaue Reiter, supported its aims. With the outbreak of World War I and the deaths of Marc and Macke at the front, Der Blaue Reiter dispersed. While the general public never embraced the radical visual ideas of the movement, the ideas and writings of Der Blaue Reiter artists helped lay the groundwork for a generation of avant-garde experimentation, especially abstraction.

In 1924 Feininger, Kandinsky, Klee (all of whom were teaching at the Weimar Bauhaus at the time), and Jawlensky formed a successor group, Die Blaue Vier (“The Blue Four”). Members of that group were united by a desire to exhibit together rather than by a similarity of style. They exhibited their work together from 1925 to 1934, but they were not nearly as influential as Der Blaue Reiter.
 

 
 




 

 

DER BLAUE REITER "ALMANAK"

In 1912, Der Blaue Reiter issued its Almanak, a small volume containing texts, musical scores, and pictures. The book covered a wide range of cultures, from Alaskan Native Americans to Mexicans and Chinese, and the most varied of styles, from folklore to avant-garde. All these works were deemed to be united by a "spiritual awakening"; "the reader will find works in our volumes that in this respect show an inner relationship although they may appear unrelated on the surface." For the first time, drawings made by children attracted interest, and, in a controversial text. August Macke wrote. "Are not children, who express themselves directly from their innermost feelings, more creative than followers of Greek ideals?" As far as modern art was concerned, the artists of Der Blaue Reiter confirmed their total refusal of the principle of imitation in art, and paid tribute to van Gogh, Cezanne, Gauguin, and Rousseau for creating work according to inner feeling rather than outer reality.

 





 

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The Camden Town Group of Painters
  London, 1911-1912

Exhibiting society of 16 British painters that flourished between 1911 and 1914. It was created from the inner core of artists who regularly attended the informal Saturday afternoon gatherings first established by Walter Richard Sickert in 1907 in a rented studio at 19 Fitzroy Street, London. Sickert, Lucien Pissarro, Charles Isaac Ginner, Spencer Gore, Harold Gilman and Robert Bevan, together with disciples, pupils and sympathetic colleagues, met weekly to display their work to each other and to a small band of patrons while discussing the politics of art in London. Although Fitzroy Street was never intended to represent a movement or school, between 1907 and 1911 it did nurture a distinct episode in the history of British art, which is most suggestively described as Camden Town painting. The pictures tended to be small: ‘little pictures for little patrons’, to quote one of the latter, Louis Fergusson. A Sickert - inspired vocabulary of favourite themes was established: nudes on a bed or at their toilet, informal portraits of friends and coster models in shabby bed-sitter interiors, mantelpiece still-lifes of cluttered bric-ŕ-brac, and views of commonplace London streets, squares and gardens. Every theme was treated with objective perceptual honesty. The handling developed by many of these painters, influenced above all by Lucien Pissarro, represents a late and temperate flowering in England of French Impressionism. With qualifications, interest in colour analysis and the development of a broken touch were characteristics common to the inner core of ‘Camden Town’ painters.
 



Walter Richard Sickert
 

 


Artists who have extensively in this group  include:
Walter Richard Sickert, Lucien Pissarro, Harold Gilman, Charles Isaac Ginner,
Robert Bevan (1865-1925) English Painter, Spencer Gore (1878-1914) English Painter,
Augustus John (1878-1961) British Painter, James Bolivar Manson (1879-1945) British Painter,
Wyndham Lewis (1882-1957) Canadian Painter, Henry Lamb (1883-1960) English Painter,
Duncan Grant (1885-1978) English Painter.

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Lucien Pissarro
Portrait of Esther
 

Lucien Pissarro

 

(b Paris, 20 Feb 1863; d Hewood, Dorset, 10 July 1944).

Painter, printmaker and typographical designer, son of Camille Pissarro. His father played a prominent role in his formation as an artist. Lucien’s chief contribution as a painter was his blending of French and English stylistic tendencies. Several early works are in the Neo-Impressionist style and were included in the exhibition organized by the Société des Artistes Indépendants in Paris until his resignation in 1896, and by Les XX in Brussels.

