Cubism and Surrealism

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Cubism & Surrealism: A Break from Tradition

Cubism & Surrealism: A Break from Tradition
Since the introduction of perspective during the Renaissance, artists painted in a way that imitated the natural world. Some artists, such as the Impressionists, painted the world as seen through his own eyes. Others, such as the Realists, aimed to paint the world as it actually was by using precise detail and realistic subjects. It wasn’t until 1907 that artists began to look beyond nature and reality and into the creative corners of their minds to depict art that wasn’t based in the natural world. Cubism pioneered the way for this break from tradition with its unique take on perspective while Surrealism deviated even further through exploration of the subconscious mind.
Cubism developed in a time of technological advances. Photography had become common and was threatening painting as a way of documenting the natural world. Art needed to evolve its purpose. (Bewley, 2013) Cubists changed the way they approached painting by rejecting the tradition of painting the world as our eyes see it and, instead, they painted subjects broken up and reassembled in abstract form from different perspectives and viewpoints. Influenced by African mask carvings, Picasso created Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, the first painting which exhibited cubism elements. (FozzyFozz, 2012)
Although not considered a Cubist painting, Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon is regarded by many as a pre-Cubist painting. Picasso’s use of simple geometric shapes and multiple planes are both characteristics that would later be used to define Cubism. Cubism features abstraction – artists disassemble, analyze and reassemble subjects to show the subject differently. Early Cubist painters made use of monochromatic colors, whereas later in the movement, artists explored the use of vivid colors in their artwork.…...

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