 

 



Lucien Pissarro
The Church at Gisors
 



Lucien Pissarro
Rye from Cadborough, Grey Afternoon
 





Lucien Pissarro
Willows, Fishpond, Dorset


 


Lucien Pissarro
Le brusq


 



Old Mark's Field, Coldharbour, Surrey
 

 


 

 

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Group of Plastic Artists [Czech: Skupina Vytvarnych Umelcu].

Bohemian avant-garde group, active 1911–17. In February 1911 a fundamental rift between the older and younger generations in the MÁNES UNION OF ARTISTS was occasioned by the fall in subscriptions to the union’s journal Volné smery after its new editors, Emil Filla and Antonín Matejcek, reproduced Picasso’s work and published Filla’s article on the virtues of the new primitivism. The majority of the young contributors to the journal pointedly withdrew from the Mánes Union. Towards the end of 1911 they established the Group of Plastic Artists, oriented towards Cubism; its members were Vincenc Benes, V. H. Brunner, Josef Capek, Emil Filla, Josef Gocár, Otto Gutfreund, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964), Josef Chochol, Pavel Janák, Zdenek Kratochvíl, Frantisek Kysela, Antonín Procházka, Ladislav Síma, Václav Spála, the writers Karel Capek (1890–1938) and Frantisek Langer, and the art historian V. V. Stech. For personal reasons and differences of opinion, Bohumil Kubista, Otokar Kubín and Matejcek remained outside the group and soon returned to the Mánes Union. Gocár was elected the group’s first president.

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Vincenc Benes
(1883-1979)


Still Life


Otto Gutfreund
(1889-1927)


Lovers

 





 

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Czech
Cubism

Term used to describe a style in architecture and the applied arts, directly inspired by Cubist painting and sculpture, which was developed by architects and designers active in Prague shortly before World War I; the term itself was not used until the 1960s. The leaders of the style were the members of the Group of Plastic Artists (1911–14), which broke away from the Mánes Union of Artists in 1911 and for two years published its own journal, Umelecky mesícník (‘Art monthly’). The architects in the group were Josef Gocar, Josef Chochol, Vlastislav Hofman (1884–1964) and Pavel Janák; other members included Emil Filla, Václav Spála, Antonín Procházka and Otto Gutfreund. The group was reacting against the austere rationalism of such architects as Jan Kotera, seeking instead to sustain architecture and the applied arts as branches of art rich in content. Their approach was expounded in various articles, particularly by Janák, who developed the principles of architectural Cubism; based on the thesis of Cubism in painting and sculpture, that art should create a distinctive, parallel picture of reality, it attempted to dematerialize a building’s mass by the three-dimensional surface sculpturing of the façade with abstract, prismatic forms.

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Association of American Painters and Sculptors

Group of artists founded in New York in 1911 with the aim of finding suitable exhibition space for young American artists. After preliminary meetings between the painters Jerome Myers (1867–1940), Elmer MacRae (1875–1955), Walt Kuhn (1877–1949) and others, a meeting was held at the Madison Gallery on 16 December 1911 for the purpose of founding a new artists’ organization. At a subsequent meeting on 2 January 1912 they elected officers and began to discuss exhibition plans. The president, Julian Alden Weir, who had been elected in absentia, resigned, however, and the leadership passed to Arthur B. Davies.

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Elmer Livingston MacRae
(1875-1953)



Elmer Livingston MacRae
Schooner in the Ice



Elmer Livingston MacRae
The Upper Porch at the Holley House





 


Walt Kuhn
(1877–1949)



Walt Kuhn
The White Clown



Walt Kuhn
Reclining Nude

 



 

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Puteaux group [Puteaux-Courbevoie group; Salon Cubists].

Term applied from the mid-20th century to a group of artists associated with CUBISM who came to prominence in the wake of their controversial showing in room 41 of the Salon des Indépendants in spring 1911. The name given to them, in order to distinguish them from the narrower definition of Cubism developed by Picasso and Braque from 1907 to 1910 in the Montmartre district of Paris, is that of the suburban village west of Paris where two of the core members of the group, Jacques Villon and his brother  Raymond Duchamp-Villon, held regular gatherings.
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Objet trouve

Term applied in the 20th century to existing objects, manufactured or of natural origin, used in, or as, works of art. With the exception of the READY-MADE, in which a manufactured object is generally presented on its own without mediation, the objet trouvé is most often used as raw material in an ASSEMBLAGE, with juxtaposition as a guiding principle. Prior to the 20th century unusual objects were collected in cabinets of curiosities, but it was only in the early 20th century that found objects came to be appreciated as works of art in their own right. Antoni Gaudí, for example, used broken pieces of pottery to cover exterior surfaces in the Park Güell buildings (1900–14) in Barcelona  and on various buildings designed by him during the same period. The development of COLLAGE in Cubism heralded a greater dependence on found objects, paralleling the incorporation of conversational fragments in the poetry of Guillaume Apollinaire from 1912; Pablo Picasso and Georges Braque, in particular, used real items in their paintings and constructions as a way of commenting on the relationship between reality, representation and illusion. Their example in turn encouraged Vladimir Tatlin to use ordinary objects in his reliefs of 1913–14, and other sculptors, such as Alexander Archipenko and Umberto Boccioni, to extend the range of materials acceptable in sculpture.

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THE SECTION D'OR GROUP (Golden Section)
 

The refusal of the Salon des Independants to exhibit Marcel Duchamp's Nude Descending a Staircase led to the launch of a breakaway group, the Section d'Or (Golden Section), with a large exhibition of 300 works in October 1912 at the Galerie de la Boetie. Members of the group — Picabia, Gleizes, Metzinger, Gris, Archipenko, Villon and Kupka - had taken up Cubist ideas about the treatment of form and were now moving towards other avant-garde experiments. The works of Picabia and Duchamp revealed new uses of colour, themes based on movement, and a keen interest in the mathematical system of proportion (similar to the Golden Section), the study of which had inspired the groups name.


Section d'Or (Golden Section) include: Francis Picabia, Alexander Archipenko, Robert Delaunay, Marcel Duchamp, Raymond Duchamp-Villon, Albert Gleizes, Roger de La Fresnaye, Fernand Leger, Andre Lhote, Louis Marcoussis, Jean Metzinger, and Andre Dunoyer de Segonzac.

 

 



Roger de La Fresnaye



Andre Lhote

 

 
 

Section d’Or (Golden Section)

A large group exhibition of artists identified with Cubism, held 10–30 October 1912 at the Galerie la Boëtie, Paris, and entitled Salon de la Section d’Or. Organized by the PUTEAUX GROUP, the participants included the Duchamp brothers—Jacques Villon, Raymond Duchamp-Villon and Marcel Duchamp (who showed Nude Descending a Staircase, No. 2)—as well as Juan Gris, Leger, Picabia, Roger de La Fresnaye, Albert Gleizes, Auguste Herbin, Andre Lhote, Louis Marcoussis, Jean Metzinger and André Dunoyer de Segonzac. The inaugural address was given by Guillaume Apollinaire. Section d’Or also refers to the catalogue of that exhibition, with a preface by René Blum, and to the single issue of a review that accompanied the show. The title was the suggestion of Jacques Villon, who had been reading Leonardo’s Trattato della pittura in a translation (1910) by Joséphin Péladan. Péladan attached great mystical significance to the GOLDEN SECTION and to other, related geometric configurations. Villon and his Cubist friends chose the title for two reasons. First, it symbolized their belief in tradition and order, for it embodied patterns and relationships occurring in nature. Second, the term involved a pun, dear to the humour of the Duchamp family: ‘Section’ also has the meaning of a group of adherents, in this case ‘the golden band’, derived from a series of smaller and earlier group manifestations ranging from the review Bandeaux d’or to the Société Normande de la Peinture Moderne, to which the Duchamp brothers had belonged since 1909.

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Guillaume Apollinaire
 

THE CONTRIBUTION OF GUILLAUME APOLLINAIRE

The poet Guillaume Apollinaire (1880-1918) was a frequent contributor to the influential La rente blanche from 1902 onwards. lie had originally confined his critical interest in painting to the works of Seurat, Cezanne, and the Fauves, but later became closely involved with the activities of avant-garde artists, acting as their interpreter and theoretician, lie wrote a treatise entitled The Cubist Painters— Aesthetic Meditations (published in 1913), as well as reviews and prefaces for the one-man shows of Picasso and Braque and for exhibitions by the so-called Orphists. An enthusiastic apologist for any new artistic development, he wrote the manifesto "L'Antitradition futuriste" for Marinetti in 1913. In 1917, he coined the term "surrealism" when describing his play Les Mamelles de Tiresias, and also contributed to 391, Picabia's Dadaist review. When Apollinaire died, Picasso designed a wire sculpture based on one of Apollinaire's poems, "signifying nothing, like poetry and fame".

 

 


Marc Chagall
Homage to Apollinaire
1911-13

 

 

 


Guillaume Apollinaire

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

born August 26, 1880, Rome?
died November 9, 1918, Paris

pseudonym of Guillelmus (or Wilhelm) Apollinaris de Kostrowitzki poetwho in his short life took part in all the avant-garde movements that flourished in French literary and artistic circles at the beginning of the 20th century and who helped to direct poetry into unexplored channels.
The son of a Polish émigrée and an Italian officer, he kept his origins secret. Left more or less to himself, he went at the age of 20 to Paris, where he led a bohemian life. Several months spent in Germany in 1901 had a profound effect on him and helped to awaken him to his poetic vocation. He fell under the spell of the Rhineland and later recaptured the beauty of its forests and its legends in his poetry. More important, he fell in love with a young Englishwoman, Annie Playden, whom he pursued, unsuccessfully, as far as London; his romantic disappointment inspired him to write his famous “Chanson du mal-aimé” (“Song of the Poorly Loved”).
After his return to Paris, Apollinaire became well known as a writer and a habitué of the cafes patronized by literary men. He also made friends with some young painters who were to become famous—Maurice de Vlaminck, André Derain, Raoul Dufy, and Pablo Picasso; he introduced his contemporaries to Henri Rousseau's paintings and to African sculpture; and with Picasso, he applied himself to the task of defining the principles of a Cubist aesthetic in literature as well as painting. His Peintures cubistes appeared in 1913 (Cubist Painters, 1944).
His first volume, L'Enchanteur pourrissant (1909; “The Rotting Magician”), is a strange dialogue in poetic prose between the magician Merlin and the nymph Viviane. In the following year a collection of vivid stories, some whimsical and some wildly fantastic, appeared under the title L'Hérésiarque et Cie (1910; “The Heresiarch and Co.”). Then came Le Bestiaire (1911), in mannered quatrains. But his poetic masterpiece was Alcools (1913; Eng. trans., 1964). In these poems he relived all his experiences and expressed them sometimes in alexandrines and regular stanzas, sometimes in short unrhymed lines, and always without punctuation.
In 1914 Apollinaire enlisted, became a second lieutenant in the infantry, and received a head wound in 1916. Discharged,he returned to Paris and published a symbolic story, Le Počteassassiné (1916; The Poet Assassinated, 1923), and more significantly, a new collection of poems, Calligrammes (1918), dominated by images of war and his obsession with anew love affair. Weakened by war wounds, he died of Spanish influenza.
His play Les Mamelles de Tirésias was staged the year before he died (1917). He called it surrealist, believed to be the first use of the term. Francis Poulenc turned the play into a light opera (first produced in 1947).
In his poetry Apollinaire made daring, even outrageous, technical experiments; his calligrammes, thanks to an ingenious typographical arrangement, are designs as well aspoems. More generally, Apollinaire set out to create an effect of surprise or even astonishment by means of unusualverbal associations and, because of this, could be called the herald of Surrealism.
 

 




 

ROBERT DELAUNAY AND ORPHISM
 

Coined by Guillaume Apollinaire in an article for Der Sturm in February 1912, the term "Orphism" was applied to various individual artists. Derived from Orpheus - the name of the mythical poet and musician who could move inanimate objects by his music — it was used to describe a variant of Cubism specifically concerned with colour, its dynamism, and its irrational and mystico-spiritual implications. Certain painters, including Leger, Picabia, Duchamp, Kandinsky, and the Italian Futurists, had refused to accept the rules of orthodox Analytical Cubism and were described by Apollinaire, somewhat arbitrarily, as "Orphic". He did, however, recognize Robert Delaunay and his wife Sonia Delaunay (1885-1979) as the most significant exponents of this new artistic language, which depicted the object exclusively in terms of planes and colour rhythms.

By 1912, after his earlier Cubist and Neo-lmpressionist style (typified by Saint Severin, 1909-10. and La Tour Eiffel, 1909-11), with its fragmentation, curvilinear distortions, refracted planes, and circles of light. Delaunay moved on to his Windows series. He described this as being composed solely of pure colour and of colour contrasts that developed in time, yet were perceived as simultaneous. His Premier disque simultane shows a wheel (symbolizing contemporary civilization as well as cosmic energy) of colours in juxtaposition, following a scheme of complementary colours. He pursued an effect of dynamism that had resonances of Futurist theories — it was no coincidence that in April 1913. Boccioni accused the Orphists of plagiarism. Morgan Russell and Stanton MacDonald Wright, two American painters living in Paris, based their theories of Synchronism (which sought new expressive potential in colour through "simultaneity") on Delaunay's work.

 

 



Robert Delaunay



Sonia Delaunay

 



 

 

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Orphism

Term coined by Guillaume Apollinaire c. 1912 to refer to the work of several painters in Paris. He applied it to a new kind of joyously sensuous art, whose roots were in Cubism and which had a tendency towards abstraction. The word orphique had been used by the Symbolists and originated in the Greek myth of Orpheus, who was significant as the ideal artist for the Symbolists. In 1907 Apollinaire had written a collection of quatrains under the title Bestiaire ou cortčge d’Orphée (Paris, 1911), with woodcuts by Raoul Dufy, into which he incorporated the figure of Orpheus as a symbol of the poet and the artist in general. For Apollinaire, however, as for the generation of Symbolists who preceded him, the myth of Orpheus meant the study of mystic, occult and astrological sources, which gave rise to artistic inspiration. ‘The voice of light’, which he described in his Orphic poems, was a metaphor, common in mystic texts, for ‘inner experiences’. In a footnote to his volume of poetry he identified the ‘voice of light’ by means of a line drawing, although it was still not fully articulated; once it had totally expressed itself, it would take on colour and become painting. The metaphor of light, therefore, represented the artist’s power to create entirely new forms and colours, and in the process referred to the creation myth of hermetic, Orphic texts. Accordingly, Orphism could signify a direct sensuous address by means of colour and light, as well as an innovative creative process.

 
 


Orphic art

(Encyclopaedia Britannica)

French Orphisme, trend in Cubist painting that gave priority to colour. The movement was named in 1912 by the French poet Guillaume Apollinaire,whose use of the word Orphic recalls both the Symbolist painters' use of the term Orphic art in reference to Paul Gauguin's orchestration of colour and the poetry of Orpheus, the legendary poet and singer. Among the painters working in this style, Apollinaire noted Robert Delaunay (q.v.), Fernand Léger, Francis Picabia, and Marcel Duchamp. In the attempt to approximate music, Delaunay and his wife, Sonia, led the way in transforming thevisual into abstract colour harmonies.

One of the resources Delaunay used to arrive at a way of integrating colour and Cubism was a book on simultaneous contrasts (De la loi du contraste simultané des couleurs, 1839), by the chemist Michel-Eugčne Chevreul. Unlike the Neo-Impressionist painter Georges Seurat, who had employed these theories during the 1880s, Delaunay was interested in applying them in an abstract way, exploring the effects of colour and light when they are not bound to an object. In his abstract work “Simultaneous Composition: Sun Disks” (1912–13; Museum of Modern Art, New York City), superimposed circles of colour have their own rhythm and movement.

Another painter associated with Orphism was Frantisek Kupka, a Czech who lived in Paris. Possibly Kupka was aware of Delaunay's disk paintings when he painted his “Disks of Newton (Study for Fugue in Two Colors)” in 1912 (Philadelphia Museum of Art). As the musical analogy implicit in the title suggests, the vibrating colour orchestrations on the canvas seem to create visual music.

It was Delaunay's canvases, however, that deeply impressed August Macke, Franz Marc, and Paul Klee, who visited his Paris studio in 1912; this exposure had a decisive influence on their subsequent work. Orphism also exerted an influenceon the development of German Cubism.
 

 

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